Not everyone is a great photographer. However, when it comes to marketing plans and social media feeds, you can’t do without imagery. Images can make the difference between your post going unseen and turning viral. So, how do you find the right images?

For people with limited time and budgets, stock photography is a great option. With a little effort, you will be able to find plenty of photographs to suit every theme. Here are 4 things to keep in mind when you select images for your next campaign.

Symbolize

Just because you like a photograph of a kitten sunning himself doesn’t mean it’s the best suited to your product. The image you select should have a connection with the text being displayed. Not only that they should also add value to your content. For example, if your text is about communication, using the image of a person sitting by themselves wouldn’t be of much help. What you need is an image of someone listening attentively, two people talking or a pen… To avoid getting stuck with the same old images that everyone else uses brainstorm your keywords before looking for images. Think abstract.

Authenticate

When it comes to authentication, there are two aspects to consider. Firstly, some sites offer royalty free photos while for others you must give credit to the author. Not giving credit when due is ethically wrong and can backfire very badly on your brand. Secondly, your audience must be able to relate to your images. Look for images of ‘real’ people in realistic poses and situations. If you’re writing for an Asian audience, your images should also ideally have Asian people. Using photographs of a fair skinned person in a post to be read by dark skinned people shows a lack of effort and thoughtfulness.

Optimize

Once you have the right image, you must get the size right. Ideally, download the required image in the highest resolution possible and then resize it. When being posted on social media platforms, each platform will have its own size regulations. Follow these size guidelines to avoid having parts of your image cropped out. Also pay attention to how the image appears. There’s nothing worse than having a pixelated image or one that appears stretched.

Customize

You don’t have to be a Photoshop expert to customize photographs. Today, there are a number of free photo editing software available that will let you put a unique spin on stock photographs. Play with filters and colour tones to make the photograph reflect your brand and the content accompanying it. You could also consider overlapping part of the image with text. This helps the reader connect the dots and binds the image and remaining content together. However, do not over complicate the process. It isn’t necessary to use the whole image always. You can always crop sections out.

Lastly, always remember to add relevant tags and meta descriptions to your images. After all, a majority of Google searches are image driven.

Incredible Planet Staff

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