The Internet is mostly a sea of black and white. Good images are the magic ingredient that can make a page pop.
For marketers and bloggers, interesting and arresting photos dress up an otherwise bland post and attract the desired attention.
On sites with photos, page views are 94 percent higher than those that only contain text. On Facebook, posts that have photos are 120 to 180 percent more engaging than those without them. It’s clear from the statistics that users crave visuals.
“In a landscape where everyday marks a cutthroat battle for attention, images are becoming as essential as text to professional bloggers, web publishers and businesses alike,” writes Shutterstock’s Adam Singer in his post, “Why Images Are Vital to Modern Blogs.”
Singer says that text is “easily glossed over” because people are scanning the Internet quicker than ever. However, photos can slow people down, because “strong imagery is something that can’t be ignored.” He also points out that if a brand uses the same imagery styles repeatedly, the viewer will begin to associate the photos with the brand.
Premium content usually contains images.
“Unconsciously, we elevate the worth of a site that has images mixed in with stories,” Singer says. ”Of course, a site with great content can stand on its own, but when coupled with images, it creates a synergy, encouraging shares, Tweets and Stumbles.”
Photos are mood setters and can assist with the storytelling process on a blog post.
When it comes to personalization on a blog, photos also come in handy, Content Marketing Institute‘s Jodi Harris told The Content Strategist.
“Any image, really, can enhance an article because it helps to humanize the concepts being talked about,” she said. ”It helps an article become more than just nameless, faceless, chatter — it helps readers view the author’s insight as a relatable, personal experience.”
Picking any old image isn’t going to be effective.
“If it’s a unique, intriguing, or personalized image, it can definitely make the content more share-worthy,” Harris says. “Generic clip-art or abstract art, maybe not so much, though.”
Photos command attention, and for marketers and publishers that means dollars. Images drive value. In March, Facebook bought Instagram for $1 billion and Pinterest is one of the fastest growing social media sites of all time.
“Any content — print, online, mobile, or what have you — looks more professional and authoritative if there are relevant images included,” Harris says. ”While an article or two might be fine without an image, an entire collection of content would seem dry, dull and like a scientific journal if it had no images.”
Images courtesy of familymwr/flickr