Content creators, digital marketers and marketing agencies bang on about how content is king. Their belief is that if you have unique and well-written content it will help showcase you as an expert in your field and differentiate you from your competition.

Plus, Goggle loves great content, so it ‘s great for your SEO.

It’s therefore very easy to just focus on the written content on your site and ignore the importance of imagery.

I’ve even asked myself “Does imagery matter?”

After some thought, I’ve come to the conclusion that it absolutely matters! That’s because choosing the right imagery can make the difference between your blog, social media post or email being read, or not.

If someone is scrolling through their social media feed what will make them stop and click on your post? An eye-catching image!

To enforce my point, here are a couple of quotes on the importance of using images in your content:

When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs”, Ansel Adams

Imagery is the story I fail to put into words”, Destin Sparks

If you need numbers to convince you to use images in your content, here are some top stats I found:

32% of marketers say that images are the most important form of content for their business. With blogging coming in second place (27%).”, SocialMedia Examiner

Tweets with images receive 150% more retweets than tweets without images”, Twitter

Facebook posts with images see 2.3 times more engagement than those without images”, Buzzsumo

Infographs can increase web traffic by up to 12%”, Demandgen

When people hear information, they are likely to remember only 10% of that information, 10 days later. However, if a relevant image is paired with that same information, people on average retain 65% of the information three days later”, Brainrules

How do you know which imagery is right?

The honest answer is; there is no right or wrong when it comes to choosing the theme of your images. This comes down to personal choice.

Some people think laterally when it comes to choosing imagery. They pick images that relate precisely to the content topic. Say, for example, they are writing a blog post on construction technics. They might choose to use imagery of bricks, builders, cranes etc.

Whereas someone else may choose to use imagery that is totally unrelated to the topic the content is covering.  

Personally, I’m somewhere in the middle, when it comes to choosing imagery. I always try to relate it back somehow to the content, either linking it in with the title, or a phrase that I have used in the body of the content.

Things to consider when choosing an image

When choosing images to use in your content you must consider:

  • Quality of the image
  • If you have the right to use the image
  • What it will look like if it is rescaled or cropped
  • Will it work across all media channels

Where to find images

If you have the budget, you can have photographs taken by a professional photographer. Going down this route can be costly but may be necessary if you run an ecommerce store and need to have photos of your stock.

Or, if you have the confidence, you could try taking some photos yourself. The photos you take will be used to represent your business, so they’ve got to be quality. Here are some things to remember when shooting photographs:

  1. Pay attention to your surroundings. Is there anything in the background that shouldn’t be there or that is distracting?
  2. Utilise the natural light as much as possible
  3. Make sure your camera lens is free of smudges or marks
  4. Keep a steady hand, or use a tripod so that your images aren’t shaky
  5. Take a range of images from differing angles so you have a choice to choose from

If photography isn’t high on your list of skills (it isn’t on mine!), you can purchase the right to use imagery from sites like Shutterstock or Getty Images.

Or, you can use sites that operate under a Creative Comms Zero licence which means you can use and modify the images for use on your website(s), social media channels… without needing permission from the photographer. One of my favourite sites that operate under this licence is Unsplash.

The photos on this site are taken by skilled photographers (so they look very professional), they rescale extremely well and they are FREE!

Sites like Unsplash are a great resource if you on a tight budget

About me: I’m Emma a copywriter and content manager based in Harrow, London. I have a passion for writing and for creating amazing content for brands that have a strong sustainable, social and ethical mindset.