Of all the resources we offer at New Zealand Story, images are by far the most popular. But why is that? Put simply, it’s because images are an incredibly powerful tool in communications, and not just marketing communications.
We use images to tell a story in just about every part of everyday life; think children’s picture books, road signs or even emojis. Sometimes the purpose of that is to get a message across quickly. Sometimes it’s to help build meaning or association. And sometimes, it’s to create an emotional connection or response.
Take brands, for instance. You might learn a lot from a page-long description of a chocolate brand. But you’re far more likely to buy that brand if you see an advert showing two friends sharing a laugh – and the chocolate – on their lunch break. What you’re really buying is the moment, as well as the values that brand stands for. Relationships, fun, and relaxing. It’s a simple technique, but choosing the right images can really help you build positive brand association and better connect with your audience.
So what exactly are the right images and how should you use them?
It’s a good question – and it’s not always straightforward. So we’ve put together a few handy tips to help you get the most out of images.
- Consider your audience
Sometimes what you don’t show is just as insightful as what you do. An image of a beautiful landscape, for instance, might make your audience think you’re from a place with not many people and not much to do. That might be fine if you run a yoga retreat, but probably not if you’re a tourist operator.
- Grow perceptions
If you show people images that reinforce their expectations, you’re not adding any new value. Instead, choose images that might surprise and delight people. If you’re a cheese manufacturer, for example, why not showcase a cheeseboard at a fine-dining restaurant, rather than an image of cows in a paddock?
- Quality over quantity
When people think of your product or service, chances are you want them to think ‘quality’. So you should be using images which back that up. A few great quality images are much more powerful than a whole collection of average ones.
- People like people
It might seem obvious, but people connect with images of other people, whether that’s those who make your product or those who enjoy it. It’s also important to keep your target market in mind – who would they want to see?
- Cityscapes not landscapes
New Zealand is known for our beautiful scenery and pure environment. And while that’s positive, we want to be known for much more. So using images of vibrant cities, connected people, and modern architecture will grow our reputation and consideration globally.
Want more insights and tips on the best ways to use images, head to our Toolkit.