6 Reasons Why Articles Should Include Images
You might not have consciously thought about it but I’ll bet you’ve noticed that you’re seeing more images in articles and elsewhere on the internet these days. You’ve probably also noticed the deluge of internet marketing products coming out which pertain to images and/or videos.
If you follow Facebook’s growth strategies you’ll also remember that one of the biggest reasons they changed their Timeline format a couple of years ago, to include a bigger image, was because they made a decision to become more image-centric in their format.
It’s true. Images are indeed an international language. People on the other side of the world might not speak your language, or you theirs, but everybody recognizes a mother holding a baby, old men dancing, a happy dog catching a frisbee, and two young people holding hands.
And then, of course there’s the rapid growth of two image-oriented websites in particular, Pinterest and Instagram. Very few people anticipated how valuable these two sites would become in marketing.. but that's what happened. Most people thought they were strictly for amusement and artistic tinkering.
With well over 2.5 billion camera phones in use today, it’s become apparent that we live in a very visual culture. Even many people in developing countries have them. People use them and huge amounts of money are being made in services relating to their creation.
Before I enumerate the six major reasons images are valuable and important in articles and marketing, let’s be sure we remember the three steps leading up to this present-day situation.
First Phase: Massive increase in photo creation
Data shows that 10% of the photos ever taken by have been taken in the last 12 months. Bet you didn’t know that!
Second Phase: The rise of image-oriented social media platforms.
As mentioned above, images are becoming a universally language. All the fastest growing social networks are heavily image-centric: Facebook (heavily weighted with images), Tumblr (a blogish platform but very intensive on images), Instagram (totally images), and Pinterest (images and graphics). Snapchat is growing rapidly too but it’s not only about images in the traditional sense.
Another influence these networks have had on marketing is that they have it very easy to upload images. Thus people are getting accustomed to working with images as well as seeing.
Third Phase: Images Become Interactive
Pinterest was the first major social network to make their images ‘hot’ (you could put a hyperlink behind them), thus conditioning people to expect some more information when then click on images.
So… having said that, why are images important and why should you be using them in your articles and other kinds of content?
6 Reasons Why Images are Important
Whether you’re simply building your Facebook or other social media platform followers or if perhaps your have a traditional business you’re trying to build awareness of and pull in customers for, here are 6 reasons to publish images and photos as part of your business marketing tactics.
Articles with images get 94% more total views.
Including a Photo and a video in a press release increases views by over 45%.
60% of consumers are more likely to consider or contact a business when an image shows up in local search results.
In an e-commerce site, 67% of consumers say the quality of a product image is “very important” in selecting and purchasing a product.
In an online store, customers think that the quality of a product's image is more important than product-specific information (63%), a long description (54%) and ratings and reviews (53%)
Engagement rate on Facebook for photos averages 0.37% where text only is 0.27% (this translates to a 37% higher level of engagement for photos over text)
What Can You Take Away From This?
So… how can you adapt to the age of “Visual Culture” in your business?
1. If you have an online business (product oriented or otherwise) you need to include high definition images to drive higher engagement and sales.
2. If your business issues press releases (which most don’t) your should include images with your article.
3. If you use Facebook as an important part of your social media marketing strategy (which you should) then you need to include photos in your updates. Note: Photos are a great way to save time too… ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’, right?
Image use on most plaforms (including email systems) is as simple as one or two click. Most popular blogging platforms (blogger.com, wordpress (.com and .org) make it easy too. And, there are plenty of good image and photo editing, sharing, and archiving services too. Many of them are free.
So there's no reason for your next article not to have some images and/or graphics, right?