”Processing print isn’t something the human brain was built for. The printed word is a human artifact. It’s very convenient and it’s worked very well for us for 5,000 years, but it’s an invention of human beings. By contrast Mother Nature has built into our brain our ability to see the visual world and interpret it,” said Marcel Just, the director of the Center for Cognitive Brain Imaging at Carnegie Mellon University.
Strong imagery with a good design are also a great component for a commerce-related content strategy. At our recent #C2CSummit, Ben Bowers of Gear Patroltalked about the importance of including good images in their posts. He emphasized that commerce-related content isn’t just about the products you write about, it’s about inspiring your readers.
“Too many buying guides just inform and are missing the key ingredient of inspiration that entices consumers and generates intent,” said Bowers.
And those pretty pictures don’t just inspire your readers, they motivate them to take action. Bowers saw a 22% increase in engagement for Gear Patrol’s posts when they included original imagery.
The same goes for social media sharing. Facebook posts with a picture for example, receive twice as many comments than those without. And the rest of the social landscape looks very similar, 63% of social media is made up of images. What can I say? In the digital age, we simply love our images!
So now that we all know why images should play a key part in your content strategy, how do you do it?
We all aren’t professional photographers or Photoshop experts and creating powerful images is no easy task but there are simple ways to incorporate engaging images into your commerce-related content strategy.
• Create image slideshows and collages highlighting products that you write about to make your content more engaging for your readers. (Remember to link the images directly to the items you mention.)
• Put your own spin on your content by including personal photos. For fashion bloggers for example you can take photos of yourself wearing the clothes and/or accessories you include in your post.
• Get image-happy! Incorporate images throughout your post and link them to products so your readers can easily access items they’re interested in.
• Use photo-editing tools to spruce up your images. You don’t have to be a pro to use free tools such as Canva, PicMonkey or even apps such as Snapseed,VSCO, LINE Camera and many others like it.
Visual content is content that engages and inspires. Though creating quality imagery may seem like a daunting task, it doesn’t have to be. Embrace the opportunity to share with your readers and spark their interest.
The beautiful thing about visuals is that they show your readers what you’re referring to instead of just telling them. As important as good, well-written content is for reader engagement and enthusiasm, the visual piece of the equation will literally paint the whole picture in a new light.