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Pictures Tell Stories: How Digital Images Sell Your Brand

It is said, a picture is worth a thousand words. 

In social media, they are worth likes, clicks and a requisite part of brand awareness. 

In today’s episode, Julia Rosien returns to co-host alongside Mark and Adrienne to discuss the importance of digital images in social media. From when to use static images, whether to use images with words, the decision to put together short form or long form video and the never ending task of drafting the perfect caption, Julia discusses what brands and businesses need to know. 

Plus, check out her recent article on images for blog posts – Do You Use Images In Your Blog Posts?


Mark Kinsley: a clear winner when it comes to what people remember after they leave social media, and it can help you build your business and your brand. Julia Rossine is our co-host

yo, Adrian. What’s going on? Hey Julia, welcome back to Co-Host.

Julia Rosien: Hey, thank you for having me again. It’s always fun to be here with you guys. We’re

Mark Kinsley: just fun. F u

Adrienne Woods: n? Yes. F u n. Uh, Julia, I’m curious, is it like freezing cold in January in Canada?

Julia Rosien: is freezing cold starting in November in Canada right through till May is Oh good.

You know, come, come to Canada to visit. You know, we’ve got lots of beautiful things to see, but not in that time window, not

Adrienne Woods: January to May. . The only time I’ve ever been to Canada, I think I may have told you, we went to Bam. Um, and we went in September and it was beautiful in September. So I’ll give you

Mark Kinsley: that.

Timber is beautiful. I was, uh, in Whistler, you know, a hiking black tusk. And doing sea to sky and Squamish, and that was just spectacular. I have summertime. Amazing.

Adrienne Woods: That’s awesome. I I’ll say in Arkansas we have, we can either be under like two feet of snow in January or it could be a, a random 72 degree day.

It just depends.

Mark Kinsley: So, and that’s, that’s why we claim mountain biking capital of the world because Yes. Of accessibility for beginners and because you can do it year. Yes, that’s true. Thanks. If you don’t like the weather, just wait till tomorrow, ,

Adrienne Woods: just wait till tomorrow cuz it will be different. 100 I could be 100% different.

So that is

Mark Kinsley: true. I can’t, I cannot wait until tomorrow For today’s trivia question and to dig into some of the details of what do we mean by what people remember when they leave social media. Julia’s gonna take us to school, but first I gotta have some trivia. I can’t.

Adrienne Woods: I understand. So there was an article that she recently posted on the FAM about the importance of photographs and content on your digital platform.

So I have a trivia question. Um, in honor of that, how many images are posted every day on Facebook? Oh, Images of cats? No, not cats, just like in general, but I did pull this from Facebook, um, and it’s as of 2021, so it may be different for 2020 and two, but it’s, I’m gonna go ahead and give you this. It’s in the millions of images are posted every day.

So is it 100 million, 400 million or 300 million?

Mark Kinsley: Okay, so one, three or four. Yes. 100 million, 300 million or 400 million. And is, it is a totally round number.

Adrienne Woods: Um, yes. I mean, as of what Facebook put out there, but I also have interesting things about how many comments are made per minute as well as status updates.

But I’ll tell you that when we figure out how many images.

Mark Kinsley: All right, well, we got our resident social media expert here. Julia Rosein with Restonic. Julia, thank you so much for being back on the show. If you haven’t listened to any of your past episodes, I highly encourage you to go and grab your notebook in your pen and start taking notes and send the podcast to your team members who may work in social media.

We should have, just like we just, we got basically a whole section dedicated to Julia’s knowledge and. You know, this is, this is kind of fascinating. I mean, even as you were talking through us, uh, talking us through this topic, uh, what wins on social media in terms of what people remember when they step away.

So give us the lay of the land on what are you talking about and why does it matter?

Julia Rosien: Well, you know, pictures, pictures matter. For sure. Video matters. But if you can’t or don’t have the, you know, the wherewithal or the ability to create that content, you for sure need images. And it really goes back to where we do our core learning and what we remember.

You think about when you have kids or when you were a child yourself. When you started to learn to read, the first thing you see is a picture book, because pictures tell stories. You know, um, you know that the, the old saying that, a, you know, that picture is worth a thousand words. It’s so true. You can, you can do all the status updates you want, but unless you have a great image with it, you need to have images to help tell the story.

it helps with, you know, retention of information. We process images much faster because we we’re looking at that image, trying to understand it, trying to, you know, whether we do it, you know, consciously or subconsciously, images resonate with us as humans because we, you know, we create that emotional connection.

So that’s important, obviously. But let’s look at the other side of it too, because images are really important for, for, uh, your analytics. We know from an s e o perspective when you can put, you know, your, your alt text or your meta description around an image, and you’re using that kind of, uh, strong images on your website, not just social media.

That matters to search engines. It helps increase your relevance when it comes to page ranking, when people are searching key terms, and this is especially important for retailers. And I think they forget, like retailers really do have an advantage over bigger brands because they’re in one very specific geographical location.

And Facebook, Google, you know, any, doesn’t matter what you’re talking about. They understand how to reach that geographical location. Based on geography alone, nevermind all the other behavioral things that they’re looking at as well. So as a retailer, putting images on your site and making sure they’re labeled correctly using images in social media, it’s like a big freebie.

It really is. It’s, and when you don’t leave it, you’re, when you don’t use it, you’re leaving all that on the table and walking away saying, I really don’t need that kind of business. Thanks. Anyway, I’m just gonna gonna go with my text updates and see where that gets me ,

Mark Kinsley: so I wanna make sure I understand.

And make sure that our audience understands this better. So if I am in Boise, Idaho, and I’m a consumer and I’m searching for a mattress, Google or Facebook or whatever other search engine is gonna prioritize information that’s within a certain range of where I’m located.

Julia Rosien: Absolutely, cuz Google knows when you’re shopping and when you’re looking for images and when you’re looking for information they can understand, they can disseminate that very quickly by the keywords you’re using and then how you go back and research it if you didn’t find what you wanted in your first search.

So as a retailer, You’ve got that benefit that Google knows this consumer is possibly in shopping mode. And it also depends on the device you’re using. If you are using a device that’s cooked up only to wifi, you know if it’s your tablet or your your pc, or if you are using a phone, that might be cellular and wifi, that changes what kind of results you’ll get as well.

Mark Kinsley: How come? So walk us through that.

Julia Rosien: Because if you’re, if you’re using a phone, you’re, you could possibly be outta shopping somewhere. You could be connected to another wifi as well as cellular service. If you are using a, an iPad that’s just, uh, you know, using wifi, chances are you’re still in research mode.

You haven’t started to get down into that sales funnel yet.

Mark Kinsley: One of the things is, it’s very interesting. I was having a conversation the other day. What is actually happening with your devices? And if you have ever been with your friends and you search for something, call it bombas socks, right? You know, they get little pads on the bottom.

It’s good for the wintertime, and all of a sudden your friends starts getting served ads for Bomba socks. Your devices are pinging off each other, and when you use a lookalike audience, It’s a really easy lattice work pathway to get to a lookalike audiences Who are you hanging out with? I mean, mm-hmm.

And they know that. The advertisers know that. So all that creepy, weird stuff. I mean, it’s creepy and weird and it’s also relevant to marketers, you know? It’s like something we need to be doing because. These are people, like the ones that bought from us.

Julia Rosien: That’s

Adrienne Woods: true. I also heard, and I forget who we were talking to, but Mark, I’m pretty sure I was with you, but I’m sure people like Google know, apparently if you’re gonna make a high dollar purchase, you’re more likely to do that on a computer as opposed to your phone.

Mm-hmm. , like people don’t spend high dollars on their phone, which I found very interesting. But I, I’m also, I, I do that, like if I’m gonna go buy something in the thousand dollars range, I will do it from my laptop. I will not do it on my phone, even if I have done 100% of my research on my phone.

Julia Rosien: Yep.

Adrienne Woods: Absolutely. That was so crazy. I don’t know why we think that I will pay for things on my phone all the time. I’m a big fan of Apple Pay, but I don’t wanna, I don’t wanna put in my credit card for a multi-thousand dollars purchase.

Mark Kinsley: You know what I think it is? I think it’s, I think it’s exactly what we’re talking about.

For me, I wanna see the larger images. I wanna see some of the detailing up close. I may want to do a 3D spin or watch a video , but it’s just what we’re talking about today, which is imagery, winning on social. Mm-hmm. , I think. Is helping me win, uh, the desktop sale or it’s helping retailers win that desktop.

you think I, what? What do you think, Julia? Oh,

Julia Rosien: absolutely. Yeah. You know, imagery, it speaks volumes. And I know you’ve had the folks from Bedhead Marketing on, which I’m big fans of Brandon and Steven and all the work that they’re doing and, and I love reading their LinkedIn posts on visuals and how important visuals are, and the difference between a picture of a good bed and the picture of a bed that’s really, somebody took with their iPhone and, and threw up on the, on the website.

Visuals are important. Visuals make the, you know, they elevate a, a retailer. It’s no different than looking through. Airbnb is another good example. When you look through Airbnb, I know which pictures been touched up and which ones haven’t been, but I appreciate looking at a picture that looks good because it gives me, you know, I can see myself in that place.

If I wanna rent that Airbnb rather than something that’s been taken with an iPhone, I’m like, what is that a bed in that corner? Or is it a fireplace or is it, you know, so visuals matter. They tell the. You

Mark Kinsley: know, people like pretty things. I was thinking people like pretty things. Absolutely. I was thinking about, uh, this conversation I had with, uh, a guy that works at Haverty’s and he’s just one of their, you know, million dollar writers.

And I said, how you doing it? Like what, what’s your secret compared to other people and. He said, oh, let me show you. And so he would actually put together, he had to learn a 3D program that they had, but it had all their products as part of that 3D program. And he would put together dining rooms and living rooms so that people could visualize it because we’re more likely to go somewhere if we’ve already gone there in our minds.

And he just absolutely crushes. And I go, why don’t other people on your team do more of what you’re doing? And he said, A lot of them have been hesitant to learn. You know about it. Maybe it’s new technology for. . Uh, but we have to understand that when we’re thinking about visuals take people there in their minds first, and they’re more likely to go there in person or go back to that desktop and spend those dollars.

Julia Rosien: Yep. Absolutely. And it, it, it tells the story. So even when you look at visuals, you know, from a marketing standpoint, from on your website, and those visuals are important, and we’ve talked about social media visuals for, you know, a lot of different episodes, how important it’s to have really engaging pictures in your social media.

because you want people to look at your social media as relevant. You want them to engage in it. Even if you’re posting pictures of cute cats and funny memes, you know, you want them to engage with what you’re putting out there, as you know, of course has to be on brand and whatnot. But Sleeping Cat, you know, that’s on brand for a mattress store.

So I

Adrienne Woods: do have one quick question though. How important is the co? How important is it that the image tell the story? more so than the content, because I have a, I even will do this. I’ll see a picture, I’ll go to look at the caption and the caption six paragraphs long and I’m like, forget it. And I scroll past it.

Yeah. And it’s a funny story you talked about kids and images, because the other day we were at the library and my son was looking at a book and he goes, this has more words than pictures. And he put it back cuz he didn’t want it, even though he’s learning to read. Yeah. So how important is the image itself in telling the story versus the caption?

I would love to get your thoughts on that. Oh,

Julia Rosien: I think the image is supremely important. I, I think I’ve told you before, I used to be an editor for a pregnancy magazine and one of the, uh, pa one of the areas of the magazine that was mine was called the, it was, uh, nine steps of Pregnancy. So one for each month, and I would.

Hire writers to write really short little blurbs, like really short little blurbs. Mm-hmm. . And you know, that was an amazing process for me to go through as a writer, as an editor, and this was pre-social media because you have to be able to distill your message down into the smallest possible number of words.

Put a good image with it. And this isn’t new like this was 20 years ago I was doing this, the so because people just are not willing to read. And 20 years ago, if people were willing to read a paragraph now with social media and our shrinking attention spans, you maybe get a sentence, you might get the first five words of that sentence.

So you gotta make sure your message is on point. You’re gonna have to write like Dr. Zeus. Get the message out there really quick, like you’re talking to a five year old. Mm. Because otherwise, like you said, Adrian, you’re gonna scroll past it.

Mark Kinsley: Interesting. We talk about this all the time and creating content and writing articles and putting together podcasts.

And all the content we do is how do you make sure, and you don’t bury the lead, you know, you put the most important information up top. Um, I’m a really big fan of Axios. Mm-hmm. , uh, so Axios has a technique or a process they use called smart brevity, and they, they put the most important thing up top and they teach people how to prioritize that information.

They wanna make it scannable and snackable just because all the things we described, our attention spans aren’t quite there. But I, you know, I always used to get the question of how long, how long should this video. I’m like, as long as it needs to be and no longer, you know, and, and so there’s this balance between.

Making sure that you know, hey, based on the content, yes. The video, for example, needs to be as long as it needs to be to properly communicate the information, but make it snappy and relevant and mm-hmm. make the pacing good along the way. And I think we need to think, think in those terms in our writing.

Mm-hmm. . And I think we need to think in those terms, in our imagery, you know, in this selection of our imagery, what’s obvious. Don’t do that. Do something that’s non-obvious that maps to your brand. You know, you have to arrest people or they’re not gonna do anything. Like even what Adrian described earlier, if you don’t arrest that person in the moment when they’re doom scrolling mm-hmm.

then they’re not even gonna read the copy. And then when they go to read the copy, that’s when you have an opportunity to make it scannable and snackable.

Julia Rosien: Right. Absolutely. And if you need to have longer copy, cuz you know, cause sometimes there is a need to have longer copy. Sometimes it’s like the difference between short form video and long form video.

Sometimes you do need a longer version of it, but that’s the point where you put your, that content on your website for those people who do need to, to read it and reread it and go through it. And those are the people that wanna dig into it. But knowing your audience, knowing. Social media really is for, like you said, arresting people.

That short form snackable content with a link to something you know, deeper if, for those people that need more information. I’ve

Mark Kinsley: seen data and we gotta get to our trivia question. Here’s one little final point for you. I’ve seen data that, what do people stop on? What does halt them when they’re scrolling?

What type of images on Facebook faces your face? Yeah, it could be your face. It could be a baby. Baby’s faces are even better, right? By the way. Yeah. Baby faces when.

Julia Rosien: Well, we’re programmed as human beings. That’s,

Mark Kinsley: and I’m not talking about r and b, singer, Babyface. I’m talking about like actual children’s

Adrienne Woods: faces.

Like my, my fins. Like the fins. Yeah. Put

Mark Kinsley: fins up there. . .

Adrienne Woods: Okay. So onto the trivia, how many images are posted every day to Facebook? Not Instagram, not a combination, just to Facebook. Is it a hundred million? 300 million or 400 million.

Mark Kinsley: What do you think, Julia?

Julia Rosien: Well, if it we’re talking global Facebook. Mm-hmm.

I’m gonna say 400

Mark Kinsley: million. Yeah, I’m going with four. I’m gonna, I’m gonna do it again. I, last time you were on the show, I chose the same answer as you because you’re very intelligent and I’m just gonna do that and not look dumb.

Adrienne Woods: So, 400, according to Facebook, it’s 300 million plus. So that, that give, they give us, the 300 million are uploaded every day, but get this.

Every minute, 510,000 comments are posted. Two and 293,000 statuses are updated, and four wow million posts are liked every single minute on

Mark Kinsley: Facebook. I wonder what percentage of that, like 510,000 comments are relatively positive. I would

Julia Rosien: say, oh,

Adrienne Woods: probably not many. . I mean, I don’t know.

Julia Rosien: Depends on, I guess it depends on the post.

That goes to show you the relevance of Facebook people. You know, I, when I talked to lots of retailers and they wanna be on all these different social media platforms, and I’m all for, you know, researching what you can do on different social media, but Facebook is still the bohemoth when it comes to social media.

Mm-hmm. in the age target demographic that most mattress and furniture stores are looking for. Those are the people that have the money to spend, that are starting to experience health issues that understand the importance of. Talk’s fun, but, and I know there are some mattress brands on TikTok, but it TikTok.

But is that really where your target audience is? And, and like we said, we said on previous posts, can you actually create content, enough content to make an impact on TikTok? I think that’s can do it Facebook.

Adrienne Woods: I think that is you

Mark Kinsley: gotta go to where people are.

Adrienne Woods: Go to where people are. Go where people are and be consistent.

Mark Kinsley: That’s right. Hey, you have a marketing tip that’s worked for you. Head over to, text us. It’s in the bottom right hand corner. And be sure to subscribe on Apple, Spotify. And to be sure, you know, also subscribe to our because you never wanna miss an idea that can make you a.

Adrienne Woods: Digital Picture creator,

Mark Kinsley: digital picture creator. Enjoy us each week. Juliet. Thank you so much for being on the show. Join us for having me each week. We’re gonna bring you more. Bam. Marketing magic. See you guys.

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