They Really Are Worth a Thousand Words

By Chris Ilcin, Account Superintendent, Sonnhalter

Use images on your website to de-clutter, increase SEO and tell a better story.

One of the biggest pitfalls in manufacturers’ websites (and trade shows, and product literature and more) is the overriding desire to SAY TOO MUCH.

And it’s easy to see why. Most manufacturing companies are led by Engineering or Sales. Both of these disciplines are highly verbal. You want to talk about how great a new process or product is in order to show the leap you’ve made in innovation. You want to make sure the customer has all the information in order to close the deal.

The problem becomes that marketing, and effective electronic communications, are becoming increasingly visual. Part of it is screen size. More than half of all internet use is by devices other than computers, the vast majority of which have screens smaller than a laptop. And some of it is just the pace and speed at which web browsers now expect information to be presented to them in the instant search era we live in.

So, it’s imperative to get your value proposition across in less time than it will take someone to hit the back button and open the next search result.

The solution? Replace the page of text with a picture, animated GIF or infographic.

And do it right by taking the following into account:

  • Use A Professional – Don’t skimp here. Your neighbor’s cousin isn’t the way to go. A pro in the studio or in the field will get you a better image, and make sure you communicate everything you want. Additionally, a good designer or retoucher can make sure that logos are legible, and that photos can still be used even if there’s a design change.
  • Use Alt-Text – The tag that’s placed on your photo in the web page layout is also utilized by search engines for natural search results. So 3 or 4 pictures on a page can do more to increase your search results than a page of text ever will.
  • Make it Move – Make a video of the product in use. Now use the video to make a step-by-step GIF of that process. With one short video, you’ve now made content that can be easily shared on your website, social media and in a nurturing campaign.
  • Boil It All Down – The best part of this process is that it will get your entire team thinking about and prioritizing the parts of the process or product that are of the most importance to the customer. Forget the 30 second “elevator pitch,” if you only had one image to sell it, what would it say?
  • Make it Cool – Just because it’s a widget doesn’t mean it can’t look great. What’s the coolest application it gets used in? That’s where you want to show it off.

Of course, a picture still can’t replace all you need to say about a product, and all that text still has important things to say. But for the initial contact, less is definitely more. Just make sure that part of that less is a defined call to action, so you can serve them the more.

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