Butterflump

How to choose images for marketing

Recently, some of my clients have been getting snagged on one particular issue; taking or choosing images to use online for their marketing.

Say you are thinking of designing a marketing campaign for sharing on multiple platforms and need to look for the right stock image or take suitable product photos.

Say you wrote a blog and created a great cover image for it but now you need to share that blog and image on multiple social media platforms – tweet it, create a Facebook or Instagram post or story, a Pin, a Google My Business post…

Why might any of that be challenging, you might well ask?

Well because each different platform and post type requires different image dimensions so finding one image that works across all platforms and for all purposes can be less of a science and more of a black art.

See what I mean?

Different shapes and sizes mean that fitting all of the elements of the image that you want to include (particularly if it’s not just a photo, but an advert or infographic that contains text) requires some prior planning.

Say this is the image you had chosen – would you still choose it after seeing it used on each canvas size? It helps you to choose the right image in the first place if you consider the applications of it.

This disparity across various platforms doesn’t just mean you should carefully consider choosing an image that works for all platforms, it’s also why posting custom-sized images natively to each site instead of cross-posting between platforms or using sharing apps to share the same image makes a huge difference to the finished result.

Say you shared an image of a product and Facebook keeps nagging you to boost it or turn it into an advert.

Facebook hosts images in a library once you have uploaded them but don’t make the mistake of uploading one image and using it for various purposes, use graphic design tools such as Canva to create an image with the correct dimensions for each purpose before uploading it.

See below as an example – the image you uploaded for a post probably isn’t going to work once Facebook has warped and stretched it for an ad or event cover image.

Facebook images

I hope this gives you food for thought, but if you are already finding your marketing a bit labour intensive and could do with some support to create some great content, you know where to find me.

Be the solution, not the problem

“There is no more neutrality in the world. You either have to be part of the solution, or you’re going to be part of the problem.” Leroy Eldridge Cleaver, Black Panther Party

Last year I wrote an article on LinkedIn called “It’s time to tackle the isms.” It’s an inarguable fact that we live in a world with many problems. So from the state of the environment to the state of society, how can your business make a positive difference?

Consider how you might be contributing to the problem.
Does your business make or sell products that perpetuate a harmful stereotype?
Your instinct may be to say no, but take a closer look. It may not be as obviously problematic as a range of products for him and her branded in pink and blue.

I find my clients are often surprised that the language and imagery that they use on their websites or via social media doesn’t necessarily reflect how liberal and inclusive that they are. If your pictures feature families for examples, are they really reflective of our society which has mixed race couples, same gender couples, couples with age gaps, single parents or adoptive or foster parents?

People buy from people and if your pictures are not representative of your audience, then your promotions will be less effective than those which your audience can identify with. It works the same when you’re recruiting – saying you’re an equal opportunities employer is one thing, but if every picture on your website is of a white, able man in his thirties wearing a suit, then consider how this may subconsciously alienate women, people of colour, older people or those with disabilities.

It may not seem like a big deal (and it may even be due to limited resources on stock image sites rather than your own photography choices) but unless you promote your business using imagery and language that seeks to normalise and celebrate existing differences in gender, age, race, ability, sexuality, belief and socioeconomic status, you are contributing to the drip feed of information that collectively creates harmful climates such as everyday sexism, toxic masculinity and even rape culture.

Make a change.
Whether you discover that you need to stop perpetuating harmful stereotypes, stop advertising in publications which are funding hatred or whether you begin a mission to reduce the waste produced by your business, be the change you want to see in the world. And if you’re really not sure where to start, here’s a gift to you my essential reading list for the intersectional feminist. Or get in touch for a consultation.