Visual marketing: How the imagery you use can help you make more sales

By integrating the right imagery into your business’s web design, you can convey important information and elicit emotions that nudge your visitors toward converting. The result? More sales, and a bigger bottom line.

In this article, we’ll discuss actionable tips you can start using right away to turn your website into a sales machine through the strategic use of imagery.

Read on to find out more.

Showing the faces behind your business will build stronger connections with customers

The heart of any business is the people behind it, and showing them off on your website is an excellent way to remind visitors of the real people who make it all happen. Showing images of the faces at work behind your product or service helps to humanize your business, ensuring customers feel a stronger connection to you, driving up your sales. All else being equal, we all prefer to make purchases that feel like we are supporting others in some way rather than just supporting a faceless corporation.

Images are an effective tool for introducing your team to your customer base and giving your business a human touch. And there isn’t just one good way to do this; you can choose a technique that makes the most sense for your business.

For example, you might have an “about” or “team” page that visitors can check out to learn more about the people behind your company. Here’s a good example of how that could look.

An about page or team page gives visitors the chance to “meet” the people behind the business. This is particularly important for service-based businesses, including professional services such as law firms, because it builds trust with audiences. It’s much easier to trust a business when you can associate it with real people, rather than experiencing it only as a faceless corporation. The images are well-lit, and professional, which is very appropriate for a personal injury law firm, as clients expect professionalism from the attorneys representing them.

To make the images even more effective, Blumenshine Law Group pairs them with the staff member’s professional background and some personal information about their hobbies and interests. Consider doing the same on your about page: between images and some interesting personal trivia, it’s hard not to feel connected to the people behind your business.

Customers will aspire to own your products if they can imagine using them

If you can encourage your customers to visualize themselves using your products, they’ll be far more likely to purchase from you over the competition. Images are, of course, powerful visualization tools, so why not put them to work by ensuring they have the right effect on your website visitors?

A great way to do this is by using images of people enjoying whatever it is that your business offers. They might be using your product or looking pleased having just received a service that your business provides.

When choosing these images, there are a few useful tips you should keep in mind.

  • Instead of including images of aspirational models, use website imagery of real people that your customers are more likely to relate to.
  • Show a variety of demographics to ensure your different customer segments see themselves reflected in your brand’s imagery.
  • Include some user-generated content (UGC). When it comes to helping your customers images themselves using your products, you can’t beat images of real clients!

The best part of this type of imagery is that it doesn’t necessarily require a fancy, expensive studio setup. For example, take a look at this imagery used by Aura Systems.

Both the image on the computer screen and the visual clues around it make it clear that a young, hip customer would be right at home using their Aura camera or imaging system for chakra readings or even just as an artistic pursuit. It has the authentic feeling of a UGC image that a customer might have taken while using their product. To achieve the same effect, consider how your customers would engage with your product in real life, and try to capture that in an image.

Another way to help your customers imagine themselves using your product is by taking pictures in a “real” environment rather than against a studio background, as shown in these images from Shop The Mint.

The standard white background has become ubiquitous in eCommerce, so switching it up can help customers envision themselves using your product in real life. In this example, thanks to the real-looking outdoor backgrounds, shoppers can envision themselves wearing Shop The Mint’s dresses in their day-to-day lives. And, this might just be enough to push them toward a sale.

Finally, don’t hesitate to use real UGC on your website, like acne care brand Starface does.

By seeing people just like themselves using your product, customers will have no problem trusting that the items you offer can fit into their lifestyles. If you do this, take a cue from Starface and accompany UGC with a testimonial from the person in the image for added impact.

Choose imagery with the goal of stirring up the right emotions in your clients

Emotions are powerful drivers of behavior. If you can inspire a strong emotion in your website visitors, whether it’s joy, relief, FOMO, or something else appropriate, they are much more likely to be compelled to buy from you.

We all know the old adage that an image is worth a thousand words, and this definitely holds true when it comes to evoking emotions in your customers. Images offer an effective shortcut to an emotional response that would be difficult to achieve quickly with just copy.

Images that evoke an emotional response can include people looking joyful as they use your product, or worried because they have a problem that your product or service can solve. Whatever you choose, just make sure the emotion you’re evoking makes sense for your product. You don’t even necessarily need people in your images to stir up emotions.

For example, take a look at the images on the Chalet Owners homepage.

While their product may be luxury chalets, the images they use focus far less on the features of each chalet and more on the grandiosity of the surroundings. This evokes a feeling of coziness at the idea of having access to a chalet in such a magnificent setting, and of FOMO at the possibility of adventure that having such a property would confer. In other words, these images tap into the emotional desire that would make someone want to invest in a property in The Alps.

When it comes to your own website, ask yourself what emotions would drive someone to make a purchase, then brainstorm ways to evoke those very emotions through imagery.

For instance, home cleaning service provider Molly Maid takes another approach, showing how relaxed a senior customer might feel if they had someone to handle the cleaning for them.

This image would resonate emotionally both with a senior who identifies with the woman in the picture or with one of their children or caretakers who would like to see their loved one looking relaxed and happy knowing their home is being maintained.

If you have a service-based business, this is a particularly useful example to emulate. You could have a variety of images with different customer segments so that all of your target customers can see an image that will emotionally resonate with them.

Demonstrate exactly how your products or services work with imagery

People like to make informed purchases so, the more confident you make them feel in their knowledge about your product, the likelier they’ll be to convert. And, providing information through images reduces friction because customers don’t have to do research on their own or get in touch with you to get the details they need to make a decision. Imagery is an excellent way to show how your products or services work, helping you increase your sales.

There are many ways you can convey this information visually, such as:

  • Through product images
  • With GIFs or graphics that demonstrate how a service or software program works
  • With images of products in use
  • With explainer videos

If your business offers SaaS or some other digital product, animated graphics in particular offer a powerful way of conveying what it is exactly that your product does. Here’s a great example from SMS marketing platform Emotive.

As SMS marketing has become more commonplace, it’s essential for the company to convey what sets it apart from other providers in this space. In this case, these animated graphics that show exactly how the messages show up in customers’ inboxes convey far more than a description could. The GIFs enable prospective customers to instantly connect with the value that Emotive’s product provides.

If your product can be used in different ways, make sure to include photos that quickly convey this fact so that customers can have a solid understanding of the possible ways they can use it. For example, check out these images for the Lift-Bit modular sofa.

Since its main selling feature is that each section can be adjusted to different heights, it’s important that the images convey it being used in different ways with different adjustments, to show its versatility.

The same goes for any versatile product: the quickest, most effective way to convey this fact is through images that showcase the different applications it has.

Don’t neglect the opportunity to show off your company’s personality with imagery

A major part of what makes any brand stand out from its competition is its personality. The more cohesive and clearly communicated your brand personality is, the likelier it is to resonate with customers, and the more they will want to buy from you.

Don’t overlook the power of images to convey your brand’s personality. Every image on your site offers a chance to reinforce what makes your company unique. The right kind of imagery to convey personality will naturally vary from one company to the next. For example, a legal firm may want to convey professionalism and trustworthiness, while an all-inclusive holiday resort might want to convey luxury and opulence.

The first step to choosing the right images is to have a good grasp of your company’s personality, so take the time to go through this important brand-building step before sourcing or creating images. A good way to do this is by brainstorming adjectives that you want customers to associate with your business. Doing this as a team with your colleagues can generate lots of possibilities, and distilling your list down to the 3 most important terms will help you zero in on the most important characteristics you want to convey.

Next, identify images that you feel convey these adjectives. These can then inspire or guide the visuals that you choose for your website in the future.

For an example of a brand that uses imagery to reinforce its extremely distinctive personality, look no further than Liquid Death water.

Not too many water brands out there lean into a heavy metal aesthetic for their branding, so Liquid Death’s unique imagery makes it truly unforgettable. It’s playful and edgy, while still nodding to the traditional fresh mountain water imagery associated with its industry.

To pull this off, you have to be highly confident in your brand personality. If you are, then going bold with your imagery can pay off in plenty of conversions.

Another interesting example comes from Andy Dhillon CPA.

People don’t necessarily associate accountants with caring and understanding, but this image conveys this business’s personality as being more people-focused than is traditionally the case in the industry.

If there is some quality about your brand that distinguishes you from your competitors, that aspect of your brand personality should be at the forefront of your marketing imagery for maximum effect when it comes to conversions.

Wrapping things up

Whether you’re building a website or branded app for your business, the right imagery has the power to boost your conversions by tapping into the things your customers care about.

From humanizing your business and inviting customers to see themselves using your product to conveying product information and communicating your personality, images can cut to the chase and get the job done without the need for lengthy copy.

Author bio & headshot:

Adam Steele is the COO at Loganix, an SEO fulfillment partner for agencies and marketers. We build easy-to-use SEO services that help businesses scale. If you liked this article, please check out our SEO guides and templates on the Loganix blog.

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