With the rise in popularity of sites like Tumblr, Instagram, and Pinterest, and the emphasis on photo- sharing on sites like Facebook, creating and sharing attractive, interesting, informative, and entertaining images is quickly becoming an important component to any online marketing strategy. Not only can sharing images help you generate engagement from social media fans and followers on sites like Instagram and Facebook, but posting great images on your blog or website can encourage users to link to your content from sites like Pinterest or Tumblr.
But, what kinds of images should your local business share in order to engage potential customers, boost site traffic, and build your brand? Here are five popular image types to consider:
1) High-Quality Product or Service Photos
Own a bakery that creates gorgeous goodies or a home improvement business that transforms ordinary rooms into extraordinary spaces? Have a signature look to your products, packaging, or events? Businesses with visually-appealing products or services like these should be creating high-quality images of them and sharing them online. Not only does this showcase to current and potential customers the awesome work you do, but it can also help you visually build your brand online.
Even if you have a small budget, you can generate high-quality images by batching your requests. For example, consider hiring a professional photographer or recruiting a friend or family member with photography skills to create product or service photographs for your business once a quarter, and then share the photos over time until you have new ones made.
An infographic is a long-form image that illustrates a concept or groups of information visually. Infographics are very popular on sites like Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and blogs. Users frequently share these informational images, and often, other bloggers will repost them, linking back to your site as the original source. If you have someone create a custom infographic for your business, make sure they include the URL to your website and your business name at the bottom of the image so your company can get the online credit for originating it. Then, post the infographic to your blog and share links to that post on your social media pages. Spread the word about your infographic to local influencers who may be interested in the topic, too.
3) “Snackable” Images
Facebook’s Timeline redesign puts more emphasis on images in a user’s news feed stream, and sites like Pinterest also feature images prominently in an aggregated feed. For both of these formats, small or “snackable” images tend to perform well. These images tend to be informational or illustration-based, but they are typically in a smaller or square format as opposed to the large, long-form images format used for infographics. Some include photos and text in the form of a miniature tutorial, while others include short quotes or share an interesting stat. These small informational images can be a great way to generate engagement, and businesses that create custom images like these can generate lots of likes and shares from this content type.
4) Meme-Related Images
Memes are extremely popular on social media sites and blogs, and one of the more popular formats for memes today is the image. Chances are, if you use Facebook, Pinterest, or Tumblr personally, you have seen people re-sharing popular meme-related images of all types. Your business may want to create meme-related images to share with your online community, or you could even create a meme of your own. In fact, the Google+ platform allows you to easily add text onto the images you share there, so you can use your own photos to create a unique meme. Or, consider sharing a photo and asking your fans or followers to “caption” the photo or add their own meme tagline.
5) Inside-Your-Business Photos
Is your business involved in your community? Do you have a unique culture or tradition or business “mascot” such as the owner’s beloved pet that customers love? Photos that illustrate and share the life of your business with fans and followers can generate a lot of engagement, especially on sites like Facebook and your blog. You might showcase a day in the life of an employee in the form of photos once a month. Or, take photos of the Little League team your business sponsors and share them in a Facebook album. Make sure to get permission from employees or customers you include in your photographs. Sharing these photos can bring your business to life online and help differentiate you from competitors.
These are just five types of images that you can use in your online marketing for your local business. You can find inspiration for images for your online marketing just by using sites where image sharing is popular. So, try sharing some of these image types to help build your brand and boost engagement.
Are you using images in your online marketing or social media efforts? What sites are you using to share images? Share your thoughts about the role of images in local online marketing in a comment!