Importance of good images

Google+ suggests using imagery in posts. The popularity of Pinterest shows that people love images and that image sharing is viral. This and more suggests that images are important now and for the future of websites, even more so than words. However, this isn’t a recent idea.

Human culture has always valued images, and the Internet is aware of their importance. The human brain operates photographically rather than linguistically and therefore images help save time by conveying an entire concept in one glance. Sears and Roebuck’s great success came partly from using illustrations in their catalog. Magazines began to thrive from their inception because of great visuals that took precedence over copy. The success of television goes almost without saying.

The 1943 Sears News Graphic wrote that the Sears catalog “serves as a mirror of our times, recording for future historians today’s desires, habits, customs, and mode of living”. Years from now, the same will be said about our Facebook posts, our Pinterest pins, and our Flickr accounts.

The biggest difference today is that content is most successful with a captivating image plus a catchy phrase––as long as that phrase and image tag are keyword-rich. You have to write copy like you design a scavenger hunt––how is the image going to be found? You also need to think about a message that connects interest. Connection is about searchable words and answering an information need, or providing entertainment. The iconic Absolut ads could be a good example that still applies on the digital platform–limited copy, use of brand name in limited copy, visually striking and interesting which may encourage sharing.

How can you apply this to your business?

  • Look around you, use your smartphone to take photos, and learn Instagram.
  • If you don’t have a smartphone, use your digital camera and some photo editing software.
  • Start thinking, “How can I use an image of this day to promote my business?”
  • And sometimes, hire a professional photographer.