Digital marketing images are currency on the web. We live in the age of visual content. Everyone has a camera in their pocket – and the fastest growing social media networks are image centric. Consider the fact that ten percent of the photos taken by humankind took place in the last twelve months. As one of the most important digital marketing trends, there’s never been a more important time to feature professional photography on your website.
Boost Overall Performance
Few things are more valuable to your website than engaging photos relevant to the content on the page (for more on performance, consider the value of a website maintenance program). Websites featuring professional digital marketing images get more traction on page visits – plain and simple. In fact, content with images gets 94% more total views. Here’s even more powerful reasons to include professional photography in your website:
- 60 percent of consumers are more willing to consider local search results with images.
- From 2014 to 2015, visual content budgets grew 3 to 5% – and that number is projected to increase by the same into 2016.
- 23 percent of consumers are more likely to contact a business showcasing an image.
Make a Strong First Impression
You only get one chance to make a strong first impression. In web design, it happens in 0.2 seconds – and nothing is more important. Think of your first interaction with a visitor like meeting someone for the first time. Professional photos are the Internet equivalent to a clean shave, sharp suit, eye contact and a good firm handshake.
A strong first impression on the Internet translates to increased trust, credibility and professionalism.Visitors are more likely to stay on your site – and stick around long enough to hear what you have to say. Get potential customers in the door with professional digital marketing images and you’re halfway to converting them into leads or sales.
Take Advantage of Search Engines
High quality photos relevant to the user attract not just potential customers – but search engines, too. In fact, Google dedicates an entire search vertical to images. If you’re operating an e-commerce store, then high quality product photos can be your ticket to the top of Google’s search engine result pages.
We live in a world of instant gratification. Online consumers want the fastest, most direct route from search query to shopping cart. Quality digital marketing images give consumers an instant idea about your product – right where they want it. A little more than one out of every two online shoppers (around 60%) will seriously consider contacting you.
Turbo-Charge Your Social Media
Facebook. Instagram. Pinterest. The three fastest growing social networks all have one important thing in common: images. Optimized social media can help you boost engagement, build brand presence, and sell more products. The use of professional photography is a smart, effective way to leverage social media to drive core business objectives.
As humans, we love visuals (for more on the human brain and the visual world, check out our digital marketing image optimization cheat sheet). According to research, 65 percent of the population is made up of visual learners. Perhaps it’s the reason 60% of smartphone users take pictures at least once a week. Today, even digital marketers can capture high quality images on a smartphone and use them in a digital marketing campaign.
Remember, posts with visuals receive 94% more page visits and engagement. Visual content is both social media-ready and social media-friendly. You can ignore the power of professional digital marketing images in social media only at your own peril.
Power Up Your Press Releases
Press releases are a valuable marketing tool. The best press releases provide content for other marketing channels – with images at the top of the list. In fact, press releases with photos increase engagement by about 18%. Before you publish a press release as a public relations strategy, consider professional photography.
There’s a pretty clear ranking system for digital marketing images. Press releases without photos sit at the bottom of the totem pole. The next step up is stock photography downloaded from the web. Near the top is a custom image taken by a professional photographer. The silver bullet of press release digital marketing images combines professional photography with graphic design (more on that later).
Your Most Valuable Asset
Images. Product-specific information. Product descriptions. Reviews and ratings. Every product in your e-commerce store deserves these core marketing components. Which one has the most value according to your customers? You guessed it – images. Consider the statistics:
- 63% of customers give more value to digital marketing images than product-specific information.
- 54% of customers find images more valuable than product descriptions (especially long ones).
- 53% of customers give more value to images than reviews and ratings.
How to Find Quality Digital Marketing Images
There’s more than one way to find digital marketing images – but only one smart way for the greatest impact. Of course, you could simply type a search phrase into Google and instantly find a high quality image. Unfortunately, this seemingly smart strategy is more likely to attract a copyright lawsuit than a customer.
Another way to get digital marketing images is to shoot them yourself. Surely your secretary can snap some high quality photos of your team, location and products – right? Actually, you would be surprised to see the difference between an amateur and professional photo shoot. It’s clearly something your customers will notice, and well worth the added investment.
By far, the smartest and most effective way to find and publish digital marketing images is to hire a web design agency. But not just any web design agency – one with a professional photographer on staff. A professional photographer who doubles as a graphic designer has the perfect formula for success.
Graphic design and photography go hand-in-hand. Composition, layout and colour are all principles of both fields – applied through different mediums. The two skill-sets play into each other for a whole that far exceeds the sum of its parts. Consider it one of the cornerstones of a great digital marketing strategy.