A lot of the content focused on at the Digital Hyve blog revolves around copy or marketing as a general idea. When it comes to content marketing, we’ve spoken about visual marketing a lot, but not necessarily as a deconstructable medium. When it comes to word-only copy? Of course we’ve discussed mistakes, how to make it better, etc. So why not give that same treatment to graphics and images?
When it comes to the visuals you use within your marketing, they should be put under the same scrutiny as your copy and other marketing content. Somehow this doesn’t happen, and visual and graphic content marketing mistakes happen all the time.
Before you go posting your latest infographic or marketing image, take a second look and then hit send.
Perhaps the most basic rule of thumb when it comes to content marketing is to double check whether or not you know how to spell. In the olden days of typewriters and even pen and paper, spelling errors may be a bit more forgivable. Now with programs like Microsoft Word that underline your flub ups in red squiggles, there’s not much room for excuse.
However, the image editing tools people use for creating marketing graphics don’t usually come with built-in spell check systems. Instead, double and triple check that you’re spelling everything correctly — nothing kills an infographic like misspelled words.
Here’s a basic rule of thumb: if you don’t know how to use Photoshop, pay someone who does to handle your graphic marketing. Even then, sometimes the Photoshop bigwigs mess up, but this all boils down to quality control. Before you send out any images to be posted, give them a close once-over.
If it can happen to business giants, it can happen to you. Maybe if Target had gone over this viral bikini photo in 2014 they would have avoided Internet humiliation. This Photoshop fail is decently obvious, but yours may not be so glaring. Either way, it never hurts to hire an expert, then check their work before posting it for millions of people to see.
Visual gags are a big thing on the Internet, from clever jokes to the latest memes. If you want to get in on these viral trends to boost visibility or to connect with millennials, you can make that decision. However, understand it’s one that may backfire.
Consider the time Spirit Airlines decided to use the then-recent Academy Awards phone hacking scandal, that led to the leak of nudes of famous actresses like Jennifer Lawrence, as a marketing ploy. Not only was the marketing graphic not in any way clever, the scandal didn’t even relate to the airline in any way.
Perhaps your own graphics aren’t as obviously tasteless, but it’s important to consider these two questions before posting an image to social media:
- Will this image reasonably offend anyone?
- Am I okay with this demographic — or any demographic — being offended by this image?
Basic Image Editing Faux Pas
To round out the article, here’s a bite-sized list of things you shouldn’t do if you want quality, valuable images to work with:
- Always know your image’s source. Don’t risk Googling an image, using it and finding out you stole it from a paid-for source.
- Always go for quality. Images that are grainy or off on aspect ratio will turn off digital-age millennials and are unappealing to look at for everyone else.
- Know basic color theory. Your marketing images should follow some basic color rules. Here are a few if you need some help in this department.
- Ask a friend or two. You might think an image looks good, but don’t judge alone. Get some friends or colleagues (avoid any “yes men”) and ask for their opinion.
- Have good taste in fonts. Fonts are fun, but legibility is key. Avoid standards like Georgia or Comic Sans.
One thing to note is that for many, the graphic design aspect of marketing is one of the most fun and compelling aspects of Internet advertisement. As long as you keep a watchful eye on your taste level, you should be good to go. Open up your image editing software and see what you come up with
Looking for more ways to boost the quality of your content marketing? Learn what content you may be missing on your website and how to fix it.