Here are three key insights that you should know to optimize your image marketing.
For content marketers looking to build link relationships and increase awareness, virality is often the Holy Grail.
Unfortunately, virality can be challenging to predict.
It’s often up to us to trust our intuitions about which shot is best.
New tools allow us to understand virality via bulk programmatic analysis better.
So I used Google’s Vision API to search for hidden trends in images that were viral on Reddit. These are images that appeared on the first two pages in r/pics over the last two years.
What’s the Most Commonly Featured in Viral Photos on Reddit
Google Vision API with labels returned 6,738 images. Many of these images had multiple brands.
This stacked bar chart displays the overall frequency for detected labels.
- Outdoor/scenic shots appear to be significantly overrepresented. Categories like Sky, Trees, Plants, and Water are all included in the Top 10. Natureporn is real.
- Photography should never be overlooked. It is an art form that people appreciate.
- This breakdown shows solid support for text-based images.
- Both “smiley” and “fun” appear in the same sentence, suggesting that positive content is becoming more popular.
These observations alone aren’t enough.
We must also understand how they can be used to optimize our image-based advertising.
What does this mean to marketers?
Although this is an overview of the commonalities between many viral images, there are still some essential insights that content marketers should consider.
Insight 1: Show Rather Than Tell
This is one of your first rules when you start writing. Don’t write, “The boy is angry.” Write, “The boys pounded their fists on the table.” Let me know what’s happening.
Even though excellent writing can paint vivid images, sometimes the best thing is a photograph.
Try to describe the beauty and colors of the night sky, such as the stars and shades. Perhaps you can even get close to the image that you desire.
You could also demonstrate this to them.
This image is still difficult to describe with words. It’s the time when a photo should be used.
But some of you might be thinking, yes, beautiful images will always look great, but I work within an industry that isn’t necessarily conducive to aesthetics.
Sometimes viral photography isn’t beautiful. Sometimes it tells an exciting story or answers a question.
This photo is also trendy on Reddit. You can see why. Reddit thread title: “My entire life lies” because the poster did not know stamped concrete was possible.
The photo shows how structures can be created without the use of brick. This was shocking to thousands. This is not a step-by, complicated explanation. The interesting truth.
Look at how you can answer questions in your industry. Ask yourself, “What are the interesting truths?”
Insight 2; Think Positively When You Decide on Images
People want to consume content that makes people happy.
This might sound like an obvious statement, but brands highlight harmful elements to create buzz and emotions.
Although this can be a success, the inclusion of both “Smile” and “Fun” in the labels of the viral images shows that positivity can also be as effective, if perhaps more.
This confirms a 2013 study that showed that positive emotions were the most prevalent emotions in the year’s most viral photos.
This is an example – The image instantly evokes pride, accomplishment, and relief. It is hard not to like photos like these that tell a story and communicate positive emotions.
For a more powerful result, think about the emotions that are included in the content. Then consider how photography can help you to illustrate them.
Insight3: Create Text-Based Photos for Shareable Wins Quickly
This may seem contradictory to Insight 1, but it is true. There are better-illustrated concepts than written, and there are also concepts that are easier to understand in writing.
Sometimes people stumble upon a bit of writing they are passionate about, and they want it to be shared with others. To do this, the easiest way (and I’m getting meta) is to take pictures of it.
Pictures of text are everywhere on the Internet. They’re little bits of wisdom or humor that people want everyone to see.
This type of image works incredibly well on social media. As people attempt to spread messages across multiple platforms, even screenshots of tweets work well.
This is what it means?
Choose the most compelling bits of text that you feel are important to include in your content and create images.
They can amplify messages in text-heavy pieces of content or can help you distribute your message on other platforms.
Stock photos are often the best option for budget-minded brands. Don’t get me wrong, Unsplash is terrific and can help you create beautiful content for a fraction of the cost.
You can still create something unique if you are able.
You will be able to rank higher in Google Images. This also means that your image or illustration can be shared with your audience.