Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Use Images to Sell Your content, but Be Smart About Visual Choices

Is a picture really worth 1,000 words? That’s debatable, but there’s no doubt that adding visuals to your blog posts, newsletters, case studies, research reports--and even your tweets--will substantially improve engagement. If you can include images of people, that will push the engagement needle even further than simply images of things and places. So forget about writing and just publish photos and video content right?

Not so fast.

Since 2010, we’ve been co-publishing a newsletter, website, magazine and annual research report for trade association execs with our client, Naylor, LLC. It’s all under the Association Adviser brand. Last month, in the Association Adviser eNewsletter, we decided to see for ourselves if images really made a different. As Naylor’s Brianna Lawson explained in The Power of Visual Content in Association Communications, we published two versions of the monthly newsletter--each version had identical content, but one version included images and the other did not. We ran an A/B test in which each email was first sent to a small number of subscribers. Then, our mailing system measured which version earned more engagement in terms of opens and clicks.
The result? The email with images garnered 33 percent more clicks to articles on our website.

The newsletter with images was also more likely to be forwarded and more likely to be shared via social media. Naylor repeated the exercise with some of its own clients and found similar results.

According to HubSpot, twice as many people prefer emails with images than prefer text only emails (65% vs. 35%). Tweets with images receive 18 percent more clicks, 89 percent more favorites, and 150 percent more retweets than text-only tweets. And according to Social Bakers, which looks at the top 10 percent of posts made by more than 30,000 brand pages. Facebook posts with photos saw the most engagement – accounting for 87 percent of total interactions.


People like to look at people and 90 percent of information transmitted to the brain is visual, according to Market Domination Media. But don’t go overboard. As we’ll discuss in next week’s post, new research from Carnegie Mellon University, the brain makes mistakes because it applies incorrect inner beliefs, or internal models, about how the world works. So, take the time to find the right images to complement all the hard work you put into your writing and presentations. Just as a stunning photo, can keep people interested in a poorly written article or post, a dull or poor choice of images will kill potential interest in a brilliantly crafted post.

Have a happy Holiday and think before you post.

Best, HB

Our blog has more as well as the FREE Resources page of our website.

Tags: adding images to email, Hubspot, Carnegie Mellon University, Social Bakers, Market Domination Media


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