Use Pictures to Sell More 

An extremely powerful marketing tool in your arsenal is the use of pictures. But just like a gun, you need to know which way to point it or you will shoot yourself in the foot!

The majority of marketing pieces and advertisements that you see out there have pictures in them, but this is the interesting bit, almost all of them do not use pictures properly. Why? Because most of the time the pictures are chosen and laid out by graphic designers, not marketers, this means that they look lovely but don’t do the job they are intended to do!

Mistake number 1, don’t put a big picture underneath your headline, put your picture first and the headline underneath it. When you scan through a newspaper if you are not reading it cover to cover, you will look at the pictures that catch your eye first then the headline, so why would you put the headline before the picture? A reader’s eyes are naturally drawn towards the pictures and then directly down underneath the picture, which means if you have a picture underneath a headline it may not even be read. An all marketers know that the headline is one of the most important parts of any advert. It is what tells the reader why they should continue to read the rest of article. Here are some tips to get you using photos properly.

Every picture must have a caption and it must be something more interesting than the name of the person or product. Captions are the second most read thing in an article, second to the headline. As an example a lot of people use a picture of the Director in marketing material to add personality into an article, so the caption under the picture should not be “Joe Bloggs – Director” it should be something like a unique selling point “Our machine will outlast all others like it by at least 5 years, and we guarantee that.” You can then even put a link to your website in the caption or your phone number etc. something that instantly directs your clients to you, and allows them to buy what you are selling.

Make sure your pictures are relevant. No matter how good the picture or how eye catching it is, if it is not relevant to what you are selling it is not going to be of any use. For example if you are selling bras then a picture of a women in a bra would be eye catching and relevant, but if your selling sandwiches it is not relevant and will just confuse the reader and definitely not help you sell sandwiches. But if you then put a picture of the same girl in her bra but now eating a sandwich, it is still eye catching and instantly becomes relevant and the reader knows what it is you are selling, but make sure there is a caption that isn’t just “Our sandwiches are great”. Make it something quirky and interesting like “Sarah says these are the ‘breast’ sandwiches she has ever had!” Something that will interest your reader, maybe even make them smile and continue to read your article.

Use photos not drawings. Statistically photos get much better results, but this is not always the case. As with all rules there are exceptions! So make sure you test your marketing material and go through the results to find out what works best for you.

And finally keep all your pictures happy and upbeat. Pictures of people with a smile on their face in the sun work 10 times better than a sad person in a dreary miserable looking place, just always remember to keep it relevant!

Tom Bristow
Tom Bristow is the Managing Director of The Plus Group and has worked in the exhibition industry for over a decade. He is passionate about the service his company provides and he eats, breathes and sleeps everything exhibitions.

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