It’s time to post some new content to your site. You’ve done the legwork to get all the details together. You’ve got the writing. Heck, you’ve even got the bad@$$ title that’s going to bring in the traffic.
All that’s missing is your image.
Unfortunately, especially for employee spotlights, images for blog content typically falls to the wayside. It ends up being a last-minute thought rather than a major piece of the post that deserves as much focus as the content itself. This is a problem for a few reasons, but let’s start with the raw data:
- Content that has relevant images gets 94% more views than content that does not.
- Tweets that have images receive 150% more retweets than tweets that do not have images.
- Facebook posts with images receive 2.3x as much engagement as a Facebook post without an image.
- As of December 2016, there are 600 million monthly Instagram users.
The numbers speak for themselves, but the story they’re telling is an important one for any brand that’s trying to gain traction (employer included!): pictures are a must-have in today’s visual-centric online world.
But having pictures only gets you to square one. You can’t just schlep any old picture up on a blog post about your employees or company culture and expect it to get you those additional 94% more views. So what will give your pics that extra oomph?
A Cure for Stock Art-itis
Our recruitment marketing team may not be doctors, but there’s a disease that we diagnose many employer brands with. That disease is Stock Art-itis.
Picture this: you write an amazing post featuring one of your best employees telling a story about an awesome presentation they were able to put together in their career with your company. Now, rather than getting a picture of them, you go to Google and type in “presentation” and end up posting the story with something cringeworthy like this:
You need an antidote for your stock art-itis suffering.
Scratch your head and say it doesn’t make a big difference all you want, but here’s the deal—you are selling these stories to candidates, candidates who you would like to see apply for a job. All that effort you put into your content goes to waste when you publish it with a picture like this. The point of your content is to give an inside look, but an inside look posted with a canned photo isn’t an inside look. These people in the photo are not the people who work at your company, and candidates know that.
When pictures speak for your content, they have to match up with what the content is saying.
It’s Not Stock Art, But…
The buck doesn’t stop with abandoning stock photos and taking your own pictures either, because you need to take the right kind of pictures.
To know what the right kind of pictures are, let’s look at what makes the wrong kind of picture:
You may be thinking, “What’s wrong with this? It’s a real FedEx guy at his job.”
You’re correct, but this picture still isn’t getting to the heart of the job. This guy was obviously told to stand against a van, cross his arms, and give an Oscar-worthy smile into the camera so they could have a happy image of a FedEx guy at his job.
Candidates look at this kind of picture and, while it’s better than our stock friends up there, they can still smell the BS. Chances are, FedEx drivers spend very little time cheesing against the side of their delivery van, and candidates know this. This is not an inside look at life as a FedEx driver, this is a picture that was staged and might as well be a stock photo.
Doin’ It Right
There are companies who do get it right. Home Depot’s main careers site page features this gem:
We’ve got what looks like real employees, doing what looks like a real job inside of Home Depot.
It’s real, it’s raw and it’s in-the-moment.
Sure, you don’t have them smiling painfully into the camera like it’s the best day they’ve ever had, but candidates will look at this picture and it will resonate with them because they know they’re getting, if not the true inside look into life at Home Depot, at least what looks like the true inside look into life at Home Depot.
Now It’s Your Turn
Getting the right pictures for your content is gravely important, but that doesn’t mean it has to be the hardest thing in the world. We’ve talked on our blog before about the process of taking amateur but professional-looking photos, where you’ll learn how to physically get the snapshots you need.
It’s the mental block you have to surpass that I want to leave you thinking about. As much as you’d love for your employees to be beacons of happiness all day every day, the reality is they are not. No one sits at their desk all day smiling, because that’s not real. Get past the idea that your employees you photograph have to be staged and looking perfect, and embrace the idea that candidates want to see your employees in raw action and know they’re getting the real deal.
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