A picture is worth a thousand words, and when it comes to capturing your audience’s attention, you want to take full advantage of every chance to communicate your message. Short attention spans have made lengthy explanations less effective – so how do you keep interest?
Show, don’t tell. Tom More,CEO and Founder of Slidely 1.
It stops you in your tracks and you start to read. The image draws you in first so it is vital to get it right. I have worked on a lot of projects with the image makers — photographers, artists, designers and illustrators. They are the unsung heroes that can give your content that attention grabbing quality. The difference between someone stopping to read past the headline or moving on to someone’s content with info graphics and photography.
Hiring a photographer or an illustrator is a custom solution that ensures you are getting what you want. The idea that you have in your head will be original and fit with your content. You should plot out your image ideas in advance as you build your editorial calendar for the year. If budget does not allow for a custom shoot, many photographers also have stock sites of their images. This is a cost-effective and pretty instant solution. Illustrators and graphic designers also have libraries of work that they would be willing to sell.
You can also do this yourself with a smart phone, DSLR camera and find an area with a neutral background or something that ties in with your content theme. You can take shots of something relating to your content right in your own home, place of business or outdoors. It is easy to edit, crop and colour fix your photos and then size them using online photo editing options.
Of course you can always use a stock image. You never know when and where else that image you choose will show up. Using the stock image of people around the boardroom table or standing in the white hallway does not have the same impact as an original image. People tune out if it looks like the same old photo that they have seen on other sites. If you use stock sites, you have to dig around and find an image that meets your requirements and has a wow factor. This can take time.
Here are some of the rules that guide me in choosing images:
- Stick with a theme by using a series of photographs, illustrations or images that relate to your content.
- Use infographics to illustrate your point and grab attention as readers love data.
- Be creative and original so you stand out from the pack.
- Use that great idea you have by doing it yourself or hiring a professional
Most importantly, have fun with this. Find or create the right image and watch what happens to your content stats!