How to Use Visual Content In Your Marketing Campaigns

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Did you know human brains can process an image 60,000 times faster than text?

One of the most powerful ways to market your fitness business is to use compelling images.

A powerful and unique image can stop you dead in your tracks and make you take notice.

Over 90% of information that comes to the brain is visual. 

Another study found that after being exposed to information, the participant only retained 10-20% of textual communication.

But, they retained more than 65% of visual communication.

Our brain can process images a lot faster than text.

You can see for yourself below:

visual

We are visual creatures.

And, the fitness industry is the perfect avenue for good imagery.

Many times it is a lot easier to show a client something over an image/video than providing a textual conversation.

It can be confusing to know what type of images work best for your website and social media networks. 

There a lot of different dimensions and rules you need to follow.

In this post, I’ll provide you with a guide on what type of images work best and how to use them in social media.

What Type of Images Work Best?

High-quality ones – But you already knew that.

No matter how many different types of images are out there, we are most attracted to images of the human body.

According to several studies, attractive people seem more trustworthy and friendly.

Women like seeing images of women and men like seeing images of men.

A good rule of thumb is to use images of people that are attainable but not god-like.

The best images are high quality pictures of your clients and your gym. 

Groups of smiling and happy people work best – Make sure they are not regular stock images.

Pictures of your people in your gym work the best as people want to see real pictures.

Here’s one example:

Hire a photographer. 

If you want to do this right, hire a photographer to take pictures.

These pictures should include your gym, your clients and of you training or and leading bootcamps. 

It’s a worthy investment that will easily pay off once you’ve used them in your campaigns.

You can use the same images across your social media networks and all your local listings.

Once you have the images there are a few tools you can use to help you re-size, add illustrations and graphics that will make your image stand out.

Canva

Canva is a software tool that can make any amateur look like a professional graphic designer.

It’s free and easy to use.

Here are some steps to help you get started:

  • Go to the Canva homepage and sign up. You can use your email or sign up with your Facebook account.

canva

  • Once you’ve signed, up you’re given 3 choices. I always choose personal.

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  • After you have logged in, a 23-second tutorial pops up that shows you how to use Canva. Yes, it only takes 23 seconds to learn!

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You can use Canva to design social media posts, documents, blogs , eBooks, info-graphics, events, and ads.

It’s very easy to use and will save you a lot of money if you don’t want to hire a graphic designer.

Skitch

Skitch is a screen capture tool that you can use to take screenshots, make annotations, and add shapes to your images.

I use it to take screenshots. I’m a big fan of taking screenshots…

They help me illustrate my points better.

You can download it here – It’s free to use and you can download the images directly onto Evernote.

Instaquote

If you like adding quotes to your images on Instagram, this is a great app that you can use.

It helps you to add another layer to the picture, as long as it fits, it can be very effective.

Buffer Pablo

I’m a huge fan of Buffer.

It’s an awesome social media dashboard that I always recommend.

If you have an account with Buffer, you can use Buffer Pablo to share beautiful images with inspirational quotes.

Buffer recently introduced Pablo 2.0 which now allows you share all the best ideal image sizes across all the social media channels including Instagram.

After testing over 550,000 images across the networks, Buffer found the ideal images for each network below:

buffer image

What are the best images for your site?

According to Dimensional Research, over 90% of purchases online are influenced by customer testimonials.

Before and after images are a visual representation of a testimonial.

They have been around for decades for a reason – They work.

You should have a results/testimonial page on your site that showcases before and after images of your clients.

It should be prominently displayed on your homepage. 

A great example is from Andy Morgan’s results page below:

results

Another great example is from Josh Carter’s testimonial page:

results 2

You notice the difference a lot more with the arrow.

You will also notice that the images are different shades.

The before image has less color while the after image has more color.

Facebook – Images & Dimensions

There a different set of rules for your Facebook page and for Facebook Ads.

The images for a Facebook Ad have to fit certain dimensions and can’t promote an “ideal body image.”

Here are some basic guidelines for images for a Facebook Ad:

  • Single image ad must be 1200x 628 px.  
  • Carousel image ad must be 600 x 600 px. 
  • Can’t promote an ideal body image. This is a murky definition, but basically it means you can’t have images. of flat stomachs or muscles without showing the person’s face.
  • No sexual images.

You should read Facebook’s advertising guidelines here to get a complete understand of the rules.

For your Facebook page, they are a lot more lenient.

You can use before/after images on your Facebook page.

There is an info-graphic at the bottom that shows the correct dimensions of every social network.

What type of images work best on Facebook?

The best images are high-quality images of your gym and images of groups of smiling people.

Women like seeing women and men like seeing men.

Instagram – Images & Dimensions 

Instagram’s simplicity is what makes it unique. It’s only images and videos.

Instagram users have the highest engagement of any social network.

This means that your image/video is more likely to be seen on Instagram more than on any other type of network. 

Some useful guidelines that will help you with Instagram are:

  • Videos of you teaching a simple exercise routine will work really well.
  • Before/after images.
  • Use Instaquote to post inspirational quotes on your images.
  • Use local hashtags to generate local leads.

I haven’t tested Instagram Ads yet, but I know they will be awesome.

Twitter – Images & Dimensions 

According to Digitial Information World images on Twitter get the following:

  • 18% more “click-thrus”.
  • 89% percent more favorites.
  • 150% more Re-tweets. 

twitter

Twitter is moving towards being a more visual platform. 

The dimensions for Twitter are the following:

  • 1500 x 500 px for the background cover photo.
  • 200 x 200 px for the profile image.
  • 1024 x 512 px for share images. 

I recommend you use lots of images on Twitter as they produce results.

Pinterest

Pinterest is another social platform website that is used for categorizing and sharing images online.

It’s extremely visual and a great way that you can use it is by doing something called crowd-sourcing.

This usually involves getting customers to take pictures of themselves with your products.

This is done in return of a shout out to the people in the pictures by posting them on your page. 

A couple of pictures every now and then of people in your gym can be very effective.

It shows potential customers that people enjoy using the facilities at your gym.

Remember: It doesn’t need to be a physical product. A picture of a client working out with your you or taking part in a bootcamp is your product. It’s your service. It’s actually the same concept.

As mentioned, Pinterest is an extremely visual social media platform… but what separates it from Instagram?

With Pinterest, you can essentially “share” posts by pinning them to your wall. Instagram does not have this feature.

Potentially the biggest difference with Pinterest vs most other social media platforms out there to date is the mindset of people while on the social media site. With Instagram people tend to “mindlessly” scroll through content, double tapping most of the time and now and again, leaving a comment with the feel strongly about something.

On the other hand, with Pinterest, people are thinking more. They are also in a much more likely position to buy or purchase. With the vast array of long infographics, people are inclined to read visually appealing text and are, in general, more focused and less “mindless” with it.

If you can capture attention with, at first a visually appealing image, people are often in the buying mindset already.

What does that mean?…

It means it’s the perfect time to advertise your product / service!

Linkedin

The profile image is the most important part of your Linkedin account.

Your image should be professional and look like you.

I recommend you have a professional photographer use a head-shot for your profile picture. 

Here are some guidelines for a good profile image.

  • Use a solid dark color as a background.
  • Dress like what you would wear to work. If you dress in sweatpants then you should overdress a little to make sure look more professional.
  • Smile with your eyes. Your image should exude how approachable you are – which should be very. 

Blog Posts – Images & Dimensions

If you blog on a consistent basis then you should always add lots of images to your blog posts.

Images are a great way to help you illustrate your points.

Unfortunately, most of your website users won’t read your entire blog posts.

Instead, they will most likely scan so make it easy for them by adding relevant images to each section.

A good rule of thumb is to use an image for every 300 words.

This will help break up the content and make it easier to scan.

Conclusion

People are visual creatures – We remember images much more than text.

It’s also a lot easier to make your points with images.

Make it easier for your audience by including lots of images on your social media channels.

What type of images do you use on your social media networks? 

Let me know below and take a look at this info-graphic from Canva that shows the correct dimensions for each network.

infographic

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