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The Importance of Powerful Visuals in Content Marketing

People now post over 14 million photos a day on Facebook

Content isn’t just about text anymore. In fact, too much text can harm your efforts to engage an audience. With peoples’ shortening attention spans, you need to think visually, and use powerful visuals to attract and connect with your audience.

People now post over 14 million photos a day on Facebook. Video content isn’t far behind. Easy-to-use cameras, video cameras and cell phones make it incredibly easy to shoot pictures and record video, and then share it online. Content is getting more and more visual and that’s of critical importance to anyone involved in content creation and content marketing.

The old adage, “Show don’t tell” is critical to successful content writing and marketing. For example, you can use a flowchart diagram to explain a complicated process, instead of explaining each step in a lot of detail. Then accentuate the visual with shorter, punchier bullet points. If something can be better explained with a visual, use one.

For landing pages, images are absolutely essential. Often times they’re called “hero shots”. MarketingSherpa defines a hero shot as, “…a picture or graphic representation of the item being marketed, whether it’s a tangible product, the cover of a report or the photo of a webinar presenter.

Angali Merchant makes an important point about the use of images in landing pages, “Use images that portray the biggest benefit your product or service offers and/or use images that relate specifically to what you offer.” ( If you use an image that doesn’t have any real meaning or connection to what you’re selling, or the surrounding content, you’re going to lose readers’ interest; and worst, their trust. That means stock photography is a no-no, unless it’s absolutely relevant. Too often you’ll see websites with stock photos of people; all that does is distance the audience from the website (and company) because they know it’s fake.

Tip: People are drawn to images, so make the images on your landing page (or website) clickable. When someone clicks an image, they’re expecting an action to take place, and they’ll be more likely to convert through your landing page process (instead of clicking and not finding that the images go anywhere.)

Images can make a huge difference in presentations, even if it means using more images to show something instead of writing everything out in text. And with more and more presentations now going online (hosted on sites such as, you can leverage presentations very nicely as content marketing tools. Oliver Adria has a quick example of how 3 images within a presentation do a much better job of evoking meaning and motion than 1 slide with factual bullet points.

Too many content pieces – be they blog posts, e-books, presentations, webinars, landing pages or websites – ignore the importance of powerful images to attract and engage the audience. Images are typically much more effective at drawing the eye and evoking strong reactions. You want images to stand out and emphasize the core value proposition of what you’re marketing. Powerful images will make your content that much more worthwhile.

And don’t forget – white space is important too. White space is the space between elements on your web page, blog post or e-book page. White space makes text easier to scan, and also gives you the opportunity to highlight key elements (especially visuals!) more clearly. For more on white space, check out this great guide: Using White Space Effectively in Web Design

So the next time you’re preparing a key content marketing piece for your business make sure you invest enough time thinking about and preparing top-notch visuals. You won’t regret it.

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More Stories By Ambal Balakrishnan

Ambal has robust 17+ years experience working at and partnering with high-profile technology companies in both B2B and B2C marketplaces building scalable, reliable, high performance products (both hardware and software) for business with multi-billion dollar in annual revenue. She has done various roles that includes engineering, program management, business development, strategy and marketing for premium and fast growing product divisions at Cisco, Telecordia (prior name Bell Labs) and strategic marketing consulting firm ClickDocuments. At Cisco, she focused on world wide marketing and positioning of Cisco's Cloud & Data Center switching business. She brings both strong engineering & marketing skills with verticals experience from many different industries. Ambal received her Masters in Computer Science from Purdue University and an MBA in Marketing, Strategy and Entrepreneurship from Wharton University of Pennsylvania. Ambal is an avid reader and hiker. Her hiking pursuits have taken her to several mountains including Mt. Whitney at 14,500 feet (which she managed to climb in 1 day). Ambal lives in Austin, TX with her family of 3 boys (that includes her husband!) and a border-collie+lab mix dog named Rainbow.

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