Digital Marketing: 7 Rules to Make Your Images Absolutely Rock

digital marketing images that rock liberty digital

How do you want your company to be viewed online? Your image is everything–so be sure the images you use in any digital marketing campaign represent your company in the right way. Photos are one of the first elements people will see on your website, social media, Pay-Per-Click Ads, or blog. The images should catch the eye and entice the viewer to read what you have to say. We all know how many words a picture is worth, but the copy you use is still important in telling the story promised in the picture.

So how do you find that perfect picture? Since the mind processes images almost instantly, what catches your eye will most likely catch someone else’s. When searching for visuals to use in your project or ad campaign, keep the following seven rules in mind:

Negative Space

There’s something very positive about negative space in an image. Whether it’s a big clear sky or wide open field, the empty–or negative–space can simplify your image and provide a place to make the text and call-to-actions stand out.


People love to feel included and in the know. Clever use of negative space is rewarding to the viewer and makes the visual more likely to be remembered. Here are some excellent examples.

Rule of Thirds

When composing a picture, having an off-center subject creates balance and harmony in the image. This may go against the desire to make a subject the center of attention, but aligning the subject to the far left, right, top, or bottom of a frame–a third of the way from the edge–actually draws the eye to it instead of putting it smack in the middle, forcing the eye there (notice where the focal point–the red bow-tie–is in the above image). Choose images that follow this rule of thirds, and you may notice the negative space this could create as well–a photographic win win!

Actionable Tip

Try picking a “third” and using it as a focus for your entire campaign or website. For example, the image above is bottom heavy. The man and background are in the bottom half with the majority in the bottom third. This could be applied to all images of a campaign to really stand out.

Include People

Everyone loves to be included! Pictures of people make the image more relatable. Viewers will be more likely to engage with your digital marketing campaign if there are people in it because they can identify with the person. It can be one person on a mountain or a team working together, but be sure they reflect your target audience’s demographics so the viewer relates to the picture.

The Lesson:

Know your target audience and play to that audience.

Positive Emotion

When using people in your ad, have them show positive emotion to really boost the likelihood of viewers engaging. Laughter is contagious and a smile can start a conversation, so by including these types of emotions in your images, you can gain the same results.

Take Away

Effective ads are the ones that can be summed up in two words: emotional connection.

Provide Context

What exactly are you offering? You can use images to make this very clear in your digital marketing. People process visuals much faster than text, so by showing someone enjoying your product or service you can instantly convey the right message–and a positive one at that!

Key Statistic

Eye-tracking studies show internet readers pay close attention to information-carrying images. In fact, when the images are relevant, readers spend more time looking at the images than they do reading text on the page. (Source)

Complimentary Colors

The image should be visually appealing, and the colors in the image are key to making this happen. Colors can also help in creating a mood or deepening an emotion; for instance, blues are more calming while reds evoke more passion. Use a color wheel to help choose colors that naturally go together for a richer aesthetic that could increase the image value beyond those thousand words.

Actionable Tip

Facebook’s primary color is blue so try using warm colors–especially orange–to make your ads stand out.

Change it Up

Don’t become a victim of ad fatigue! People get bored after seeing the same visuals over and over again, so be sure to change them up to keep viewers interested. By changing colors, context, and people in your pictures, you will also be A/B testing to see what works and what doesn’t in your ad campaigns. This can only improve future ads, and help to draw more people to your business.

Actionable Tip

Take advantage of ad schedulers to rotate your ads to combat ad fatigue. It can be tempting to let Google or Facebook optimize them for clicks but this will only repeat the same ad to people many times. A/B test to find what works then make variants of that and rotate them.

Get the Picture?

Images play an important role in drawing in viewers, turning them into readers, and hopefully future customers of your business. By keeping these rules in mind, your next blog, social media post, or digital marketing campaign will benefit from the best image, and your company can then benefit from the right exposure.

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