When it comes to creating lasting impressions online, the phrase “A picture is worth a thousand words” is truer than ever. But few are pushing the boundaries of what can be done with imagery. Regardless of whether you are not aware of how to use images or simply falling short on the creative front, here are a few hints and tips of what you could try.
Today’s web experience is becoming more and more reliant on images to create the emotional connection with brands before even receiving a service, purchasing a product or visiting the company premises in person.
The company website should be the first place to engage new visitors and provide content relevant to them. Striking a good balance between pure textual content and supporting imagery can make any site brighter and more appealing.
Whilst there are plenty of sites with great looking images, having a site consisting of only images and no useful content for the visitor could be detrimental in the long run. Too much imagery can cloud the focus of a site or page and the visitors will simply find it cumbersome to digest what is important and what serves as decoration.
The media industry has for a long time made cleaver use of images to reinforce news, evoke emotions to donate or buy, enhance brand perceptions etc. Let us give you a few ideas for how you can harness the power of images online.
- Use images that can help you tell a story or that tell a story all on their own.
- Try to find a connection between your image and your message.
- Keep the relevant image close to the supporting text.
- Make sure that the imagery guides visitors towards the key call to action or messages on each page.
- Background images that are relevant to your company, industry or message make a huge visual impact.
- However, be aware of image file size to ensure fast page loading time particularly for mobile web browsers.
Technological developments (moving away from Flash) have made it possible to get more creative with images online. Factors such as increased broadband speed, simple image sliders compatible with most browsers, easy to use but feature rich content management systems such as WordPress are allowing designers and marketers to be more creative.
Social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, are influencing the way people use and share pictures, by making it a convenient way to express emotions, tells stories and share memories.
Just don’t forget to ask yourself the question; what is the purpose of this image on this page and what is it we are trying to say with the image.
A wide range of techniques in taking a photo, such as forced perspective, levitation of the object, long exposure times (creates movement), multiplicity of object (same person multiple times in the same photo) or illusions (dual aspects in the same image) can certainly help create a lasting impression. Even the treatment of an image can have a visual effect, such as black and white rather than colour, sepia, a border around the picture, shading underneath it, as well as increased contrast/brightness or simply applying an effect to the image as a layer (adding a film roll frame, making it look old or worn etc).
However, be selective with the images and effects you choose to use and make sure they all help you to better communicate what your business is about and that they fit with how you want your brand to be perceived.