Online Marketing via Double-Takes: Whoa, Wait – Is That A…
August 7, 2013 - Posted by Angela von Weber-Hahnsberg
Admit it. You really only clicked on this post because of those hypnotically huge, eerily orange eyes peering out at you, right? Out of all the updates on your feed, this one stood out, because of that picture. It stopped you right in your tracks, and you thought, okay, any blog post with a picture like that has got to have something interesting in it.
Well, you were right! Because today we’re sharing our guide to using double-takes as part of your online marketing strategy! Choosing the right images to accompany your blog posts, Facebook updates, and other social media entries can make all the difference when someone is deciding whether or not to engage with it.
A boring, generic picture of nondescript businesspeople standing around smiling is just not going to get you as many clicks as a close-up of a freaky bug, or a photo of a guy screaming and gesturing wildly. But be careful. Go overboard with your choice of images, and you’ll also drive people away. The key is finding just the right balance – which is what we’ll help you with today!
Choose an attention-grabbing picture.
You already know, just from personal experience, that having any image at all is better than having none, right? Our eyes are naturally drawn to pictures first, over text. But eventually, even pictures can all start to look the same – scrolling through post after post with the same sort of cookie-cutter images that everyone else uses, you stop noticing them as much.
But toss in a double-take-inducing doozy of a photo, and suddenly, our eyes wake up. We zoom in on that one unique picture, wondering what on earth that company wrote about, to make them choose such an unusual picture to go along with it.
First of all, bright, vibrant colors can do wonders up against the black, white, and gray of simple graphics or pics of people in business suits. Go for a photo with a rich green background, or someone wearing bright orange in the foreground. The colors themselves will help your image stand out.
Next, choose a picture of humans or animals, rather than a picture of an object or a place. Faces capture our attention much more readily than even the most gorgeous beach view or artistically arranged still life. But don’t use your typical beautiful model, looking placidly out at your customers, or even a cute picture of Fido. Pick a photo of someone with a unique expression on his or her face, or a cat wearing glasses. Seriously. People love cats wearing glasses. Don’t you?
Most of all, choose an image that is unusual for your particular industry. It’s no good trying to draw extra attention to a post with a cute dog pic, if you run a dog rescue – that’s simply what’s expected from you. But if you’re a tax preparation firm, and you throw in a photo of a dog, it’s guaranteed to draw eyes. It’s all about being unique.
Make sure your picture is relevant to your post.
Now here’s the problem: you can find a bazillion great, attention-grabbing pictures, but if you just slap any random one onto your post, people will quickly see through you. You’ve got to make sure that the picture reflects your content in some way.
But maybe you really, really want to add a picture of a dancing toddler to your blog post. And your post has nothing to do with toddlers. Or dancing. That’s easy – go metaphorical! How can you relate your topic to a dancing toddler? Maybe you’ve got 5 tips for organizing your office space so quickly that you’ll dance with joy, or 7 marketing lessons so easy a toddler could understand them. And, bonus: metaphors make for a more interesting blog post, too!
If the dancing toddler thing just isn’t your style, try a picture of yourself. After all, a photo of the author is always relevant, no matter what the topic. But don’t use your boring, professional headshot; strike a pose that corresponds with your subject. Make a confused face to accompany a shrug, go for a dramatic “Eureka!” – anything but the standard fare.
Finally, make sure your interesting picture leads to interesting content. It’s no good getting a bunch of people’s attention only to lose it again a few seconds later because your content isn’t riveting. Write in a style that makes people want to keep reading, and be sure your content is interesting and useful, and you won’t have wasted that awesomely unique, totally unusual picture.