The Impact of Images in Content Marketing

Ninfa Cabello

A Facebook study done on the impact of photos on user engagement revealed that posts that included images saw an average of 53% more likes, 104% more comments and 84% more link clicks than posts without them. Overall, posts with images saw 120% more engagement than text-only content.

With the use of smartphone and mobile devices skyrocketing, photo apps including Instagram, Snapchat and Vine average a higher number of downloads than other social networking and media-sharing sites. Since December 2013, Instagram downloads grew by 25%, resulting in a stunning 75 million daily users. Snapchat, the top-downloaded photo app on the market, had an estimated 70 million users as of April 2014 and membership is expected to double that amount by year’s end.

These stats speak to a larger truth: imagery compels people to interact. When it comes to images, the more to see and share, the better. In the realm of content marketing, the same logic applies. People are more likely to engage with a product, service or brand if they experience a visual connection. The following are a few guidelines that will contribute to a company’s success.

Tell a Story

Images and videos featured in content marketing campaigns should encapsulate the value of a company to its target demographic. If advertising a product, how-to videos and pictures demonstrating its functionality will help a customer decide if it’s something they could use. A brand or service? Highlighting the quality of customer care over competitors will persuade consumers to make the obvious choice. Viewers need to see the competitive advantage a brand has over other companies in the market before taking action.

Consider the way Nike portrays itself to the general public. The company sells athletic shoes and clothing yet their commercials often include a professional athlete in-training or discussing their fitness mantra. What Nike doesn’t say but wants viewers to infer is that these athletes owe part of their success to the brand given that the quality of their products allow people to excel at an elite level. In relation to content marketing, it’s more effective to show, not tell.

Avoid Stock Photos

Stock photos come in handy for the occasional blog post or email blast, but consumers will be more connected to a brand if the images reflect their real-life experiences with a product or service. Not every company has the resources for an in-house design team, but freelance artists and illustration software can be just as effective in a more affordable way.

While using generic images on occasion won’t necessarily hinder marketing efforts, consumers will be much more likely to latch on to information displayed in an original and intriguing way. Whether a company launches an email marketing campaign or distributes pamphlets at a tradeshow, they can incorporate their brand via visuals through color scheme, real-life team photos and product showcasing. If people receive materials clearly associated with a company, the brand automatically appears organic and unique.

Nike uses familiar faces, such as LeBron James and Maria Sharapova, to get customers more emotionally invested in their products. They could use everyday people in their ads, but they make more of an impact on buyers when it’s someone recognizable. It’s as simple as this: If they like the athlete wearing Nike, they’ll like wearing Nike, too.

Evolve Your Brand

Brands extend much further than their name, logo and slogan. As a company grows, their reputation will, too. Tradeshow exhibits, social media posts and email marketing campaigns are channels where imagery can demonstrate the innovation and expansion happening behind closed doors.

The quality and professionalism of standing banners, video presentations and newsletters released can embody the maturation and legitimacy of a company. Even more, an updated logo or motto geared toward current trends will show effort to remain relevant. The appearance and delivery of images and other visual aids will reflect the capabilities of a brand and draw in more users.

Nike started as a small American footwear company in 1964 and has since evolved into an international, billion-dollar company. Although their advertisements customarily feature the trademark swoosh logo along with the motto, “Just Do It,” they keep things fresh by sponsoring current celebrities and following popular sporting events. The brand has mastered meaningful advertising through visual appeal.


Are you more likely to engage with a brand that uses unique imagery? Tell us here.


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