Posted by nikkielizabethdemere
Conversion rate optimization (CRO) is a complex business with many different ways to approach it. One aspect of CRO that hasn’t been discussed nearly enough is the potential for images to increase views, clicks, and conversions — in addition to customer success and net promoter scores (NPS).
But discussing what you can do with the right images isn’t helpful unless you know how to find or create these images quickly and economically.
A crash course in the power of pictures
To get to the root of how images improve conversion rates, we first have to look at the series of events that creates conversions.
According to Dr. Robert Cialdini’s 6 Principles of Influence, people…
- Feel obligated to reciprocate – give them something, and they’ll want to give you something
- Honor their commitments – if they say they’ll do something, they’ll likely do it, because they’ve established that goal as an integral part of their self-image
- Believe the word of their peers (which is why user reviews are so powerful) and copy behaviors they see
- Follow authority figures.
- Buy from people they like
- Act faster if they perceive scarcity (On Sale Now for a Limited Time!)
Our brains are hardwired to believe what we see over what we hear or read. Images have a way of driving straight to our emotional centers.
Based on Cialdini’s research, some of the ways images can be used for influence include:
- Giving away a high-value infographic or set of high-quality stock photos that anyone can use (all they have to do is sign up for your newsletter)
- Creating a series of motivational images that encourage viewers to keep the goals they’ve set for themselves (which your product can help them do)
- Encouraging users to submit photos of themselves using, wearing, or enjoying your products (or, if you’re selling a service, including images of actual customers next to their reviews or testimonials)
- Using professional photos and/or high-quality stock images on your website
- Creating funny, personality-rich images, videos, or GIFs for your social media posts and emails
- Thinking of creative ways to visually represent scarcity — maybe by making a GIF of a warehouse as it goes from full to empty, or by creating an image that expresses the disappointment someone will fill if they miss out on an opportunity
Companies are also using images to delight existing customers and help them become more successful (which improves net promoter scores and leads to increased upsell opportunities). A customer success team, for example, could create GIF screencasts in response to help tickets or even stock an FAQ page with visual demonstrations of how to solve the most common customer support issues.
The fast track to DIY images
Images like these aren’t hard to produce if you have the right tools — and there are many tools to choose from.
Visage (free version available)
Visage is my go-to for creating images that look professional and tell a story through a combination of words, statistics, and graphs. They’re also a strong choice for making infographics and Pinterest-worthy motivational quotes.
Recordit (free version available)
Recordit allows you to create mini-screencasts and turn them into embeddable GIFs, which are an easy way to demonstrate on-screen functions, show off features, and help users find what they need in minutes.
GIFBoom, for iOS and Android, makes it easy to create original GIFs with text overlays directly from your smartphone. You could spruce up your About Us page with animated clips of the team (great for increasing your likeability factor) or record personal greetings for newsletters and social media posts.
Placeit (free version available)
Placeit. See it, like it. See it in action, buy it. That’s the difference between a good image and a conversion-oriented image that works almost like a quickie-demo of the product. HubSpot research shows that buyers now want product demos much earlier in the sales funnel than in previous years, which makes tools like Placeit especially useful. This tool allows you to generate product mockups instantly create demo videos pretty darn fast.
Studio (free version available)
Studio is a photo “remixing” app that offers pre-made templates, layering capabilities, beautiful fonts, sleek design options, and a community of marketers sharing their latest inspirations and creations. Check out their intro video, too. It’s a good one.
SnapChat isn’t just for teenagers, though they may be the only ones who can show you how to use it. SnapChat is a messaging app that lets you take a photo or short video; add a caption, doodle, or lens graphic; and then broadcast it to your followers. Followers can view “snaps” for up to 10 seconds, and then they disappear. Marketing that disappears, you ask? How is that a good thing?! Consider scarcity. If you’ve got a “BUY NOW” sale going on, what could be more appropriate than advertising it in a format that is, by nature, there for a limited time only.
The right images, the right tools, and the right strategy can help set your marketing apart and give your company some real personality — which is exactly what today’s consumers crave. They want to get to know you, not just your product. They want to form a personal connection.
So let them see the real you. There’s no better way to do that than through pictures.
Now it’s your turn. How is your brand using images to build brand awareness? Please share in the comments.
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