How images can transform your brand

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The truth is simple: images beat words. In our social media age, pictures are far more likely than text to be retweeted, reposted and – above all – talked about.

The successes of Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram are evidence of this. Even if you don’t use social media, you only have to think of a major news story to be reminded of the power of the picture: the birth of Prince George, the passing of Nelson Mandela, the 2014 Winter Olympics. These were iconic events, now encapsulated in iconic images. 

In the same way those images have left a strong impression, you’ll want to use visuals that connect with potential and existing customers and, simultaneously, align with your brand identity. Furthermore, you’ll want to find images and video that make lasting connections – because the foundation of business, as we all know, is brand affinity. Great images can make your brand both powerful and personable – both of which are key ingredients of success. 

Here are 3 things to keep in mind when choosing visuals for your marketing: 

1.   Ensure that your images are relevant

As more companies incorporate content marketing into their mix, audiences may become overwhelmed with information. To help information about your business stand out, use visuals that are relevant to your content - use high-quality conceptual images to illustrate an idea, present statistics in infographics, or provide a visual how-to guide. If you’re selling food processors, for example, you could show how useful your product is by showcasing images or video of someone making salsa with it. It's important to choose visuals that are complementary to your key message and do not distract from it. 

2.   Be authentic

If relevant images appeal to the head, authentic ones appeal to the heart. For consumers, emotion can often be a significant part of the purchase journey.  Let’s suppose, for example, that you’re marketing long-haul flights. A picture of a fleet of 747s might seem appropriate, but why not use an image of a bearded teenager, just back from his year abroad, hugging his tearful family? The authentic feel of the photo – and what it conveys – will allow your audience to form a more personal connection with your brand and the service that you offer. 

3.   Make your visuals engaging

Present your audience with visuals that interest and entertain - images or video that they’ll want to share, forward, comment on, or otherwise interact with. Also, make sure that your site accommodates and encourages this sharing ethos. Providing your customers with engaging content online opens up a dialogue with your brand, and improves the opportunity for you to build a stronger relationship in the long-term. 

In today’s marketplace, the images that drive connections with audiences are relevant, authentic and engaging. When all three come together, you can strengthen your brand and resonate more deeply with your customers. 

 

Learn more about the benefits of using visual content in your campaigns.

 

iStock   This article was authored by iStock. Visit iStock.com for more great visual insights for SMBs.

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