PowerfulWaystoUseImages-021314More and more, the Internet is getting visual.

Images get shared on social networks like crazy.

You may have even seen websites where the entire background is filled with a high quality image.

Such excellent eye candy. But how do you leverage the graphics craze for your business?

These 5 methods can help.

Inspire

-Silenceis a source ofgreat

You see them everywhere on social networks. Quotes made into images. Some are awful. Some are gorgeous. They are the easiest to create. All you need is a list of quotes and a graphics editor. There are also plenty of common quotes you can easily find.

Don’t stop there. Think back to your past. Think about people who have influenced you. What did they say to inspire you?

Dig into your own blog posts. Surely there are some great snippets you can pull out as a quote. This technique is great for bringing people back to your blog where you can further sell, offer and promote.

As for graphics editors, there’s Social Graphics Pro, Canva and Pixlr for image geeks. The best thing, they are all online. No installs, no downloads.

Teach

banana_bread_recipe_teach

Photos are perfect to quickly show someone the steps to do something. You take photos of the project in several stages. Assemble them into a grid of numbered steps.

These are perfect for recipes but can be used for crafts, software, health or even financial topics. Be creative and put your thinking cap on. Personally I love these on Pinterest because I can see all the steps without having to click through to the site. However, it does make me want to follow the person who pins these as well. Knowing this, be sure to brand your image tutorials with your website and don’t be afraid to add some print to invite them to view more on your site.

If you teach or coach, this is a quick way to grab attention and direct people to your site for more information. A great example of useful but incomplete information – in graphical form.

Inform

Infographics

Infographics are so very hot. Like image tutorials, they give people loads of information in one short burst. Very effective to communicate a lot in one go. Depending on the topic and how well they are made, they can also be highly viral.

The problem – they aren’t easy or cheap to make. Sure you can find software out there to make them but you still have to spend time or spend money to hire someone to research the data and compile it. Also, you need to make sure the topic if clear and compelling. Throwing a bunch of random data together is not going to work.

If you are going to spend time and resources on this, make sure you think through the objectives. Consider the message or conclusion you want people to reach. Your product or website should match or be an extension of that conclusion.

Cheats

Facebook_Ad_Cheat-2

A little bit of tutorial and a little bit of an infographic. Cheats are images that people want to save for later. Some examples are:

  • Facebook image sizes for marketers
  • Mobile/responsive screen sizes for web developers
  • 5 different ways to wear a black dress for fashionistas
  • 10 ways to use your ice trays for foodies
  • 20 things you can do to earn quick cash

Emphasize

FontawesomeIcons

You’re probably doing this already. Use images to support your content. If you’re talking about problems, you could use a picture of anxious people. Summer fun – kids blowing bubbles. Try to also think outside of photos. Maybe use icons to emphasize bullet points. This can be done by using a plugin like Super Styles.

You can also pair up your headings with icons to break up the text and help make your content more readable. Use a plugin like WP Visual Icon Fonts to add icons directly into your post or pages.

Of course, there’s buttons. Buttons stand out so much better than links and are more effective when you want to prompt people to click. This too can be easily done with Super Styles.

The nice thing about images – the are fairly inexpensive, fast and easy. You can get a lot of help to make them. They are also easy to update unlike video or audio and people love them. Next time you are working on promoting a product, consider how you can use images to inspire, inform, teach and lead people to your product. Have them made and send it out there.