Use Images in your Online Marketing

The web is a visual medium. Study after study has found that people do not really “read” online, not in the way we read print anyway. They skip around pages, hunting and gathering information, picking up on keywords and visual information as they go.

What they focus on, however, are images.

Earlier this year, Facebook caused a lot of controversy by forcing everyone who had an account to begin using their “Timeline” feature. Instead of the old horizontal format, where posts and pictures were seen left to right, the new look created more a vertically-formatted page.

This created much consternation on the part of many users, however those businesses that understood this move were quick to take advantage of the benefits, namely the more visual aspect of the new Facebook look.

When you skim over your Facebook stream, what stands out to you? Images, right? That was the point. Images are now given more space on the page, can be used for more purposes, and can make your Facebook presence get noticed.

Within the last two years we have also seen a rise in social media platforms that focus solely on images, namely Pinterest ( and Instagram (

Pinterest is a “social bulletin board” that gives users the ability to take and share images from their own files or from anywhere on the web. They share them on their “boards,” essentially profiles in categories of their choosing, like “Places I want to See Before I Die” or “My Favorite Restaurants.”

Like in other platforms they have followers, either for their profile or for their boards, and they can share what they post with these other users, who can then share them with their friends.

As I reported in a column earlier this year, Pinterest is growing by leaps and bounds, surpassing 100 million users and counting.

Instagram—itself with over 80 million users—is a bit different. It is an application for mobile devices that lets you take and share images with friends and fans. You can also share the images on other platforms like Facebook and Twitter. In fact, Facebook purchased Instagram in April for one billion dollars, doubling down on its bet that images are the future of the social web.

Aside from sharing images on social platforms, businesses should also try to share them on their own websites as well, either in “blogs” or “latest news” article. The more images you post the better.

This is especially true in the case of Facebook, which unleashed a new “edgerank” algorithm in the spring that places greater importance on images and less on text-based posts. So if you’re wondering why none of your followers see the posts on your Business’ Facebook page, it might be because you are not including images.

So what types of images should you include? Here are some quick ideas to help.

Merchandise. This is a no-brainer. Take beautiful pictures of what you do or sell. If you have a restaurant, then a beautiful image of one of your dishes posted just before lunchtime would be a great idea. Other ideas include new merchandise, limited merchandise, items you built or are particularly proud of.

Employees. People love behind the scene photos and often like putting faces to the business. If you can post a nice or even goofy photo of one or more of your employees your customers would appreciate it.

Your products in use. Images of people using your product—especially when it is being used by real customers—is a great way to market those products. People love to see other ordinary people using items they are considering buying because it reassures them that the products are safe to purchase.

Trips and Events. Post pictures of trips you go on, especially exotic or beautiful images. You want your customers to feel a connection with you, and what better way than to take them along on a vacation or trade-show?

There are countless ways to integrate images and pictures into your online marketing plan and here we have only scratched the surface. The important thing to remember is that images of you and your brand speak much louder than anything you could write online.

Word One Consulting
clint @
2263 S. Main
Las Cruces, NM 88005