Text On Images Bring Your Online Content to Life
BY: DAVID LEONHARDT ON MONDAY, JANUARY 26, 2015
Something exciting is happening with business communications over the Internet these days.There is a growing convergence of text and images. If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a picture with three words on it is worth 3000 words.
I won’t get into the mechanics of it – this is not a tutorial – but I would like to review three different approaches to image-text (or text-images, if you prefer) and look at how you might choose one or more approaches for your website or blog.
The three approaches we will look at are:
- Image titles
- Infographic summaries
- Message mini-posters
Over the years, I have seen a few blogs use this approach and occasionally even a print publication will do this.Very simply, instead of big, bold text letters, you can replace an article’s title with an image that includes the title text as part of the image.
Gail Gardner was doing this for a while on her GrowMap blog, but I noticed that she had stopped.I wondered why she was no longer using image titles, so I asked her.She responded that, “People may get bored with every post having the same type of image, so I only do it on important posts I want to promote heavily.” It turns out she still uses them, but only for special occasions (sort of like decorating your store or restaurant for Christmas).
She also told me that title banner images tend to increase the attention her posts get on Pinterest, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. But even when she does not use the image title banners, she always includes at least one image or video in every post.You need some visual stimulus to keep readers interested.
Infographics have become very popular in recent years. Infographics are not new, having been featured in newspapers for decades. But there is only one person I know who uses Infographics to illustrate – and summarize – almost every post.
Pauline Cabrera's TwelveSkip blog features generally three kinds of posts: reviews, collaborative expert roundups and how-to advice posts related to blogging and marketing online.If you read her blog, the Infographics might not stand out.They don't show on summary pages, where she has title images.And when you get to the blog posts themselves, they usually feature a number of images, so the Infographic image doesn't stand out as much, but the whole article feels easier to read.Some of her Infographics are long and "traditional"; many are more like mini-posters.All of them summarize her post and compel interested people who see them in social media to click through to the post itself.
She confirms that creating such detailed images takes a significant amount of time, but she says they are worth it: "I used to write articles without these, but when I started incorporating them, the engagement on my blog has gone up significantly. "
And what types of Infographics work best? "I notice that most of my medium-sized infographics that are easy to read works best. They get more social shares than those really long ones. People want people to be able to read your graphics easily"
This is my approach, and you will find one or several of them on each of my blog posts (here is an example). A message mini-poster is a small poster with a simple message that highlights the main message of the article or a significant point of the article.
One of the attractive features of a min-poster is that the shape is suited to being reasonably easy to view on various social platforms, because it is neither very tall nor very wide.
I also like that message posters can stand alone.That means people might be more inclined to share them on Twitter, Google Plus and elsewhere.People like to share messages they agree with.At the same time, the message can be written so as to inspire curiosity, making them more likely than other images to attract click-throughs to the actual article.
Think about your content marketing goals. Which of these approaches suits your business and your website best? Whichever approach you take, text on images makes them more likely to draw the eye and get part of your message across, and the text also makes them more shareable on social media.
Image via Shutterstock