We all know the saying that an image is worth a thousand words, but we could also say that it will take an image to get someone to read a thousand words. Images are powerful things. They add value to content not only by illustrating points made in the content but also make people read the content in the first place. Here we look at just how important images are adding value to digital content.
Whatever your platform when you’re designing content for, you know you only have a short time to grab your audience’s attention. Research shows people form an impression in 50 milliseconds, and on social media in particular, there is huge competition for eyeballs. No matter how interesting the copy, an image can make the difference to whether it's read or ignored.
iStock by Getty Images (opens in new tab) has found that articles with images get 94% more views than those without. We like to have something to look at, and this applies both online and in print. It perhaps shouldn’t be at all surprising when you consider that nearly two thirds of people self-identify as visual learners.
This means that a meaty article on tackling environmental issues is much more likely to be read if it's accompanied by an image that makes an impact and gets us to sit up and take notice, and the audience will get further into marketing copy if it's led by an aspirational image that shows a goal to aim for.
But content with the right image isn’t only more likely to be read; it’s also more likely to be shared. iStock has found that Facebook posts with images get 2.3% more engagement than those without, and Twitter posts with images are shared 150% more than those with text only.
The challenge is finding the right image. Instagram users post 49,380 images every minute, and 1 and 3 images used online is a stock image. Bright colours can get attention as can photos that show a sense of fun or something to strive for, while photos with people in them tend to gain more engagement.
At Getty’s iStock, they research trends to follow what images are connecting with audiences and use search technology to filter and find the most effective images. To take advantage and gain access to a vast selection of imagery that can add value to a wide range of content, visit iStock by Getty (opens in new tab).