Everybody likes pictures. Most marketers, advertisers and business owners already know the value of the image: strong visuals attract attention. The more attractive the picture is, the more attractive the overall message.

How big of a difference does a single picture really make? People share images on Instagram and Tumblr, but do images matter in all aspects of business? Do they always bring in more customers?

It turns out that the power of the image is absolutely staggering. In some contexts, including a single photo has the capacity to almost double your engagement. Let’s take a look at the numbers…

Content Marketing

  • Articles with images get 94% more total views

While the fact is not surprising in itself, the number is astonishingly high. Anyone attempting to leverage content marketing through blogging or industry writing should take note: great writing may keep people reading, but it’s the picture that will get them there.

E-Commerce

Many small businesses and vendors now sell their goods online, and the e-commerce market is getting increasingly competitive. How can you set your products apart? Here’s a simple solution:

  • 67% of people say the quality of a product’s image is “very important” when choosing and buying goods

In fact, the product image is the strongest deciding factor and is more important to consumers than:

  • Product-specific information (63%)
  • A long description (54%)
  • Ratings and reviews (53%)

Local Search

Brick-and-mortar businesses spend a lot of time and money making sure they show up on local searches and directories. There’s one quick addition that could make a significant difference:

  • 60% of people are more likely to consider or contact a business when an image shows up in the company’s local search results

PR and Press

Press releases are used to announce the launch of a product, company or some other newsworthy development. Press releases are often published digitally and today may include any combination of images, videos or other multimedia components. It turns out when it comes to press releases, the more media you include the better.

These are the increases in views based on the types of media included in the press release:

  • A photo: +14%
  • A video: +20%
  • A photo and a video: +48%

In fact, press releases that included a photo, a video and other media, such as interactive graphics, files or soundbites saw a 77% increase in views.

Social Media

As our online experience becomes increasingly visual and aesthetic, it’s no surprise that photo-based sites and apps like Pinterest and Instagram are seeing such success. Facebook also continues to lean towards a more image-focused experience, with the advent of cover pages and larger images in newsfeeds.

It turns out that the image focus is based on cold hard facts. When sharing a post on Facebook, engagement rates varied depending on the content:

  • Posts with only text: 0.27%
  • Posts that include photos: 0.37%

While both of those numbers seem tiny (Facebook engagement is extremely difficult!), in reality that means:

  • Including a photo results in a 37% increase in the level of engagement from text-based posts

Need an image? Read more about hiring a designer here, or if you need an image in a crunch learn the legal way to buy the rights to use images and other media.

Source: MDG Advertising