When you’re reading through a magazine, newspaper or even scanning the Web, what elements make you stop and read?
Nearly everyone will say photos are the first element that catches their eye, and if these graphical elements are interesting, they start scanning the text around said photos.
A picture is worth 1,000 words, and when content marketing budgets are tight, good photos can be a cost-effective way to make a big impact. But a picture is totally worthless if it’s the wrong one. When your photo isn’t good, you’re just paying a lot of money for wasted space.
You usually have only one opportunity to capture those scanning eyes. A boring photo (product shot) won’t help to seize the reader’s attention. Nor does a photo of complete strangers posing and smiling at the camera. It is just a matter of seconds before a reader will turn the page or click on the “back” button.
One of my favorite examples of an impactful photo is this: 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 age-appropriate bedroom decorations. When coupled with the headline of “How to decorate a child’s room and love the results”, the article is sure to draw the attention of any parent with young children.
That is the value of 1,000 words. And when combined with an attention-grabbing headline that shares the same messaging as your image, you’ve increased the value of your content by attracting and holding a reader’s attention.