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Visuals for my business website and marketing – Why images are so important? The need for pictures

How important are visual images for my business?

Written by: Darren Hignett

Over the last 20 years, it’s become a lot more important to have an online presence that’s highly visual, and it’s hard to build an online presence and grow a business with poor quality images, or no images at all!

Many businesses try to execute marketing campaigns with low-quality or basic stock images, but does this work? One of the benefits of doing it this way is that it’s cheap. The internet has plenty of websites that provide free stock images, many of which can be used for commercial purposes but using these images can be considered a false economy.

Although these images are free, they could be losing your business potential sales. Below are some facts about using visual images that are worth considering.
Note: On this page, we use Stencil to demonstrate how to achieve what you are looking for. You can find out more about Stencil here.

The importance of visual content in market

Why are visual images so powerful?

If you are in any doubt about how effective visual content is for a business, here are some interesting facts to consider:
According to Social Media Today :

- Our brain only needs 1/10 of a second to understand an image. Reading 200-250 words takes an average of 60 seconds.

- People remember visual information 6x better than the information they have read or heard.

- The click-through-rate (CTR) of a website is about 47% higher in sites containing images.

- Facebook posts with images get over 3.2x more engagement than those without images while LinkedIn posts with images generate a 98% higher comment rate.

Of course, when Social Media Today says ‘with images’ they need to be high quality. In today’s modern world we are bombarded with information daily, from our social media newsfeeds to emails, phone calls and other channels. If you want your online presence to stand out when a potential customer is scrolling down a newsfeed, then a well-designed image will grab their attention, make your brand more memorable and increase the chances of them getting in touch.

From a sales generation perspective, the above statistic about click-throughs being 47% higher shouldn’t be underestimated. Imagine you do a marketing campaign, and 1,000 people click through to your website to view a product that you offer. Increasing this by 47% means an additional 470 more potential customers, and that’s without having to spend a heap of extra cash on Facebook Ads or other marketing activities… that’s just by adding the right images!

If you are tight on marketing budget, then increasing the number of potential customers without having to spend extra cash is a great way to grow your income. Who would say no to that?

Great looking images are important and arguably critical to success for any business.

This website covers top tips and advice for creating high impact visual content. Throughout the website, we use Stencil to demonstrate what can be done.

This site also shows you how to make images stand out so that when potential customers see them, they are much more likely to buy from you. It doesn’t matter if the images are for use on social media, your website, or even in an email marketing campaign, we will cover the different formats, and provide you with top tips for how to make them effective, without hours of pain and frustration.

Included on this site are top tips to consider when using an image to stand out, as well as simple design tips so that you can get the right balance of imagery and wording. We will discuss various tools and apps that you can use and some pretty amazing features that can help make better images - in less time.

Personally, I’ve been in marketing for over 25 years and have been working with design tools since 2011; creating image-based social media posts, logos, website banners and all sorts of imagery for customers and for my own business! If the saying is that the proof is in the pudding, then I can back up the years of experience with the finished product - I’ve created over 8,000 images for various businesses using 4 different design apps (as well as using other apps, but on a much smaller scale).

I don’t know how many ‘endless’ hours I have put in, but I hope that by using the content on this website, you will be able to create great looking visuals that generate business, without having to endure the hours I have put in perfecting their appearance (whether that’s tweaking, moving or editing them!).

Please note that to keep things consistent, we will be referring to an app called Stencil. Although any screenshots and features that we talk about are specific to Stencil, a lot of these features will be similar on other tools;

You might also be interested in the following books which include templates and other bonus materials to help your business to grow even faster!

Insight: There are various apps you can use to create great content, whether it’s visual content or text. For more information on the various apps, you can use, read 7 Great Tools to help you with your content marketing.

Three Big Benefits of great images for your business.

When it comes to selling, it’s important that to build trust and confidence with the potential customer. Here are 3 reasons why great quality images used effectively are important for your business:

Add credibility, remove doubt, add images

Social proof is an important element of a decision-making process. When someone is looking for the right product to buy, they are also looking for reasons to discount or remove a potential option from their list of potential candidates. Even if the product or service you offer is great, the wrong artwork can put off a potential buyer.

Grab the buyer’s attention.

We have already talked about how high impact images can grab someone’s attention in a busy world, and this has grown in importance over the years. If the main image is linked to the aspiration of the buyer and includes a small banner with wording such as ‘new’, ‘featured’ or ‘reduced price’ then the potential buyer is more likely to stop scrolling and focus on your content. It doesn’t matter how amazing your product or service is, if the initial image doesn’t grab their attention then they might not stop to find out more.

On the other hand, an image that doesn’t stand out will be passed over by most people without a second thought.

Visualizing the experience is key to buying.

You’ve probably seen the adverts where someone is sitting on the beach sipping a refreshing beer, but what has the beach got to do with the taste (or anything else) of the beer? Not a lot, but it has a lot to do with the experience of the product or service, and how we visualize it in our mind as a way of telling ourselves we want to buy it.

When people see an advert, they start to visualize a great experience and link that experience to the product. When potential buyers look at the images you have created, you want them to visualize how great the service or experience is, and how they can see themselves using what you offer.

90% of what our brain processes is visual. Prospective buyers will very quickly make up a decision on how interested (or not) they are based on images before reading any wording about what you offer, how it works or the benefits.

Next chapter - How to use an app for creating images