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DO pictures speak a thousand words…?

Well, yes, it’s a claim that’s true enough. For example, an advert could carry paragraphs of enticing, professionally-written, effective text, but without a picture, it’s unlikely to have much impact on your audience.

Statistics show that if an image is placed alongside information, our brains absorb the overall message much better. If we take in wording alone, three days later, we remember just 10% of what was present. But paired with an image, we recall 65% – that’s a huge difference.

Test the theory…think of any advert or flyer, any online or offline promotion, that you’ve seen over the last few days. Can you recall the wording of the advert as clearly as the image/logo that was alongside it?

Before you run to your computer to create reams of image-led posts and adverts, there’s an important element you need to consider – copyright. It’s easy to forget or overlook, but simply searching on Google for an image to use isn’t a good idea. Technology makes it simple to copy and paste a picture, but just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.

It’s not just small business owners or individuals that overlook image copyright – some well-known, larger corporations have fallen foul of the law that protects image creators’ rights. Even President Trump was in bother over unauthorised use of an image that featured a bowl of Skittles.

When you consider the time taken by professional photographers to set up a shot, with the top-of-the-range equipment they’ve spent good money on, and any of the rights they’ve had to physically purchase from third parties to legally put the image together…no wonder they don’t think it’s fair that any Tom, Dick or Harry plonks the end results in their leaflets or on their social media for free.

Some people mistakenly believe that it’s okay to use an image, as long as they mention/credit the photographer/owner, but this isn’t correct and could see legal action taken against you. Naming the creator of the image isn’t the same as obtaining their permission. You’ve still used the image without asking. Though copyright law is complicated and lengthy, it doesn’t get simpler than that.

When using a third-party image, ask yourself: has the person who created the picture given you written permission that you can use it? Are there guidelines accompanying the image that clearly state the places/scenarios in which the image can freely be used?

No? Then don’t even go there.

When images are used without permission, it’s not necessarily a lack of knowledge that sees business owners fall foul. Some would quite happily ask for permission but run into problems when trying to identify WHO the image creator/owner actually is. At this stage, it may be tempting to think, “Well, I can’t see, or find out, who owns the rights to this photo, so as far as I’m concerned, it’s fair game…the owner will never know I’ve ‘borrowed’ it. When you consider the length and breadth of the internet, how will they ever drop on my post?!”

Perhaps you will get away with it. Maybe the person who created the image will never stumble across your post. Perhaps Google’s bots won’t highlight the link or image when they search for infringement of their property….but it’s a bit of a risk, isn’t it?

The thing is, there’s no need to use a photo without permission when there are so many sites, such as Gratisography, Pixabay and Stock Vault, sporting a great range of rights-free images.

You don’t even need to enlist a designer, either. Choose an image from any of the royalty-free outlets, then with the help of a free-to-use template site, like Canva, you can simply drop your text over the top of the image, or edit it, using a number of design applications and options. You don’t need to be a techno whizz to understand these template sites; they use simple ‘drag, drop and design’ software. Just take a look at what you could create.

BORDER COLLIE

The above was created for a client of our, for a series of Facebook adverts. The sign-up button was linked to a lead pages contact form, to help manage the offer.
Are you considering smart bins?

The image on the left was created as a blog image, that sat in the LinkedIn header and accompanied the tweet too. There’s so much we could write about this subject. The importance of imagery in your marketing, where best to use imagery – and how – are just some of the aspects we cover in our social media training. Think back to that statistic we quoted at the top of this post: you could increase your audience’s engagement by 55% as a result.

Whilst we could design and post-effective words and imagery on your behalf, we’re keen to show YOU how to create clever designs and effective imagery that make an impact. Mainly because no one knows your business as well as you do, but also because the best messages relate to something in real-time. Social media posts create the best stir when they’re surrounding an event, they centre on a trend/discussion, or they tie into a newsworthy incident, for example, had you related a marketing message to the winner of the Grand National, on Saturday, it will have some clout! If it was forced to wait a few days, however, for your designer to get round to it, the message would lose its meaning.

Find out more: call 01757 268370 and discover how we can help your business gain more traction and visibility. Or visit our website: www.thethinkingcap.co.uk. (All imagery used with permission!)

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