Your blog posts need text, of course. Words are like the meat and potatoes of the Internet, but you also need some garnishes to complete the plate. This is what an image can do for your social and blog content. They’re there to make things more dynamic, more eye-catching, more desirable.
Images put the “visible” in “visibility,” which is the point of posting content online to bring exposure to a brand. Posts that have images, especially images with higher value, make posts more attractive to potential customers. Posts and content with images are clicked and visited more often than posts without them.
This has actually something that’s been studied with statistics available: if you post an article with an image, it’s likely to get 94% more views than without one present. Press releases are typically thought of as black and white reams of text, but including an image or video with a press release increases views by almost 50%.
These stats also lend themselves to optimizing and image searches. When looking for a business online, 60% of consumers are more likely to consider engaging with a business that has an image show up in their image search.
You don’t have to take those stats at face value, either. Do a simple search and you’ll find tons of resources that tell you statistic after statistic that say images are absolutely necessary for social success.
Emotions are Essential
There’s also an emotional response to think about when considering images and social posting. It only takes 13 milliseconds for a brain to process an image according to a study done by MIT. This seems kind of improbable, but this is something your eyes and brain do constantly. The takeaway is that the meaning and purpose of an image can be absorbed in an instant, even when the image is only shown briefly.
Your consumer decides whether or not to care about your content quicker than it takes to snap your fingers.
Social media is just like any other visual medium, and it heavily relies on images in order to be successful. Combine this with the necessary time it takes to understand and absorb an image. Someone scrolling down Twitter can see an image in an instant, categorize it in their brain and keep moving if it’s not interesting enough for them to pay a lot of attention to. This means your images need to be quality and relevant. An image that meets these criteria is interesting, engaging and sharable.
Your SEO is On the Line
Images are also helpful in terms of your SEO standings. This speaks to your ranking in Google results algorithms. The typical answer to search engine optimization is keywording and text-based adjustments to a page to better optimize it, but images can also be input into this formula.
An often overlooked aspect of SEO is the image filename that you use. Optimize your image by renaming the filename to something relevant or the focus keyword you’re using for the post. Also include this phrase into the alt text and description. Add it to all three for an SEO triple threat.
Direct linking the image can add to the keyword input for the article or post where the image is because of the filename. Use this image on other posts and link to the original post using it for extra article exposure. This helps algorithms find and acknowledge your page more.
Strictly Social Media
Social media sites are the best place for images, mostly because they are geared to use images in the first place. Sites like Instagram and Twitter are very image heavy, and utilizing the image aspects of the social networking sites is a great way to connect with an audience that is more attracted to the image you post than the non-linking text attached to it.
Don’t limit yourself to just these sites, though. Facebook and Google+ are also great social networking sites for finding networking opportunities and exposure, and sites like Picassa and Pinterest are built specifically for image sharing. These are sites relevant to your interests, but also that are relevant to the audience you want to capture.
Any and all social content you post online can use an image, and not doing so can greatly decrease the value of your content. You aren’t limited in the ways you can show off images in a way that can benefit you and your brand, so try out new and inventive ways to incorporate images into your overall strategy. See what works for you and stick with it.