We all make mistakes. Duh. But when we're on the marketing playing field, we try to minimize the number of fouls the best we can. But, when they happen, we suck it up, apologize, and move on.
Technology company AppSumo recently had to apologize for sending out an email that included a distasteful joke about Michael J. Fox and Parkinson's Disease. Not cool, Appsumo. Fortunately they recognized the impropriety and sent out an apology email.
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Today, we'll talk about some marketing mistakes that carry a little less weight, but are still ones you want to avoid. Let's focus in on the proper use of visuals.
5 Ways to Avoid Disasters in Your B2B Content
Let's dive right in and see how to make your B2B content even better (and disaster-free).
1. Use Visuals
Seems pretty basic, right? We all like to see images, infographics, videos, and slides rather than a giant block of text. In fact, according to Internet marketer Jeff Bullas:
Blog posts with images get 94% more traffic than those without.
Need a few reputable sources? Here are some of my favorites:
1. Unsplash -- images are free, available for commercial use, and you don't have to attribute them to anyone as they do not hold a copyright. These high-resolution photos are stunning and crisp. One drawback, however. They're not categorized very efficiently. Plus, I wonder who thought it was artistic to watch TV by the ocean.
That aside, Unsplash offers some absolutely beautiful images, such as this one:
2. Pixabay -- Again, this is free. However, sometimes the choices are less than visually stimulating. But if you're looking for some basic stock photos, this is your place.
3. Pexels -- This is another high-quality, free stock photo site.
4. Canva -- This is our go-to design tool for blog post images and other simple graphics here at Marx Communications. The benefit of using its stock images is that you can see exactly how they will look in your visual before buy. And if you do decide to purchase, images are only $1. A comprehensive tutorial on using Canva can be found here.
5. Pikwizard -- This site boasts a library of 1 million stock photos (and videos!), with new ones added daily. Included in this bunch are quite a number of photos of people, which can at times be hard to find. Their Design Wizard tool also makes it easy to edit photos within their site before you download them for use in your content.
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2. Use Correct Attribution
Most of the free sites above allow you to use images without attribution. However, should the urge come over you to snag a photo from your Google search, do everything to squash it.
Fines for using images that don't belong to you can be in the thousands. It's a lot cheaper to buy an image for a few bucks, or to just find one that's royalty free.
If you do venture onto a site like Flickr and decide to use one of the images there, make sure you provide proper attribution to the artist.
3. Use Tasteful and REAL Images
You don't have to search high and low to get some truly awful stock images. Just for kicks and giggles, take a look at this one:
The eighties big hair, shoulder pads, crazy colors. Yikes! What else can we discover when we search for the term "teamwork":
They actually look like real people doing work!
The point is:
Don't grab just any image because it meets your description. Take the time to search out images that are enticing, brand appropriate, and will enhance your content.
4. Use Alt Text
When you add your image, include the alt text. By default, this is often the file name of your image. However, you'll want to change this. Why?
The alt text appears when someone Pins your image. Let's say someone reads your blog post, and they want to save it to their Pinterest board by pinning the image. The alt text is what appears as the description for your image on Pinterest. Clearly, you don't want your audience to have to recognize your article by the words "man_at_computer."
The alt text also appears when the image doesn't render properly, allowing the viewer to see what the image is all about.
In addition, including your keywords in your alt text gives search engines one more place to crawl and identify the the context of your post.
5. Include Some Text and Your Logo on the Image
Stand-alone pics are a little ho-hum. Plus, they don't make for great social sharing. Add some context to your image by overlaying some text, such as the title of your blog post, or a quote.
Canva's Ultimate Guide to Font Pairing will help you to put together fonts that will make your image stand out even more.
Make sure to brand your image by including your logo.
You can avoid content disaster by following these five tips. I look forward to seeing your masterpieces out on the field!