Images are unbeatable when it comes to catching the attention of online readers, since they trigger emotions and associations. With images and videos, the context is easier to grasp, and visual content is better kept in mind than text information. For instance, a Facebook post with an image generates 2 to 3 times as many interactions as text-only posts, tweets with photos generate 313% more engagement than text tweets, GIFS in tweets generate 6x more engagement and video tweets even get 9x more interactions than plain text updates. Above all, images and videos are good tools for visual storytelling, be it a short video tutorial, a funny meme of an emotional photo with a quote. They all can tell a story.
Expressive photos and graphics
While stock photos make up 40% of the images used, they generate only 12% engagement compared to 40% generated by custom graphics and 23% by videos.
What counts are expressive images with a clear visual language that is immediately understood, i.e.:
- Photographs of people always bring personality and life to the images.
- Memorable figures and statistics can be quickly grasped in the form of graphics.
- Moving images in the form of motion gifs or videos make workflows and processes easier to understand.
Different image media and formats
Content can be visualized in different ways, i.e.:
- Statistics, processes and procedures as graphics or infographics.
- Photographs of the products or processes described.
- Instructions with screenshots, gifs, or a screencast.
- Facts or checklists as an infographic.
SEO optimization for images and videos
Visual search now accounts for 27% of search volume and when it comes to shopping, the rate is even higher: 72% of online shoppers regularly use image search before making a purchase.
Networks and search engines only for image and video searches, such as Pinterest, Flickr and Instagram, not to mention the image and video searches of Google and Bing, display the images directly in the regular search index.
Images and videos can generate between 20%–60% additional traffic from these sources. The prerequisite is that the images are optimized with the right keywords.
- Choose a strong image description with important keywords that reflect the content of the image well.
- An important attribute for indexing images is the so-called ALT tag in the source code. The ALT-text is displayed when the image fails to load. Always add an ALT attribute to your images and include an image description with the correct keywords.
- Compress image sizes to reduce loading speed.
The optimal image sizes for social media posts
Each social network has different image size requirements to present the images optimally in the news feed – see Cheat Sheet.
A good preparation of the images to the optimal image sizes of the different networks will later save a lot of time for the creation and sharing of the social media posts.
The fact is visual elements are an important success criterion for content and social media marketing. Images attract attention, increase click rates and expand visibility and reach in networks and search engines.
It is important to optimize the image elements with the right keywords and descriptions for the search engines. It is particularly important to use as many different visuals as possible. In this way you create more visual anchors and variety, which also allows for the repeated sharing of posts. Social media tools support the creation, planning and sharing of images on social media channels.