1000 Words - Images are important

1000 Words - Images are important

Never before have images played such an important part in the composition and effectiveness of the message that you deliver on your website. You only have to look around the Internet to see that there is a growing use of full-screen high-quality images to create great impact on the viewer and draw you into the website to read more. This means that you really need to consider carefully where and how you are going to source the images for your website.
Let’s start with a DIY approach. There is a great debate about whether you are capable or should take your own images for your website. Technically, even your mobile phone is capable of taking images of the right quality for the web. It is just a matter of whether you have the skills to compose the photographs correctly, and the ability to process them effectively that will determine if they will look good on your website.

We are not trying specifically to put people off taking their own photographs, however your website is a key part of your marketing activity. You at least need to consider whether taking a few snapshots on your iPhone is going to give the right impression to your potential customer. The good thing about photography is that almost everybody knows someone who has photography as a hobby, and have a great camera that they know how to use. If you know such a person it might be worth getting them involved in taking images for your website. Failing that you can try yourself, please understand that just because you can do something doesn’t necessarily mean that you can do it well, or well enough to enhance the impact of your website.

Over the last 30 years working in the marketing industry I have worked with countless photographers and every single one of them is worth the expense they have incurred the client. This is quite simply because all they do is take photographs, they see things differently to you or I, and can bring what is known as the photographers eye to the project. What this basically means is standing next to a photographer and trying to photograph the same item photographers photograph will be better than yours as they bring experience to the table. There are many different types of photographers offering services, you need to identify one who is experienced in the kind of photography that you’re looking for and is able to understand what you want to use the images for. If you need help with photography, please call the W3 office.

Another source of great imagery are various photo libraries on the Internet. "These libraries contain literally millions of images covering a multitude of subjects so you can find an image that represents an idea for your website. For example, you might need a photograph of a meeting happening in somebody’s home. If you search for home meeting in an image library chances are you’ll find something you can use. A few things to remember when using stock library photographs include checking to see the number of times and image has been downloaded, if it is a popular image it might be that your competitors have selected the same image for their website and this doesn’t look good. Also check that the ethnic makeup of the image reflects the ethnic makeup of your target market. There is little point showing a photograph of a group of Afro-Caribbean people holding a business meeting if your target market place is a Chinese community, the target market will not be able to identify with the photograph.

The image library that we recommend is 123rf.com which is actually based in Canada. It has a fantastic selection of images, and is still quite reasonably priced. Another advantage of using stock image library photos is that for less than $10 you can get an image instantly, without the need to take a photograph yourself or get a photographer involved. Not that we are decrying photographers. We have good relationships with many of them, but even they would admit that the stock library photograph is often the right way for clients to go.

If you sell products from a manufacturer or manufacturers, they often provide high-quality, high resolution images to their resellers. This allows them to control the quality of images used to promote their products and makes it easy for you to have good quality photographs on your website. You should probably contact your suppliers to see if they have these resources available.

Never underestimate the value that high-quality imagery will bring to your website. It can make the difference between someone choosing your company or your competitor. People are becoming lazier and read less and less of the text on a webpage so your images do really need to tell your story at a glance. If you would like any help or assistance with regard to images for your website, brochures or other marketing material please call the W3 office.
As a postscript to this article 95% of the images that we use in online newsletters to promote W3 are sourced from 123rf.com. This is a good place to find photographs that show the diverse nature of the articles you write about, and they are pretty cheap to boot.