How to Use Images to Promote Your Brand
Finding captivating images on stock photo sites – or capturing your own – is just the first step in using images to promote your brand. In fact, mastering images in brand promotion could be one of your most valuable assets. According to the 2016 Social Media Marketing Industry Report, 37% of marketers said visual marketing was the most important form of content for their business, second only to blogging.
The science behind why imagery in brand promotion is so effective can be eye-opening. According to research collected from HubSpot, people are likely to remember only 10% of the information they hear three days later. However, when a relevant image is paired with the same information, people retained 65% of the information three days later.
Think about it: without a visual, only 10% of your audience is likely to remember what you said or wrote. Give your audience something they’ll remember by pairing a high-quality image with amazing content to match.
Not everyone is a fantastic photographer or handy with design tools. Fortunately, there are plenty of sites where you can get great photos, both for free and for a fee. Use photos from sites like Burst, Pexels, BigStockPhoto, and Shutterstock to enhance your blog posts. There are also plenty of ways to use images that go beyond simply adding one to your blog. Get started with this guide on how to use images to promote your brand.
Take Fantastic Product or Lifestyle Images
Using high-quality images of your product, and lifestyle shots that embody the idea behind your brand, can give your promotions a big boost. High-resolution photos of your products help show consumers what they actually look like before purchasing. Use a 365-degree view of your product, and post the photos so your customers can see every angle.
Or spark people’s imaginations by taking photos of your product in an interesting environment or while being used by happy customers. The idea is to evoke some emotion behind your product or service, and how it makes people feel to use it.
The same goes for lifestyle images. After all, not every brand is product-based. You may offer a service instead. For example, a travel consulting company could use high-resolution photos of exotic locations featuring excited travelers in order to promote the lifestyle behind their brand. Whatever you choose, give the audience the feeling that they are right there with you to capture the essence of what your business offers.
Get Seen on Instagram
Instagram is a must-have if you’re going to promote your brand visually. Instagram users are ready to shop. A 2015 Instagram study by Iconosquare found that 70% of Instagram users looked up a brand on the platform before purchasing.
Give shoppers what they want by promoting your best brand images right on Instagram. Building up a following by commenting on others’ images, following like-minded people and brands and connecting with influencers can help your exposure on Instagram. Or you can head straight to paid promotions by setting up a business Instagram account and running a sale or contest to entice more people to follow and engage with you.
Beef up Your Pinterest Presence
Pinterest is a goldmine for brands that promote visually, although it doesn’t work like a typical social media platform. Pinterest is more like a search engine where users can search through images for decorating tips, travel ideas, and DIY tutorials.
Text over images reigns supreme on Pinterest and helps give more context to blog posts, tutorials and more. A free tool like Picmonkey or Canva can get you up and running with simple overlays, fonts and photo editing to get your images Pinterest-ready. Like Instagram, Pinterest also offers paid promotion options to get more attention for your Pins, and clicks to your website or blog.
Harness the Power of Facebook
Dive headfirst into Facebook by creating a dynamic Facebook Page for your business. Upload plenty of product photos and use an eye-catching visual for your header.
Next, you have a few options for using Facebook to promote your brand. One is to comment on other Facebook Pages with valuable insights and comments. Personal finance businesses could leave comments on how to save more for estimated taxes on other pages related to personal finance. As people see your comments, they can click on your Page Name to see more about you and your business.
Companies that sell products can set up a Shopify store with product photos right on their Facebook Page to drive more sales. Facebook ads are also effective for brands looking to drive more traffic to their products, get more leads or raise brand awareness. Use a carousel of photos and images, or upload a video to attract a broader audience. You can also narrow your results with geographic and demographic criteria to reach your ideal target market.
Add SEO to Your Images
SEO is often overlooked when it comes to using images for brand promotion. Add images to every blog post, and pepper your website with plenty of rich visuals. Simply naming your image file correctly with a keyword you want to rank for can also give your search rankings a boost.
The next step is incorporating keywords in your captions and around related text to increase your potential search results. And when appropriate, add captions under images that are relevant to the article.
However, fantastic, well-labeled photos and images won’t do much without appropriate SEO in the rest of your article. A plugin like Yoast can make recommendations for the SEO quality of your blog posts. This way all the parts of your website are working together, from images to text, to help promote your brand.
Post User-Generated Photos
Posting images of your customers and brand advocates promoting your products can raise more awareness for your brand. Get your customers’ permission to post their images and use them in case studies or feature them in blog posts.
An image-driven campaign can also recruit more brand advocates to get on board with your product. Ask your audience to post an image of themselves with your product or using your service with a special hashtag.
Loews Hotels rallied their own community of guests and asked them to post photos of their actual travels and hotel stays with the hashtag #TravelForReal. Guests posted eye-catching visuals of hotels, Loews properties and themselves to Instagram. The best photos were collected for the Loews website, Facebook Page and other social media outlets with the slogan, “Nobody tells our story better than you.”
Optimize for Mobile
Last year marked the first time in history that search traffic on mobile surpassed desktops, laptops and notebooks. But it didn’t just happen overnight. Trends have been pointing to rapid increases in mobile traffic for quite some time, yet business owners and bloggers aren’t keeping up with optimizing their content and images.
This picture from HubSpot shows the stark difference between an image that’s optimized and one that’s not. Get this step wrong, and you’re likely to lose website visitors and potential sales.
The good news is that more and more pre-made templates for websites are already optimized and ready for both desktop and mobile. Or speak to your web designer about a website audit to ensure all elements of your site are optimized and ready for search traffic.
Educate with Infographics
Well-designed infographics packed with valuable content and statistics are liked and shared three times more than any other type of content. Take a moment to see what your competition is creating with a tool like Buzzsumo. Look at which infographics are shared the most, and what type of content and visuals they use.
Use the inspiration you find to create even more value with your own infographics. A tutoring company could use statistics on how much private lessons increase SAT and ACT scores, or help students do well in school. Weaving in supporting studies like how children’s self-esteem is affected by academics can also give more context to the lifestyle value your service offers.
You also don’t need to be a talented designer to create a well-executed infographic. An app like Piktochart gives users free templates, images and tools to drag and drop their way to a share-worthy infographic.
Regardless of how you use images, they should always enhance your brand and not detract from it. That means forgoing poor-quality photos, images and infographics and sticking with only high-quality assets that give your brand more context and personality.
However, that doesn’t mean you need to spend a fortune. Pairing a free, high-quality stock image from Pexels with a free Meme generator like Canva’s can give you a fun and memorable way to make an impression with your brand.
Focus on using a few of the techniques from this article and see how they work for you. Remember to always A/B test your images and watch the results to narrow down the best images and platform.
How have you successfully used images to promote your brand? Let us know by leaving a comment below: