Images are a powerful part of your messaging but you need to choose wisely.

Adding pictures to your email newsletter, blog posts, web pages, and even your Facebook posts is a powerful marketing technique. A great photo will help draw people into your article, explain your message, and sometimes even evoke an emotional response. There are three general types of imagery you can use in your marketing 1) Custom or real imagery (best choice), 2) Stock Photography, 3) Clip art (avoid at all costs).overused-stock-art-guy

Stock images are seen everywhere. But are they good to use? Yes and no. We love them because they are readily available, professional-looking, and inexpensive. Unfortunately, the best photos, and the best looking models, tend to be overused. For example, have you met the most amazing man on the planet? I’m sure you have seen his photo…he is a successful tax accountant, business manager, AND a doctor. I call him Mr. Talented.

One research study showed custom imagery and photos of “real people”, not models, tend to out-perform the stock photos by 95%. Why? Because busy writers often choose stock images that are unrelated to the content. If you choose to use stock photography take care to choose meaningful photos.

clipart-law-scalesClip art, or dumb-dumb art as I like to call it, is the least effective form of imagery you can use. Most of it looks dated and overly simplistic to the point that it has the undesirable effect of inferring that simplicity to your message. For example, how would you feel about an attorney who uses this popular clip art image of legal scales in their marketing materials? Do you get an immediate impression of “Smart & Successful”? Probably not. You are more likely to think, at least subconsciously, “This guy may not be bright enough to handle my legal matters…and he probably wears a wrinkled suit.”