Using Enhanced Images to Engage Your Followers

Monday, August 01, 2011

How Will Images Help You Engage Your Followers?

Do you remember when you were a kid and all of your favorite books had pictures in them?  Someone else read to you and you looked at the pictures.  Magazines, catalogues, newspapers, and all other forms of written material were never attractive to you unless there were pictures.  I even remember always begging my mother to let me look at the pictures while I was being read to, but I always had to wait until the end of the page when she turned the book around to show me.

The concept is essentially the same.  Things are a lot more fun to read when you have something visual, tangible, to go along with it.  Think about it.  Even now, would you rather read some report that was long and tedious and had nothing but text or an equally long article with color and visuals popping out at you?  

Images are everywhere and can be used all over the place - on your website and social media pages (could you imagine those without pictures? Boring!), and even your blogs.  In an article I found online, Why Images are Vital to Modern Blogs,” by Adam Singer, he drives home the importance of including images in your blogs to keep your readers interested…is it working?


Enhancing Effects

Effects are a great way of getting your pictures to really pop.  People are more likely to look at a picture with pizzazz than one that they could take just as well.  There are all sorts of programs and apps available to you if you choose this route.  And for all you Mac users out there, you may find photography apps online.  And remember: be creative!

iPhoneography

We have all had those moments while we were out and about and in a situation where we said, “I wish I had my camera!”  Well, for those who have an iPhone, not only does it allow you to never miss that Kodak moment, but there are apps you can download to really jazz up your photos—on the go, anytime, anywhere.  Iphoneography has become quite the big deal, from amateur photographers to professionals.  In the articleExplore the Art of iPhoneography: A Three Step Guide to Get You Started,” photographer Stephanie C. Roberts tells us how to get the most out of our iPhones from a photographer’s stance, and what apps to use to really make your photos unique. Just as a writer might jot spontaneous thoughts in a journal or an artist might draw loose marks in a sketchbook, making images with your iPhone can help you craft compositions in a more organic way, hone your instincts to anticipate magic moments, loosen up your traditional approach to photography and illuminate a path toward defining your unique vision.”
 

Hipstamatic

Hipstamatic is one of those amazing iPhone apps that can really help you add life to your photographs.  Stephanie Roberts uses it herself saying, “Hipstamatic mimics the unique style of vintage prints characterized by vignettes, blurring, textured edges and oversaturated colors created with the original analog plastic camera. Using a square-format viewfinder, the app lets you switch ‘lenses,’ ‘flash’ and ‘film’ with the swipe of a finger. I often shoot with Hipstamatic because I like composing images in the square-format viewfinder and I like the creative constraint of choosing the ‘film’ and ‘lens’ before I shoot.”

If you are looking for more details on Hipstamatic and how you can use it, Rick Brooks from Flyte talks about it, and other fun apps, in this informative video.

Lights, Camera, Action!

And why stop with just pictures?  Think bigger and more engaging, and throw some short films into the mix!  You can put them on your site, social media pages, and blogs.  They can be anything from testimonials to creative short ads shot by you, or even your customers.  Animoto is a great tool that helps you take you stills, clips and music and make a little movie out of them.

Creating That Experience

In the end, it is all about the user’s experience on your site/blog/page, and images can help enhance that experience.  But you really must be creative with the images you use, whether you find them or create them/have someone create them for you.  They need to be aesthetically pleasing to stick out in the user’s memory, and thus have your page stick out as well.  Think of some of your favorite photographs.  What about them appeals to you? What exactly about that picture makes it better than the others? 

Color, contrast, unique lines, and captivating subjects are just some components of memorable and engaging images.  Connie Malamed writes about research on processing fluency, which “influences a viewer’s affective response to a work.”  In her post, How to Improve the Appeal of Your Graphicsshe talks about how processing fluency affects aesthetic experiences, and lists four features that help to promote the fluency (thus creating a more positive reaction for the viewer): “Symmetry (vertical symmetry in particular), High figure-ground contrast, Visual clarity, Less information rather than more”.

Now you know how to engage your followers with your images, how to use them, how to play with them, and how to make them more aesthetically pleasing to the viewer.  So I challenge you to take these tips and implement them. Also, let me know what you think.  Questions, comments, anything, just let me know!

DJ Heckes, CEO & Author
Full BRAIN Marketing
www.exhib-it.com
Full BRAIN Marketing
www.fullbrainmarketing.com

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