Think stock photos and pretty graphics are just for making your feeds look pretty? Think again! Using high-end imagery – the right way – is an incredibly powerful and easy way to reach out to potential email subscribers and potential customers and get more leads for your business.
They do so much of the hard work for you in getting their attention and bringing them closer to your caption or content, where your strategy and copy takes over to turn them into interested mailing subscribers, and eventually paying customers or clients. They can also unify your branding, and bring your website, social media profiles, landing pages and email campaigns together in a powerful, professional and cohesive way.
And a good stock photo membership (wink wink) saves you tons of time and money in not having to source or create your own imagery – constantly.
Basically, strong visual content helps you put your best foot forward, look high-end and feel legit. And with a decent library membership (another wink) you can get the visual content your business needs for a fraction of the price of an in-house photographer or, *gulp* doing it yourself.
To help you get more leads, subscribers or traffic to your site, here are my top 5 tips to bear in mind when planning out your visual content strategy.
Stuck on curating images that work well together? Check this post out!
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written strategy first, visual strategy second
So many people (and I’ve been guilty of this myself) craft their written content and strategy around the visual content based on how they want their grid to look. Now, whilst it’s important for many businesses to look cohesive and branded on social media – it shouldn’t be more important than the core message you are trying to get across to your audience.
Instead of thinking about the pictures first and content second… think about your weekly social media or blog posting strategy; how often will you post, what do you want to say, what do you want your audience to gain from what you say and (most importantly) what action do you want them to take. Do this first, and then look at what visuals you need to bring that strategy to life.
And you can still create a stunning feed even when prioritising your written strategy first. I promise. In fact, it gets a whole. lot. easier when you already know what you’re trying to say.
DON’T USE STOCK PHOTOS EVERY DAY, FOR EVERY POST
Stock photos work best when they’re not being used for every single post, every single day. Your audience will get bored and tune out most of the time, and therefore miss out on when you *actually* have something to say.
Don’t get me wrong, they’re incredibly effective at getting the attention of your audience – but only when balanced with some intention behind them (see the 1st tip).
I, for instance have recently found I get better engagement when not posting every day. Allowing your content to saturate for a day or two before replacing it with a newer post helps it get seen by more people. It also means you can take time to think about what you’re wanting to say, rather than a quick, rushed caption or quote ‘just to post something’. (Again, see tip no.1)
Breaking it up with graphics and headshots (covered below) also helps to add some variety to your feeds and blog posts, and rounds out your posting strategy to include more than just pretty quotes & sales pitches.
All this means you’ll be posting more interesting or informative content, that has time to reach more people, and therefore more people will be reading it and enjoying your regular content. And that leads to…. yep you guessed it, more leads!
use templates to create infographics
I must confess at this point, I am majorly guilty of this – I only ever post photos (in my defence I run a stock photo membership…) but it goes without saying (and I include myself) – infographics WORK and we must use them more!
For example, how many times do you scroll Instagram and stop to read a graphic that has bitesized information in an easy-to-read and visually pleasing way? They catch my short-attention-spanned (is that a phrase?) brain all the time.
And a feed with equal parts high-end imagery AND helpful, easy-to-digest content looks like an account that knows their stuff, as in – it looks like an account that posts with purpose and clearly has something valuable to say. Consumers like that.
It’s also great for driving engagement, and getting people to click through to a more in-depth blog post (where of course you’ll be upselling your contact form or free lead magnet…. right?).
If you’re sat there thinking well Charlie that’d be great except I don’t know how to create beautiful infographics – well lucky for you, the Tide & Tree library just got a major feature addition of regular Canva templates (including infographic templates) so you can create those high-end graphics for your feed in minutes. (And get your stock photo fill while you’re at it)
INCLUDE YOU IN YOUR VISUAL CONTENT
Not everyone is comfortable posting pictures of themselves – and that’s ok. Some business niches don’t require it as much as others anyway. But if you are very much the face behind your business, it’s good for your audience to see you. Especially if you’ll be their main touchpoint.
It doesn’t have to be super often; every 12-15 posts on Instagram means your face will pop up without having to scroll too much, and having a few pictures of you on your core website pages will bring in familiarity with you as people browse your site. It literally puts a face to a name for your audience, and as we’re largely visual creatures, it means when they think of your niche, your face will pop up in their head. Result.
And personal images do really well in terms of engagement. So these posts are great for a good call-to-action (offer a lead magnet, hop into DM’s, tell a joke, etc) to help get you more leads in the inbox.
DEFINE A CORE SET OF ‘BRAND’ VISUALS
This is where stock images come into their own – enhancing your core branding. Consider it like sourcing a brand set of stock images, that you can use across your website, landing pages, social media profiles, emails etc. Make it part of your branding palette – these are the images that will help define your brand from a visual perspective. Of course, include any other relevant brand imagery such as headshots and behind the scenes images, if you have them.
You can still use a variety of brand-similar stock photos in your regular content such as social media posts and blogs, but having that core set of imagery pop up every now and then on your feed will bring in familiarity when users visit your website or check out your blog etc. This, combined with tip no. 4 will help to bring together a brand that people will come to know, like and trust. (Wait, I’ve heard that somewhere…)
Want to know how to have a constant source of cohesive brand images? You need this post!
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Bottom line – if you’re struggling with engagement on your social media channels or lead generation on your website – make sure you’re thinking about what you want to say and how you want your audience to react, before you think about the visuals. Because whilst visuals are the first thing your audience will see, they’re only as strong as the strategy behind them.
Do you have a visual content strategy for getting more leads for your biz? Drop your tips in the comments!