No matter how you say it through words, most of the people will not read your content without visual aid. Now, images, graphs and infographics have become integral part of any kind of posts.
Marketers believe that visual content has helped them increase online customers. They have started paying attention to images and videos, and are hiring freelancers to come up with engaging visual content consistently.
While marketers believe images have done wonders for their pages, some content writers still believe that images can never replace the power of words. Research indicates that the brain processes images and visual content much quicker than written content.
Here are some interesting facts about images and their impact:
Jeff Bulla indicates that people use social media sites to express what they feel and choose images to represent their feelings. According to him,
The fastest growing networks are not surprisingly Facebook, Instagram and Tumblr
This age of Visual Culture can be divided into three phases:
1st Phase – Increase of Photography
It does not require any proof that image and picture creation has increased massively in past few years. Almost everyone around you has a camera phone.
People love to capture themselves, the events they’re in, and things they like. The figure was touching 2.5 million users just two years back, and now it’s higher than that.
With so many people using images and showing interest in publishing their own, the vary nature and reason of content has evolved from just being informative to “Attractive and persuasive”.
2nd Phase – Social Networks
People use image centric social networks to share their pictures with their friends and other people. Above-mentioned social networks have user-friendly interface, allowing you to upload videos and images easily.
Following graph shows the percentage or people who repost images and videos available on the internet, in 2012 and 2013.
3rd Phase – Interactive images
Pinterest has been the first platform that enables you to interact via images and pictures.
This snapshot of infographic emphasizes on the importance of images and the social networks that encourage users to share them.
Importance of Images for Business
MDG Advertising conducted a research on including image of the business in local search. They found out that 60% of the users searching local businesses on the internet are likely to contact or consider a business, if it has an image or picture.
Further analysis indicated that people responded differently to the images:
This research pointed towards following questions:
How can you choose an image that is really engaging and relevant to your text?
What kind of images should you incorporate in your posts to increase page views?
What kind of images suits your purpose and how much attention you pay on them?
Same goes for the images content writers use in their posts. So how many kinds of images have you tried to grab your readers’ attention? Are you satisfied with the way you’re using images on your blog?
There are as many as 8 popular ways of image creation used by professional writers. They are discussed as under:
Images With Deep Psychological Impact on Readers
Here are some of the most common types of visual content that you might want to use in your posts.
1. Stock Photos
Stock Photos are the photographs licensed for specific usage. Instead of hiring a photographer, you can use them to fulfill the requirements of any creative assignment, at a lower cost. They can be purchased and delivered online and save time.
Make sure you use them correctly to extract the exact response of the readers. They are very effective at the start of the post to grab attention.
You can find free stock photos on several different sites, such as Flickr. Other than that these two amazing blog posts 53+ free image sources by Courtney Seiter and Finding Free Images for Your Blog (Guide & Links) by Mike from StarBloggingOnline.com can really help bloggers find the images they need.
There is this cool guide on “how to get free high resolution images for your blog” by Neeraj Kaple, which is a must read for all bloggers. Go check it out!
Psychological Impact on Readers:
Readers feel emotionally connected to the post.
Right kind of image always gets attention and acclamation from the readers.
Screenshots are really helpful in elaborating ideas. They enable you to show your readers rather than tell them, and most of the people are only convinced when they are shown the way to do something. With slight addition and indications of important points, you can add screenshots of your own work to guide your readers on your How-to blog.
For instance, following screenshot shows how you can embed an infographic from other blog to your blog.
Of course, you can always tell your readers how they can do that but, isn’t it more time saving and effective than writing a long guide?
One simple way of doing that is by pressing the “Print Scrn” button on your keyboard, once you’re on the page you want to take a screenshot of. It can be any website or anything that is on your screen. Once you have captured the screenshot, you have to open “paint” and press “ctrl +v” to paste the captured screen shot. Through pain you’d be able to adjust the size of the image and do a few minor additions and edits if you like.
You can do it your way by taking a screenshot yourself and format it to fit on your post. Alternatively, you can save extra time on editing and formatting with Snagit.
Psychological Impact on the Readers:
If you’re used to include screenshots, readers will have an idea that you’re not sharing “Anything” but your own fresh idea, even if it wasn’t your own.
By adding arrows and action phrases in the image, you’re making their task easier. Technically, it’s a great way to share your knowledge and ideas with the people.
3. Graphs and Charts
Visual aid becomes highly important if you want to present complex statistics. Your interpretation may also be required but the readers will find it really interesting if they refer to it via graphs. Another fact is, readers like to share interesting stats, so your post will have high probability of being shared.
Just like this blog post on Cognitive Daily. Author, Dave Munger shared a point of view that a picture is worth 1.5 words.
Hubpost published interesting Stats on Visual Content Marketing in which every piece of information is presented with easy-to-understand graph. Like the one shown below:
How to create and upload graphs
You just need to have the basic understanding of Excel. Just input your stats in cells. If you are working on a piece of information that is presented in a table form, copy/paste the table from the source to your excel sheet.
- Click on the “insert” option
- Select the type of graph you want to have:
- Select axis, legends, title and click “Finish”.
- Once the chart is ready, you can create a JPG or PNG file by copy/pasting the chart into your Paint file.
- From their you can upload the graph in your blog post
Psychological Impact on Readers:
Human psychology revolves around statistics and human brain tends to accept facts that are backed by numbers. People love sharing stats on social media to prove their point (just like the way you wanted to).
For instance, if you tell your friend that he has 10 million hairs on his skull, he might never believe you. But when you tell him, “XYZ Association of Dermatologists conducted a research on 150 individuals and found, there are 10 million hairs on average human skull”, chances are that he believed you.
4. Personal Photos
When you’re sharing your story on your blog, try to use one or two personal photos to take readers deep into your life. Sharing personal images, for instance, your accessories, wardrobe, books, gadgets, footwear or anything attached to you can create a strong bond between you and your readers. It could be a collection of coins, old tickets, wines, music albums of your favorite artist, or anything else.
You don’t have to buy a high-resolution camera to add these images, even a click of your smart phone will do. Make sure that the stuff you’re sharing should be acceptable for all kind of audience, at least your target audience.
Here is a fine example of sharing personal photo on a blog where apparently useless stuff pictured by Erik Johansson.
5. Still Frames from Movie or TV shows
This could be the content marketing trick you need. Groove Blog uses it every now and then. You can easily attract a reader with a popular frame of his favorite movie or a Television series (making him think both of you have something in common).
Moreover, popular TV series are based on real life scenarios (unless it’s Game of Thrones). You can get a great start to promote your idea when you connect it with a popular dialogue or character.
You can do it easily via Google Image Search, by finding relevant images of most popular TV shows or blockbuster movies. Here’s an example,
Psychological Impact on Readers:
Most watched TV shows and their images increase chances of your post being found unintentionally. Because you’ve chosen frames from popular dramas and movies, chances are that readers like them too. You might see few comments for the image only.
Here’s something more and more marketers are turning to. Infographic is a great way to present multiple facts with graphs and images, and lead your audience towards the call of action as sophisticatedly as possible. It requires a lot of research, brainstorming, editing, word-crafting and statistical appetite to come up with an interesting infographic. Here are some tips to create infographic:
- Search latest and popular topics
- Use a unique story to get audience attention
- Statistical data is essential to support your idea
- Don’t forget to include the resources at the end
- Be calculative while creating your infographic outline
- Instead of spending time on creating your own, hire a freelance designer or create your own via online sources like Canva, infogr.am or visual.ly
- Promote your infographic with Killer Infographics, 4shared and Scribd.com
- Create more than one infographic to compare the impact
- Be consistent, otherwise you cannot see the difference
Psychological Impact on Readers:
Readers find infographics quick and easy way to understand content therefore, they tend to share them more than long articles. Pictures will make them learn and remember the words easily. Simple actionable tips will lead to action. Attractive graphics will force them to share your content on their blogs.
7. Custom Art
You don’t always find what you’re looking for, but that’s not unfortunate. You can always create a custom art for your post. Buffer Social uses custom art in its posts more often.
Again, it is not a costly option. You can hire a freelancer at fairly reasonable rate to create an image, or use above mentioned online sources.
Another way to get your reader’s attention is by including comics in your posts. Laughter is a great tool to elicit an emotional reaction from a reader, and comics can help you to get this reaction.
Here is an interesting article, 65+ Sites To Find Awe-Inspiring Public Domain Images & Clipart For Your Blog + Social Media Posts For FREE by Shae Baxter, an SEO expert who teaches entrepreneurs on how to be more “discover’able” online.
Are You Planning?
There is no doubt that images have become an important ingredient of articles and blog posts. They are super active tool to add spice of interest and value to your blog post platter meal. Not to ignore the fact that the content must be authentic with fresh feel and in depth research. Images will bring visitors to your page, bring your readers closer and help you score more on rankings.
Going towards the end, this post must have given you ideas about the ways you can incorporate images to your content, and where to find them as well. If you are not using images at all, or not using them effectively, try these tips. You’ll definitely feel a huge difference in terms of quality and engagement.
Are you using all the above types of images on your posts already? If not, what kind of images are you excited to try? How much have you learnt from this post? Don’t hesitate to share your thoughts with us.