Blogging and social media marketing have changed drastically over the last few years. While blogging used to be all about the written word, 37 percent of marketers now claim that visual marketing is the single most important form of content for small businesses. One study has shown that blog posts that feature an image every 75 to 100 words get twice as many shares on social media as posts with no or very few images. Meanwhile, video makes up 74 percent of all online content, especially since people are often more likely to view content on smartphones and tablets than on a computer screen.
All of this isn’t meant to say that the written word is dead or irrelevant online. Blogging is still alive and well, and you only need to scroll through your Twitter or Facebook feed to know that text posts still outnumber photos and video. And yet, the statistics about images and video on blog posts can’t be ignored. Blogging has a strong visual component now, and if you want your posts to be shared across social media and show up on Google image searches, you need to know how to include images and videos whenever it’s appropriate to do so. Here are some tips that will help.
Stick to a Theme
While including images in your blog posts is a great idea, you can’t just throw a photo or video on the page at random. Whatever you choose should be in keeping with your blog’s theme. That doesn’t just mean finding photos that are relevant to your niche or content, either. Any image or video you choose should look like it belongs on your blog. The dominant colors should match the color scheme of your website, and it shouldn’t be large enough to dominate the screen. Custom images are usually better than stock images since they can be designed with your blog in mind, but stock images can still work if you choose the right ones or put a color overlay to match the rest of your site. Remember that the goal of using an image is to enhance your blog; you don’t want readers to be distracted by an image that doesn’t go with anything else that you have on the page.
Resize Your Images
Whenever you place an image on your blog, take the time to resize it. Many blogging platforms allow you to do this while you’re writing a post, but you can never assume that a photo will still look “right” on your blog just because you’ve shrunken it down. You could end up with a blurry image that ruins the aesthetic of your blog, or your site could be bogged down by photos that take up too much data. That will only increase the loading time of your blog, which will just drive away your more impatient readers. When you resize an image, always look at a preview to make sure it looks right on your blog, and compress larger images so they don’t take as long to load.
Space Your Images Out
Remember when we said that blog posts that feature an image every 75 to 100 words get twice as many shares as posts with few or no images? That also means that it’s possible to have too many images on a post. Any images that you post to your blog should be visual aids that enhance what you’ve written. If you include images too frequently, it could destroy the readability of your post, so go easy on the images.