Advertisements only have a few seconds to grab an audience’s attention. Since the human brain can process images in as little as 13 milliseconds, advertisers and marketers are prompted to use pictures to build powerful creative for their brand. Images are a universal language that will help businesses take their message to a wider audience. Their purpose is to extend the conversation about a product or service rather than confuse the viewers.

The difference between a potential customer converting or not could be based on the image you choose for your content. While it’s true that a picture is worth a thousand words, they can also relate to users on an emotional level. In order to do this, images in advertisements must fit the audience’s current mental state, then guide them into a desired “after” state. If you’re not sure how to pick the best image for your digital content, follow these guidelines to increase your conversion rate and build your customer base.


Images are everywhere in today’s digital age. The ease and convenience of taking a picture has increased dramatically thanks to the availability of smartphones with cameras and social networks emphasizing visual elements, like Pinterest and Instagram. These platforms introduce an environment where text-laden posts will get lost in the abundance of concise visual content. So, where are the best places for a company’s strong to be seen?


Social media is a primary channel marketers utilize not only to drive traffic to their assets, but also to tell the brand’s story. According to Social Media Examiner’s 2018 industry report, 80% of marketers used visual images in their social media marketing in 2017. Social media updates with these visuals get far more likes, shares and retweets than those without. Even Facebook shares galleries of photos regularly on their page.


Your website pages need to have a consistent, dominant image that displays the desired “after” state that users will experience once they’ve used your product or service. Homepages especially need to demonstrate this message because it will most likely be the first thing a viewer sees when they enter a site. Companies want to draw visitors in to explore once they’ve landed on their page, and a powerful image will attract the right users. HelloFresh uses bright colors to display their fresh products and demonstrate to the buyer the kind of food they could have when they order from the meal kit company.


Just like your on homepage, advertisement images need to bring an audience to whatever action is asked of them. Knowing your audience’s pain points and challenges is crucial in this area. If you’re able to choose the right picture that pulls them from their current mental state to their desired “after” state, then you have a good chance of developing a strong relationship with that customers. This advertisement by Promo catches users’ attention (because who doesn’t love kids acting like adults) on Facebook, prompting them to click “See More” or even visit the video creation platform.


These images are basic necessities. Placed throughout the page, they represent the core of the written content. Simple, high-quality images related to the blog’s subject matter won’t take away from the text and will complement the message. Our blog, How Do I Engage Customers Online?, has multiple photos that complements the different tips throughout the story.


While infographics take time and effort, they can prove to be extremely effective for a marketing strategy. They contain valuable information that is presented in an engaging way, making it easy to share on social media platforms and are often posted by big media outlets. Infographics also work so that you don’t have to write any additional copy to support them. While some infographics are more intricate, like the one below from DigitalMarketer, you can create simple infographics with help from sites like Infogram.


There are many websites and media outlets to get stock images, but as you browse, make sure to choose images that look genuine, are appropriate for your audience and are not outdated. Don’t forget to look at the copyright licenses and attribution requirements as well. Some sites require that you attribute your source while other sites host photos that are not allowed to be used for commercial purposes. Here are several websites with free stock photos:

  • PhotoPin
  • Unsplash
  • Pixabay
  • FreeImages


In addition to telling a brand’s story, images on your website can boost your search engine optimization (SEO) rankings. Pictures can greatly improve your incoming traffic through SEO, but they tend to be overlooked in favor of text.

Before you upload your image, name it something descriptive and appropriate. For example, “Small red hat” is better than “IMG 4387.” Next, fill in the alt tags wherever you can by adding alt=“description of the image” to your image tag in the content management system. This simple description will quickly alert search engines to “understand” what’s happening in the image and potentially feature it in relevant image results.

In general, keep your images small in order to decrease the page load time, a significant factor for how your website will be ranked on search engines.