Everyone knows the phrase “A picture’s worth a thousand words.” You’ve also probably heard the human brain processes visuals 60,000 times faster than text. Have you been taking advantage of this in your marketing?
Why do you think Instagram and Snapchat are growing social media networks? Consider how often you use images in your social media posts, on your website, in your email marketing and with your advertising. Incorporating visuals into all of these areas will better attract your audience and communicate to them quicker.
Now, if you don’t have much experience with photography and photo editing, the actual application of this marketing method can be harder than it seems. So, we’ve put together this guide to help you prep your images for different marketing purposes.
Terms To Know
- Pixels are the elements that make up a digital photograph. In the blown up image below, you can see the the individual pixels that make up that section of the image. A photograph’s dimensions are often measured in pixels. For example 500×600 indicates that the image is 500 px wide and 600 px high.
- Resolution refers to the quality of an image. When the resolution is higher, the image is clearer. It depends on the number of pixels that are jammed into the dimensions of your image. The fewer number of pixels, the lower the resolution is. This is usually measured by dpi (dots per inch – which refer to the pixels per inch).
- Standard resolutions to know:
- For screen (web) – 72 dpi
- For print – 300 dpi
- Standard resolutions to know:
Image File Types
Being familiar with different image file types will help when saving and sharing photos. Two main file types to know are JPG and PNG.
- JPG (also seen as JPEG) is a file format that compresses your image to reduce the file size. It is known as a “lossy” format meaning that it removes information from the image that the human eye won’t notice when it’s saved. This is beneficial when saving images that need to be smaller to email or upload. However, if you’re editing an image and re-saving it as a JPG multiple times, it reduces the image quality each time which can result in a more grainy or pixelated image. To avoid this, save it as a different file format like PNG.
- PNG is a “lossless” file format that compresses an image only slightly and doesn’t throw away data. Because of this, a PNG file will generally be larger than a JPG but it will ensure that your images integrity will remain as you edit and resave it over time. Depending on the dimensions of your photo (assuming it’s not really large), a PNG is still a good format for web as well. Another benefit of PNG is that it can save a transparent background (JPG converts the transparent background to white). This is especially useful when saving a logo that you don’t want on a white background.
Recommended Image Sizes
Checking and adjusting your image size before you save your image is a good practice to get into, especially if you’re planning to use it for web. You want to consider where you will be using a photo when adjusting its size. For example, a photo that you plan on putting in a blog post doesn’t have to be as big as your website header image that spans the width of your screen. Compressing your image files to the smallest necessary file size will help your website to load quicker than someone arrives on your page. A slow website load time can turn traffic away before they even see your content!
To ensure that your photos appear correctly, and to avoid slowing down your website load time, make sure your images are sized appropriately. Keep in mind social media platforms sometimes adjust the dimensions of the photos displayed from year to year. But here are 2016’s image dimensions for a few social media platforms:
- Facebook cover photo: 851 x 315 px
- Facebook shared photo: 1200 x 630 px
- Google+ cover image dimensions: 1080 x 608 px
- Google+ shared image dimensions: 497 x 373 px
- Twitter header photo dimensions: 1500 x 500 px
- Twitter in-stream photo (enlarged): 1024 x 512 px
- Instagram photo: 640 x 640 px
For images that you plan to use on your website or emails these are good starting points:
- Email header photo: 600 px wide
- Blog photos: 500 px wide
- Other website photos generally range on a case-by- case scenario. Ask your web developer for recommended dimensions.
How To Adjust the Image Size
Okay, so now you know what you’re supposed to do, but how do you actually adjust the size of your image? Adobe Photoshop is a great tool for image editing if you plan on working with images often. However, if all you want to do is resize an image to load onto your blog there are simple tools for both PC and Mac users to do this.
On a PC, there’s this simple image resizer utility that you can download and use to quickly resize your image without having to open a whole other application. Or for those of you who love Microsoft Paint, you can resize an image using that too!
For the Mac users out there, the Preview tool will do the job.
- Right click the image you want to resize and select “Open with Preview”
- In Preview go to Edit > Select All.
- Then, Tools > Adjust Size
- Enter the dimensions you want. To avoid distorting photos, make sure “Scale Proportionally” is selected.
- Then save and close.
Now that you know the basics when it comes to image editing, start incorporating more images into your marketing! Use them in your social media posts, in your blogs, in your email newsletters and in your advertising. There’s nothing stopping you now!
For more on photo editing discover the secret to stunning images.