The Importance of Imagery

A picture tells a thousand words.

This saying was invented by an advertising executive, Fred R. Barnard. To promote his agency, he took out an ad in Printer’s Ink in 1921 with the headline “One Look Is Worth a Thousand Words” and attributed it to an ancient Japanese philosopher. Some ninety years later, they are more poignant than ever. Images convey so much without the need for language across the globe. The importance of imagery in your marketing strategy cannot be underestimated!

When using images on social media, for example, they need to engage the person observing, capturing their attention.  It is a place of socialisation, a new cave, a new watering hole of the millennia, a place to meet, to communicate!

Bright spices


According to The Oxford Handbook of Social Cognition visual imagery is a legitimate form of mental representation that functions specifically in representing perceptual information. However, emerging evidence suggests imagery may also have the capacity to express abstract information. We know imagery can connect with the see-er emotively.

Can you think of some images you have witnessed recently that invoked an emotion? Was it a picture of first steps from a loved one? Perhaps a new puppy? Or an iconic photograph from a war-torn country? 

Some of most talented humans are photographers that can capture these images, we can then use them to celebrate humanity and stimulate conversation, increasing the success of our communication with our chosen audience. Instagram anyone? Ever wondered WHY imagery has captured a planet? We need communication, we crave it, image capture and release is just one medium.

The Beauty Of Marketing

The beauty of marketing and data results in 2018 is that we can track which ones do better than others. We can find the images that best engage our audience, tickling their fancy and making hearts smile.

Take a cave drawing from thousands of years ago, used as a message board to other tribe members. Incredibly important; pictures have been the fabric of human society since way back when. An icon, a simple picture can be symbolic of much and invoke an array of emotive response, be it fear, gratitude, love, affection, and our personal favorite; inspiration.

A Powerful Story

Images can tell a powerful story. When you translate integrative positive power into the social media hemisphere- WOW. The results can be startling. If we look back over business and marketing evolution, analysis of this kind was only for the agency executive, the big players and us the wee consumer. Now, the tide has turned, technology has made it very possible for small business and all of us to create impressive media.

Surprised girl holding laptop over gray background

This applies to Social Media Posts, Blogs, Websites, Online Articles; you name it, the image should be the first stand out, the stimuli that capture your audiences attention. Anyone in Social Media will tell you that a good quality eye-catching image included in your Facebook Posts will increase the response it gets over plain old text or a poor picture. QUALITY IS KING!


The great imagery used online for business also ticks the social keys. There is a formula of social keys psychologically people respond to sub consciously. Very useful! Social keys are one of our focal learning points in our Unlock the Goods Workshops we run each month. Things like authority and social proof can be reflected beautifully through a dynamic medium. Amplifying your message loud and clear!

So how do you know what your audience will respond to?

I cannot reiterate enough- Do Your Research. What is your demographic, psychological profile? What is it visually? What do “they” like looking at that can fit in with your message? Profile them like an FBI profiler, work out what they like, how they like it and what’s going on in their world on a large scale, and you will hit the jackpot. Instagram can be a great observation tool to gauge this, as is Pinterest.

Find images that are excellent quality, great resolution, using colors that are complementary. Don’t go for the old stock pics we have seen on hand for decades; source royalty paid libraries. Die-hard rule- do not lift other people’s imagery without permission. It is stealing.

Better yet, if you can afford it get a good photographer to take some for you it’s a terrific investment or if you are any good; take your own!


When you are in business, it pays to have a professional, right quality profile pic of yourself. Good quality pics that reflect your personality in a classy and confident way makes you look good, feel good and promote your business well. This can be used on your website, your LinkedIn page, your Twitter profile, anything that involves a biographic description of who you are and what you are about. Stay tuned to our GSM facebook page, as we are in the process of organizing a day with one of Geelong’s standout photographers to do just this for peeps! (You’re welcome!)

Imagery is a powerful language that can break barriers and speak directly to the heart of your audience, so do it well! Good luck and if you need help-  let us know!


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