Ad Strategy for Social Media: Finding the Right Imagery that Produces the Best Results
A picture tells a thousand words, most of the story or part of it, or bits of information to get you going. Believe it or not, the right image can bring a thousand conversions. Marketers have been comparing the effectiveness of using stock imagery against lifestyle-related or real images. The debate goes on.
Well, it is quite difficult to say that one type of imagery is better than the other – it’s really a case to case basis. There are sites that can effectively convey their thoughts or attract visitors using stock imagery and there are also sites that find lifestyle-related pictures more effective. Visitors of your website can form their first impression within 50 milliseconds, their initial assessment regarding what they see on your site or how your site appeals to them is critical to your website’s success. The human brain processes the images 60,000 times faster than written words.
In every branding campaign, effective visual content makes a huge difference. Each business owner should do their best in making sure that their chosen imagery supports the message they are trying to convey. Business owners should not post pictures just because they seem to represent the brand. The primary goal should always be posting images that are capable of producing the satisfactory results.
Determining the Type of Imagery that Works Best for your Business
The best way to determine the kind of imagery that works for your business is to test both types of imagery – stock and lifestyle-related or real. You need to run a test on the different pages of your website and on different social media platforms to give you measurable data that you can use to determine the ones that get better response from your visitors. The following sections are suggestions that you can use to test the efficacy of your images.
Stock vs. Real Imagery on your Website
In determining what type of imagery works best for your site, you can try sending half of your website visitors to a home page containing stock imagery and the remaining half to a home page containing lifestyle imagery. You need to make sure that the messaging and the overall user experience remain consistent on both home pages regardless of the type of imagery that a particular home page contains. Doing so can help you decide which type of imagery to retain and works best for your target visitors.
The right image on your landing page can immediately inform your visitors about the value of your site and let them decide within a few seconds whether to leave or stay with your site. Conducting this test can help you determine the ones that can provide the most advantage and benefit as well as the best results.
You can also incorporate both types of imagery in your social media content. The idea is to let your audience engage with your ad or post in all the social media platforms that you have. It will give you real-time results that can help you determine the next course of action to take. You can do it in two ways:
- You can use on-page posts to test the engagement outcome of your audience. Make sure to use each type of image to your on-page posts in all your social platforms to better understand, which one appeals to your audience the most. It is important to use similar copy and post times in all your social media platforms to minimize possible variations outside the posted image.
- You can use social advertising by creating a unified campaign that has uniform messaging and targeting. You need to create several variations of the ad using stock imagery and real imagery. Over time, you can compare the results and see which image type gives the best outcome.
Display advertising bears similarities with social advertising. You need to create variations for your display ads using the two types of imagery to see which one performs better.
There are several ways to test the effectiveness of your images. However, the best thing to do is test the results of both image time and find out which type is best for your business.
If you’re running a global or national company, achieving an image authenticity can be quite challenging. When you talk about product differentiation and uniqueness, real imagery usually stands out. Companies that aim to connect with their target audience through their emotions need to use the appropriate “real” imagery to stir the emotions of the visitors and achieve success.
Using a known model for your imagery might not convince your target audience regarding your sincerity because they know that the model doesn’t really work for your company. The model could be smiling her sweetest, but the audience are aware that she’s not really smiling at them. She cannot give her best service to them because she doesn’t work with the company. To establish trust, you need to use real people who work in your company and aim to serve the customers with utmost sincerity.
Examples of Real Imagery
Here are some examples of real images that some companies use to present their brand.
The Best One
As a business owner, it is crucial to determine the type of imagery that works best for your business. It doesn’t matter if it’s stock, real, or lifestyle-related imagery. It is foolish to say that a particular type of imagery is better than the other, although there’s a particular type of imagery that stands out in your particular industry or line of business. Stock photos appear more professional and they are usually high quality imageries. Real lifestyle photos, on the other hand, may appear cheap or too gimmicky but they can convey real emotions. As mentioned earlier, you need to allot time to test each type and find the best one that can make you reach your goal. Ample test and research are the most viable strategies that can help you generate the results that you want to achieve for your business or company.