The Value of 1,000 Words

The photo made you want to know more, and here I have you, hooked and reading further.

A picture is worth 1,000 words. In the world of print and, where paying thousands of dollars for 1,000 words can quickly deplete a marketing budget, the value of an image increases tremendously.

But a picture is totally worthless if it’s the wrong photo. Instead, you’re just paying a lot of money for wasted space.

What makes the perfect picture for print and online advertisements? Not product shots. I’ve seen a million bottles of pills on TV and in magazine ads. The pictures all blur together. So when I go to the store for a calcium supplement, every brand looks familiar to me, and the advertising dollars spent by all those companies are worthless. TV advertisers can get away with showing a product shot, because they have between 15 and 30 seconds to say the name of the product 20 times so it’s embedded both orally and visually.

When you’re advertising in print and online, you don’t get multiple images to try and grab readers before showing them what the product looks like. It’s a one shot deal before they turn the page or click on the back button.

You need to grab the reader’s attention. One of my favorite examples is a photo of a young girl, about 3-years old, dressed head to toe in pink. She`s pictured at the foot of her bed with a priceless smile on her face (there’s the 1,000 word value right there), obviously enjoying her surroundings of tasteful, yet young-girl appropriate bedroom decorations. When coupled with the headline of “How to decorate a child’s room and love the results,” the article – and enclosed company name mentions – is a hit for any parent with young children.

If you’re looking to advertise in magazines, newspapers and online, rethink the next photo shoot you schedule. Add people into the photo. Focus on the action. If they can make the photo look like they enjoy using the product or service, then readers will be able to do the exact same thing.

That is the value of 1,000 words.

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