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Photofoto Blog 5A photo can be a digital footprint that can drive traffic and set you up as an expert in your chosen niche.

Blogs, websites, social media sites, sales letters, newsletters and a host of other ways exist for you to effectively use stock photography in your online business.

Many sites like Facebook and the RSS readers such as Flipboard use the images within our posts and that can be an important way to drive traffic and create our particular brands. Using stock photos for your online image needs can bring creativity to your design and a professional way of setting up your site, blog page or anything else you may have to do online. Now that you know the legal and professionals ins and outs of using and choosing stock photography, it’s time to learn how to use the images effectively in your online business.

This post will show you how to use the many and varied free and copyrighted images in all areas of Internet marketing.

 

 

Using Photos for Your Website

Using photos when building your websites can blow away the competition if you choose the images wisely and place them effectively on the page. Most professional website designers know how to use images in creating an eye­catching website, but if you’re attempting to build your own site, there are a few things you need to know about choosing and using them.

It’s so easy now to embed an image in a website – and many marketers use too many photos and images which make their site look confusing and cluttered. More isn’t best in this case – but good quality and relevant material is.

Jakob Nielsen, a popular and highly successful web designer says, “Users pay close attention to photos and other images that contain relevant information, but ignore fluffy pictures used to “jazz up” web pages.”

Also, keep in mind that first­time visitors to your site are immediately turned off if the page is cluttered with senseless images and especially if it affects the flow of reading.

Using images effectively for the design of your website should include the following basic fundamentals:

● Creates Interest – If the image has emotional appeal (makes the viewer want it), has brand interest (the photo successfully fits your brand) and rational appeal (shows the advantages of the product), it’s likely a good one for your site.

● Sends the proper message – If your image doesn’t send the message you want to convey to your readers, it’s likely not the one you should use.

● Quality of the image – The chosen image should be the correct size, composition, exposure and quality that you need for your site. If it takes away from the rest of your page, the image is likely not the one you should use.

● Creates the desired user response – Your image should help make the viewer relate to your product (or you) enough that he or she wants to purchase it.

The more detail the product images have, the better results will be. Details are the key here so that people will know exactly what they’re getting and won’t be turned off when the product they receive varies a bit from the one shown in the photo.

Don’t simply decorate your web pages with photos. Be sure they’re relevant to the subject matter and that it tells a story rather than just taking up room on the page.

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Using Images for Your Blog

Studies indicate that pictures or images of real people are considered important to the viewer and the brain automatically chooses to study rather than ignore them.

A blog is somewhat personal, and as such should definitely feature a photo or caricature of yourself. It helps the reader or participant to bond with you and to trust what you’re saying.

If your blog site is about your company or product, using other images that you might be able to find in stock photos is also an advantage to your blog site. The personal touch to making a blog site stand out goes a long way in making an otherwise bland and boring blog into one that people can relate to.

When you do decide to use your own photo or photos of people in your company or product, be sure to hire a professional photographer if you can. The cost will be well worth the extra quality you get from the photos.

As with your website, don’t use “filler” images for the design of your blog. Non­relevant photos do the same for the blog as they do for a website – absolutely nothing.

When studies were made of various websites, they used “heat zones” to tell where the eye of the viewer went to first and where they lingered. The heat zones appeared red and then went to orange, yellow and so on in regards to how long the eye stayed on the subject.

When images that were relevant to the blog site or website were used in the design, the red clearly showed that the images were the first thing the viewer noticed. Otherwise the work you went to in choosing and placing the images was just a waste of space.

 

Using Images for Your Newsletter and Email Campaigns

Using images to send out to the world in your newsletter and email campaigns is one of the best ways to advertise your product or service. Images can even be turned into ‘buttons’ that the recipient can click on to order a product/service or to illustrate the nature of what you have to offer.

You may have thought that you would need a graphic designer to add buttons to the images and to place them correctly, but today there are plenty of ways that you can learn to do it yourself – quickly and easily.

And, you’ll be ahead of the game because many marketers don’t know how or haven’t caught on to the fact that images are a great way to promote a site or product – or how to utilize them to their best advantage.

After you’ve paid for photos or taken time and effort to choose just the right ones, you’ll want to use them to your maximum advantage. Using them in a newsletter or email can turn them from boring and textual to an eye­catching professional one that will keep the viewers on the page.

Photos can also be used as “teasers’ in your emails and newsletters to let the

viewer know what the text is going to be about – and, if the photo is interesting, you’ll keep your reader interested in what the text is going to say.

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Using Images on Social Media Sites

The modern use of images on social networking sites is moving so rapidly that it’s difficult to keep up with the technology. Social media sites are no longer just a place to exchange photos of children and puppies, but have progressed to the point of

being able to successfully brand your name or product and drive traffic to your websites.

Social media innovation has gone to mobile­based communication, allowing you to reach millions rather than thousands of people at once – and all over the world.

If you look on the most popular social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn, you’ll see that photos are likely the main part of the communication process.

Lately, a new algorithm has appeared in the rapidly expanding technology of using photos. It vastly improves the process of searching through volumes of photos based on the tags available in photos that are now posted to social networking sites.

The potential of this new algorithm could be used for mapping. As of now, the algorithm only uses the tag information on the photo, but later will likely move to using color, facial or pixel technology.

By tagging and choosing professional and eye­catching images on social media sites to promote yourself or your product/service, you could be reaching thousands more people than you are right now.

 

Using Images within Your Sales Letters

Sales letters can come alive when you use a little creativity with images. Just as in email and newsletter campaigns, sales letters need some oomph to make the visitors to the sales letter stay and read about what you have to offer.

That doesn’t mean that you can choose any old image that you get from available stock photos. But, it does mean that you should have professional photos of anything you choose to further enhance the importance of this important sales tool.

When you place only a couple of prime images within your sales letter, it can turn into many more dollars in sales. Not only are images eye­catching, but they can also convey your honesty.

Purchasing a product online takes a different mindset than purchasing from a store in your neighborhood. When you’re proud enough of your product or service to place images that they can relate to, that mindset can change to one that makes them trust you and want to form a business relationship with you.

As with other uses of images, you need to be sure that any you include in your sales copy reflects and complements the text – adding to the sales message rather than taking away from it.

For example, you don’t want to use an image of two people shaking hands if you have a product such as essential oils. The images have to relate to the product or service and not be placed simply for decoration.

According to expert Internet marketers who create highly successful sales letters, there are three images that should be included in your letter:

1. A photo of you – Rather than being presumptuous, placing a photo of yourself in a sales letter tends to send the message that you stand behind your product or service and that it’s so good that you’re willing to personalize it by putting yourself out there.

2. Images of customers – Testimonials are often used within successful sales letters, and there’s no better way to make them stand out than to include photos of the customers who wrote the testimonials.

Photos of satisfied customers restate the fact that the testimonials are true and not fake photos that you’ve thrown in for good measure. It can make you more trusted and the customers will feel more at ease.

It’s simple to collect photos – simple ask for a photo you can use when the customer leaves a testimonial. The quality doesn’t matter as much as the fact that future readers of the letter will know that others trust to purchase from you.

3. Product photo – The most important photo on your sales page, the product photo can make or break your sales letter. It’s the photo that can close the sale or make the reader turn away.

When you’re trying to sell to people who are used to being able to touch the product in a store, selling online can be an obstacle you’ll need to overcome – and a photo can make all the difference.

If you’re selling a service, a photo is still important because the photo should reflect your integrity and can make the recipient of the letter more comfortable with the service they’re buying.

The key to using images in sales copy or letters is to make it as desirable as possible. Screenshots, diagrams and other images can also be used to spiff up your sales copy and make it more eye­catching.

Just remember that your sales letter reflects who you are. Each pixel on the screen of the sales page is important and will portray the true impression that visitors will have of you.

 

Bells and Whistles that Will Make Your Photos Sing

Photoshop editing tools and other means of enhancing your images are all available online – some cost and others are free to download. If you’re not already tweaking images to make them better fit the content for your online business, you need to

know how to get the most mileage out of the photos you purchase or choose from the many online sites.

Photoshop – With Photoshop software you can add features to your images such as masks, transparency, layers, effects and layer styles. One of the reasons that so many marketers are enamored with Photoshop is that it’s part of Creative Cloud, so you have access to the latest updates as soon as they appear.

Any snapshot or image that you download from one of the many royalty­free sites can give you plenty of options to fix and enhance the image with Photoshop’s Express Editor.

Layer your photos with Adobe Camera Raw 8 by fixing images that may be blurred or distorted in some way and create vignettes that are perfect for use on a website or newsletter.

Also, use Photoshop’s 3D painting feature that is much more responsive when painting on images or maps. 3D images can add depth and interest to any type of marketing campaign you choose.

There are so many more excellent features that Photoshop offers – and you can get a free trial to see how easy it is to use and see all the ways you can use it in your own marketing pursuits.

Constant Contact Email Marketing – Email marketing may be just what your online business needs to give it the jump start to true success. It works because it’s at the exact place that your customers check on a constant basis.

You can get instant results with the images you use in your email messages over catalogs and other methods of advertising. Emails are so much more personal than anything else you might use.

When you sign up for Constant Contact Email Marketing, you’ll also have access to PicMonkey, an image editing feature that can help you easily add the buttons, logos and any other images you choose to use.

 

See how easy it is to use images to add images and enhance them with buttons:

1. Upload the image you want to use.

2. Click on “customize” and then add the URL of the image you uploaded.

3. Log onto the PicMonkey feature and click on “Edit.”

4. Choose a font that’s amenable to the image you chose.

5. Change the image as you like.

6. Change the image into a “button” if you want so that it really stands out in your email.

Play with the PicMonkey tools and see how you can make an image into a magical happening on your website, sales page or newsletter.

There are many other bells and whistles that can enhance and make your online content sing. Find out all you can about various software and free downloadable applications that you can easily learn and use to take your online business to the next level.

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Melbourne, Australia
+61 1 800 011 265

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