How to Choose the Perfect Images for Your Website
When it comes to brand imagery, some brands are killing it. When you visit their website, you immediately understand what they’re about, the message they’re trying to send and who they’re really aiming to connect with. A few examples we feel do this very well are Hims, Into the Gloss, Headspace, The Bump, Sustain Natural, HelloFresh, Healthline – just to name a few!
So how do we get YOUR website to that point?
Digging deep to find the ‘perfect image’ answer
Like many of the more tactical topics we discuss on our blog, before we answer how to choose the perfect image, we first must step back to discuss one of the three foundational elements to marketing success.
When I meet with business owners, health providers or marketing directors for prospective client brands to discuss their digital marketing strategy, one of the first questions I ask is “who are we doing all of this for?”.
Who are we trying to attract to your website, who are we creating content for, who are we working to turn into leads and patients? Ultimately, who was this brand built for?
I’ve asked this question for ten years so it no longer comes as a surprise to me when the answer is shaky at best, completely unknown at worst.
Identifying, understanding and fully shaping your Brand Companion™ profiles is the first, and some may say the most critical, step in creating a fruitful, effective digital marketing presence.
Being able to confidently talk about your Brand Companion™ and her challenges, pain points, goals, dreams and lifestyle as an individual who exists in real life is one of the most powerful ways to authentically create a ‘patient-centric’ brand and marketing plan.
What you need to know about your Brand Companions™ to find that perfect image
While there are many questions to ask, and details to uncover to complete the Brand Companion™ development exercise, since we’re specifically focusing on selecting images in this post, below are the three questions I recommend you have the answers to:
- Are there specific characteristics that define your audience (i.e. gender, age, ethnicity, geographic location,
- What is the primary goal you are helping your Brand Companions™ achieve? Or a specific desire/want you’re helping them meet?
- What emotion(s) does your brand evoke for your Brand Companions™?
The images you select on your website should appropriately portray these characteristics and evoke these emotions. For example, if your primary demographic is new moms and your brand promise is to help them achieve balance and successfully transition into their new role while instilling a sense of confidence, calm and happiness than your images shouldn’t feature old men and an aggressive color scheme.
Once you’ve selected a handful of images you feel really fit the bill, take a few minutes to run your own focus group by sending the images out to a few Brand Companions™ and asking them if they can relate to the image and what thoughts and emotions it creates for them.
A few best practices for selecting an image
Once you’ve established the above, it’s still important to consider some best practices for choosing your images. Here are my top recommendations:
- It absolutely has to be a high quality (high resolution) image. No blurry, pixelated images please!
- Make sure the image fits the area you’re using it. If it doesn’t, crop it down so that it does – do NOT stretch it to fit!
- Going to be using text overlay on your image (i.e. putting text on top of your image)? Make sure the image coloring allows you to place the text over it without making it difficult to read. Some light photoshopping can help with this.
- The images you use don’t HAVE to be photographs you take, although that adds an element of authenticity you can’t necessarily achieve with stock photos
- If you’re searching stock photos, don’t search something too simple and try to avoid selecting the first options. For example, searching ‘happy woman’ and picking one of the top 10 options is most likely going to get you an image that you can find on hundreds of other sites.
Some places to find great images
There are tons of paid and free options available for finding images. In fact, there are over 1.1B results when you search ‘free stock photos’ on Google. But now that you know what your images should be saying about your brand and to your customer, it’s much easier to narrow your search. Some of our favorite stock photo sites include:
- iStock – more traditional, but nearly limitless options
- Unsplash – beautiful free photos
- Pexels – free stock photos from photographers
- Canva – millions of high quality photos
- Twenty20 Stock Photos – real world photos
Images can say so, so much about your brand. It’s truly important to take the time to really think about your brand imagery in a focused, intentional way to set the stage for a brand that your audience will remember and love. Take the extra step to establish a brand style guide that includes imagery so that images used across all of your digital and offline channels are consistent and brand-aligned.
Pro Tip: Images can also be what slow a site down. With so much focus on mobile these days, ensure your images are optimized for speed with these image optimization tips from Google.
Need help building out your Brand Companion™ profiles or creating a powerful brand? Request a discovery call with our team today!