One of the biggest content marketing trends right now is video. People love to watch videos, marketers love them because they boost engagement, and the technology needed to make good videos is readily available. Infographics are another popular type of content, which is also used to increase views and shares. Image-based memes spread like wildfire online. It seems that the Internet, no matter how much text we place on it, is strongly biased towards visuals.
It is, but it has nothing to do with the Internet. Metrics which show that visual content is more than capable to attract attention and facilitate interactions say nothing new. We already knew visuals are attractive to humans because there’s a lot of science that proves it. It might have taken some time for marketers and website owners to catch up.
Playing into Human Nature
The main reason why visuals are such an important asset in the digital world is that we, humans, are strongly visual beings. We process visual information much quicker than textual information, for example. After all, we get to see before we learn to speak.
Our sense of vision is our main data-gathering tool. 90% of information that reaches our brains is visual information. And the speed at which it’s processed means that we only need to glance at something to form an opinion on it. That’s the double-edged sword of the Internet being such a visual place. A website with bad visuals will quickly be dismissed, while a website with good visual content will quickly solicit a favorable reaction. If there’s one reason your website needs to include high-quality photos, it’s this one — your website will be judged based on its looks.
What Do High-Quality Visuals Mean in the Digital Landscape?
There’s a whole host of impressions that are tied to having high-quality images on a website. A website that doesn’t pay enough attention to visuals will seem shoddy, untrustworthy, and uninterested in attracting visitors. On the other hand, a website with high-quality images will attract the opposite connotations — it will appear more modern, trustworthy, user-oriented, and engaging.
The visual element also plays an important role in the way websites function. High-quality visuals can significantly boost the website’s ability to foster healthy conversion rates. Visual cues can also be very helpful when it comes to planning website navigation. Many other elements on a website, including forms and calls-to-action, rely on visuals to perform their function.
Getting High-Quality Images
While some visual elements on the website fall specifically under the purview of graphic design, for photos you need to rely on good old photography. There are two ways you can get high-quality photos for your website. Both have their strong and weak sides, and both are options worth exploring.
Stock photography is often tied to bland photos that can easily illustrate many different things. But that’s the point of stock photography — a single stock image can change meanings depending on the context it’s used in. That makes it reusable, which is what stock photography is for. In some cases, stock photography can be the best choice you can make for several reasons. It might be the option that fits your budget the best. It can be used to illustrate content that’s not too important. And, if you’re willing to dig a lot, it’s also possible to find quite unique stock photos.
Original photography is usually a better choice in terms of quality and the ability to illustrate content. However, it can be a much more expensive option, and it can be difficult to find objects that can be used to illustrate your content. In some cases, original photography is the only choice you can make. The portraits of your team members you want to place in your “about us” section have to be original photos. If you have a real estate website, hiring a real estate photographer is the only way to get high-quality images of your listings.
Whether you choose to use stock or original photos, it’s important to remember that quality shouldn’t be compromised by your choice. The competition in the digital world is already tough, and it will get even tougher. If you don’t pay attention to your visuals, you will fall behind your competitors. You can be certain that they’re paying attention to the visuals on their websites.