As a Social Media Trainer and Manager, I have been approached by clients many times over the years who ask how to create images for their business. It’s dead easy when they have a product, of course!
Not as easy, though, when they have a service. The trick to imagery, in my opinion, is to not actually always be that obvious. By this I mean, deliver an image that makes your viewer feel something, rather than tell them something.
A lot of business owners who were marketing their business on Facebook up until recently had to be fairly smart about it. Until about September last year (2020), when it was revealed that the “25% Rule” for text on images in ads was removed, marketers had to find or create pictures that evoked a feeling. Over the years, I’ve seen some brilliant ideas created. Now the rule has been removed, I feel people have become a wee bit lazy!
Innovation is key in imagery, in my opinion. Nobody wants to feel sold too. We all have such a short tolerance for this sort of thing these days. As more and more people in countries worldwide are being forced to spend more time at home, we’re all spending more time online. No one wants to bore the audience or be unclear on our messaging, but I think it’s time someone shook things up and tried to be a little different.
Check out the ideas below and see if it’s time to try something new?
1. Before and After
If your service can clearly demonstrate what things are like before or after your help, then why not try images displaying this? A cleaning service is easy, of course, mess / no mess. Painter – scruffy, badly done walls and then nicely done with a lick of paint. But what about Solicitors? Insurance Agents? Surveyors?
The images I can imagine would appeal naturally here would be the standard of someone looking unhappy then happy, right? Okay, they’re ideas, sure, but horribly overdone! How about a description in writing or even a video of a testimonial?
If you can’t find a client to do this, then get an actor and ensure you say “Actor” in the video.
2. Emoting a Feeling
I can envisage in my head for a Solicitor, I would have a myriad of “dangerous” colors like red, purple, and black and maybe have a darkened house or hall. Not creepy like a haunted house but something that makes people who are scrolling through their phone and see this image, it makes them stop in their tracks. Most people approach Solicitors for closure, an ending of something, it’s rarely a happy reason, and it tunes in with the reason they are looking for this type of service in the first place.
For the Insurance Agent, I suppose you could do a broken in a house or a busted car.
However, why not do something different like someone fixing a window or door of the broken house in the background and the insurance advisors hands on the keys reassuring the homeowner in the foreground? A picture paints a thousand words?
For Surveyors of a house, you have the standard images of a house, maybe? Or a red line down the middle between two houses that are in grey and two “shadow people” raising their arms and appearing to shout at each other in the foreground. How about a Google Earth image of a large area and it partially zoned in red with a question mark?
I rarely, if ever, see an image of something by itself. Would this stop people in their tracks when they search online on a phone or a laptop?
For the Solicitor, it could be scales (like the scales of justice), but again, it’s a very worn-out image of this industry. How about a house or a wedding cake topper of a couple cut in half. It bears no misdirection, and I can see people stopping on it, can’t you?
For the Insurance Agent, I can see water dripping from a ceiling, up really close, or maybe a screw sticking out a car tyre?
Finally, for the Surveyor, a close-up shot of a boundary wall, fence, or hedge and the word “Mine?” on top of it.
4. Change Your Picture into a Painting
As a service, why not change any of your everyday standard images or any of the above into a “painting”?
Over the years, several apps have been created that can do this, and they are reasonably inexpensive. You’ll find them available on your phone, and they can add many different filters to suit your aesthetic tastes.
Just think how different this will stand out on a search, and it can attract a slightly different audience possibly?
5. Brand Color Imagery
Over the years, we have come to recognize certain brands by their colors. Why not add your brand colors as a default to images.
Most brands have more than color, and here you can get them professionally made by a graphic designer, or you could play with PicMonkey or Canva perhaps and adapt your own.
For a business whose colors are light blue and silver, you can use different shades to warm or cool images and make the brand colors (maybe a larger part of your image) more prominent, for instance?
Other businesses I have noticed have created shots up very close – looking up or down, or through colored filters or rainy windows!
What makes image marketing work for a brand is what is memorable, affordable, and easy to replicate.
I hope these suggestions get you started and if they do, please make sure to tag me!
I look forward to seeing your inspired pictures.
If you would like to learn more about Melanie, please visit www.stomp.ie or tag her at @STOMPSMTraining on Twitter.