I have become a habitual Instagrammer.
If I am out cycling, walking or just sitting admiring the view or the passing parade, I am looking for photos that I can snap that I can share on my Instagram â€śappâ€ť.
All I need to be carrying is my iPhone or iPad and with my Instagram app waiting patiently for me, I can snap a photo, apply a snazzy filter and click the Facebook and the Twitter share buttons and it flies around the world.
It turns up in my followerâ€™s streams and updates and invites them to engage with me by commenting, liking or sharing.
Jamie Oliver a â€ścelebrity chefâ€ť understands this and with over 412,000 followers on Instagram understands the power of photos to market the Jamie Oliver brand.
Not surprisingly, the better the photo the more it drives engagement and Instagram takes my ordinary and average photos and gives them that â€śzingâ€ť factor (a good example is my Instagram photo from Istanbul, Turkey in the top right corner of this post) .
The Age of Visual Culture
We live in the age of the â€ścamera in everyoneâ€™s pocketâ€ť and with more than 2.5 billion camera phones in use we are entering a new dynamic era around image creation and content according to Bob Lisbon from Luminate.
This can be broken into three phases as we enter the age of visual culture and language.
Phase One: Massive increase in photo creation
Ten percent of photos taken by humankind took place in the last 12 months
Phase Two: The Rise of Image Centric Social Networks
Photos are becoming the â€śUniversal languageâ€ť and the fastest growing social media networks are not surprisingly Facebook, Tumblr and Instagram are the names on everyoneâ€™s lips.
Phase Three: Images become Interactive
Pinterest is one of the first platforms that allows you to interact with static images and Luminateâ€™s image apps (which are used by more than 100 million consumers) is also an example.
So how and why should you use images in your business communications, marketing and social networks?
6 Reasons Why Images are Important
If you have an online store, issue press relaeses or even just a facebook page here are 6 reasons to publish images and photos as part of business marketing tactics.
- Articles with images get 94% more total views
- Including a Photo and a video in a press release increases views by over 45%
- 60% of consumers are more likely to consider or contact a business when an image shows up in local search results
- In an ecommerce site, 67% of consumers say the quality of a product image is â€śvery importantâ€ť in selecting and purchasing a product
- In an online store, customers think that the quality of a a products image is more important than product-specific information (63%), a long description (54%) and ratings and reviews (53%)
- Engagement rate on Facebook for photos averages 0.37% where text only is 0.27% (this translates to a 37& higher level of engagement)
So how can you adapt to the age of â€śVisual Cultureâ€ť as a business?
1. If you have an online store you need to include high definition images to drive higher engagement and sales
2. If your business issues press releases then include images with your article
3. If you use Facebook as an important part of your social media marketing strategy then you need to include photos in your updates and not just text and links
What About You
How are you using images and photos with your business? Has it worked for you.
What could you do better?
I look forward to hearing your stories.