There are three areas to consider when choosing visuals for your Posts; 1) Types of visuals, 2) What visual would best draw attention to your post, and 3) Where to find the visual you are looking for.
So, let’s address each of these areas separately.
1) Things to think about when evaluating what type of visual would best draw attention to your post.
- Topic of your post.
- What is the focus of the Post or what is the center theme?
- Main point of your posts content.
- What are the central points you are trying to get across in your post?
- Audience you want to attract.
- Who is the target audience you are trying to reach?
- “Call to Action” you want others to respond to.
- What do you want your audience to do as a result of reading your post?
2) There are many types of visuals you could choose from to add to your post; therefore, consider which type would drive home the topic or theme of your article, appeal to the emotions of your reader, and drive your reader to the desired action you want from them reading the article. Visuals to consider include:
- Flip books (Best used as a link to draw readers to your website where the Flip book is a landing page, like a demo of pictures taken from a drone.)
- Illustrations (It is best to use original illustrations, but take caution when using illustrations that they are professional and reflect the tone and messaging of your brand.)
- Screenshots (Mainly used when explaining a process, tips, step-by-step walk-through and checklists.)
- Slideshare (A great way to share the thoughts you are trying to make in your article.)
- GIFs (GIFS are easy to share on social media and can more quickly appeal to your reader’s emotion while portraying your brand’s human side.)
- Infographics (Infographics are used not necessarily for the design but for the research itself. You have to commit to the time and energy for getting the data and creating a useful the visual story from that data.)
- Gifographics (Gifographics are basically infographics on steroids.). And some easier to find visuals include Memes, Data, Quotes, Videos, and Photos. More on these below.
MEMES. Let’s start with one that we are starting to hear a lot about these days but are not always clear about what it is exactly. The most common Memes are humorous images with memorable text added and is intended to quickly spread an idea, behavior, or style rapidly by internet users.
DATA visuals. Does your article have statistics or data you want to drive home? Then Data centered visual may be what you choose. Graphs and charts can create a curiosity in your readers and result in more trackbacks and shares. Making data graphs, bars-charts, pies, etc. demonstrates your well-researched information in a way that makes the reader not only remember but want to share.
QUOTES. Do you have a quote from an influencer in your field that supports the information in your article? You can use that quote added to a picture or on its own in a banner as an attraction getter!
VIDEOS. In today’s hurried world a video can be the difference between someone hearing what you have to say or not. If you use a video make it short, to the point, leaving the reader/listener wanting more, then expound on those points in the article.
PHOTOS. The main thing to remember about photos is to use them wisely and optimize the image file size for the web. Large files negatively affect your site’s loading speed. If your website is through WordPress you can use image optimizer plug-ins such as Optimole, Imagify, Smush Image Compression and Optimization, EWWW Image Optimizer, ShortPixel Image Optimizer, or Compress JPEG & PNG images by TinyPNG.
3. If you are planning on using your own images, GREAT! That is a great way to cut costs, however, make sure you Optimize the images before posting them. The best thing about using your own images is that you don’t have to worry about copyright issues! If you chose to download images from the web please make sure you are pulling from a site that has free images with no copyright restrictions. When looking for images look for those that are Royalty Free, Creative Commons or Public Domain. These most times are free for use on your website or in an article. Read the fine print carefully because there are different restrictions and conditions for each of these, such as not selling or use the image for your branding. Creative Commons is a non-profit that offers an alternative to full copyright and artists subscribe at different levels which are very nicely explained at Flickr, Creative Commons. And then Public Domain is essentially images with no copyright either because it expired, or it wasn’t eligible for copyright in the first place. Many of these photos were created for government use and surprisingly attribution is still often required. So be careful.
Follow these steps and guidelines and you will create an article where others are drawn to with curiosity.
For a list of sites where you can find free images for use in articles and blogs; email “Free Images” to email@example.com.