Adding images to your online content is a good way to get your reader to feel the types of emotions you want them to feel. With the right image you can make your readers feel excited, calm, sad, confused and even hot and sweaty.
Choosing the right image requires that you understand the emotions you want to evoke, and which types of images would work for that particular audience to make them feel what you want them to feel.
Triggering emotions in your readers is an important component in building trust, and making more sales. It has been a long-term, tried and true marketing and advertising method since the advent of the advertising industry.
Sales people have learned that someone who is emotionally affected by their information and content is more likely to purchase. Doctoral theses have been written on the subject, but it can all be boiled down to 5 simple points.
- Know Your Audience – I know, it gets boring hearing it said, but your audience is everything. How your audience sees things is more important than how you see things. How your audience reacts to anything is more important than how you react. Remember not to base everything on your own thoughts and feelings, ask your audience.
- Understand the Point of the Content – If you don’t know what you want your reader to feel when they read the content it will be difficult to choose the right photographs and images. Understand your full point, and how you want them to feel after they are done reading a particular line or looking at a particular photo and you’ll choose better.
- Learn the Science behind Color – You probably know some of this intuitively. Yellow evokes feelings of happiness and blue makes you feel calm, while red is full of energy. Depending on the audience you’re marketing to, this may be slightly different. Different colors evoke different emotions in different cultures and groups.
- Use High-Quality Images – The quality of the images used matters too. You don’t want to use clipart or poorly composed images because that will evoke emotions in your audience that you don’t want them to have such as “cheap” or “fraud” which, face it, is kind of bad. The higher quality images you can afford to buy or take will make all the difference.
- Make Them Relevant – Images need to be relevant to the topic at hand. If you’re talking about writing content putting a picture of your dog just to show your audience how cute he is, is not a good use of the space. Now, if you’re writing a post about homework, and how to get your kids to do their homework, a picture of a dog suggesting or actually eating some paper might work.
Finally, give the images on your blog posts some thought. You can make some really nice graphics using free editing sites like Canva.com and Pixlr.com to help compose images that get your audience thinking and feeling about your words long after they click away to another website.