If a picture really is worth a thousand words, that’s all the more reason to select images carefully to accompany your content. Luckily, there are some simple steps you can take to get a better response to your images and increase their share value and engagement with your posts.
1. Take stock of the situation
Stock images are called this for a reason. They’re everywhere. Of course, it’s expensive and time-consuming to shoot or create custom images to accompany all of your content, but sourcing stock photography can also be pricey – and it can take a long time to find something appropriate. This is one area where it can make sense to steer clear of the market leaders. Smaller, niche sites can provide quirkier images and, best of all, they’re either dramatically cheaper or free.
Our favourites are:
2. Don’t be so literal
When you’re working quickly, it’s easy to select an image that directly represents the content in the story. A photo of a group of women huddled around a computer makes us instantly think about women in tech, but an abstract computer and a pair of disembodied hands could mean the same thing.
Thinking laterally provides more pleasure for your audience, who can work to make a connection. Choose a theme of your article and illustrate it with an engaging image. Have fun with it. If you’re talking about building a community online, try a quirky image of a community of animals interacting. Likewise, a piece on busy working mothers could be accompanied by a picture of someone juggling rather than a harried-looking woman in a suit.
3. Size does matter
When it comes to displaying images, especially if your site is responsive, size is all important. Don’t be afraid to crop to ensure your images display as intended. Any warping or distorting of an image can put a reader off and risk looking unprofessional. If in doubt, check with your developer or web team to make sure you’re uploading images in the right dimensions and resolution – double check you’re including retina displays!
4. Choose the right tools
While there are some fantastic free tools available online (here’s looking at you, Canva), it’s worth investing in industry-standard software like Photoshop. It’s the image master, and worth getting to grips with. While it can seem daunting at first, there are a huge amount of tutorials available online, and once you learn the shortcuts and set-up workflows, it’s a hugely efficient way to work.
5. Get the treatment right
You wouldn’t chop and change between fonts and colours for your written content, and it’s not hard to bring a similar consistency to your images. Give your site a more cohesive look and feel by deciding on a set treatment for images and applying it consistently. Choosing a filter or grade will help to unify images and make it slightly less obvious that you’re using stock photography.
Keep in mind that images should be resized before displaying them on social media channels. Learn more about which images work best for social with Isentia Two Social.