Your prospects and customers aren’t just searching for blogs when they want to learn more about your company. They’re hunting for your presence on social media, looking to see if you turn up on Twitter, Facebook, and especially Pinterest. According to the Pew Research Center, Pinterest’s influential audience has grown so big, so quickly, that it’s already changing the ways that bloggers and brands are thinking about their images:

Custom photography trumps stock photo libraries


For years, probloggers have understood how to convert images into effective blog layouts. Even if you’re not the strongest writer in the world, a powerful image backed up by a strong caption can still get your message into readers’ minds better than just body copy on its own.

As stock photography got cheaper, more bloggers plugged images into their layouts just to keep pace with their competition. The habit spread to other types of sites, too. It’s not uncommon to see the same photo of a “headset hottie” plastered across multiple websites operating in a variety of industry verticals.

Today’s visual web penalizes you for using stock photography instead of compelling, original images. A stock photo on your blog won’t help you much if readers aren’t willing to share your links with each other. Today’s website visitor hunts for images worth sharing, pinning, and retweeting. Photos that show your unique products, your team, and your customers perform far better on the visual web than stock photos ever will.

High quality images dominate cameraphone snapshots


Your prospects and customers demand more from the images on your blog, because they want to share only the best photos with their own audiences. A professional photographer can add polish to your executive headshots, to your product photos, and to action shots from special events. A photographer who understands you and your brand can help you avoid cliches like “business people shaking hands.” Images from your Flickr and Instagram feeds can still reflect rawness and spontaneity, complementing the authenticity of well-lit, professionally framed photos on the rest of your site.

Images with calls to action drive traffic back to your blog

When developing an image strategy for your blog, think about visuals that stand on their own, while inspiring viewers to follow links back to your blog. Calls to action can range from very subtle (like including a logo or URL somewhere in the image) to the explicit (asking followers to “repin and win”). Don’t overlook your image’s metadata, either. You can load your images title and description with text and URLs that explain a photo’s origin and make specific viewer requests. How has your brand adopted to this new, visual web? Are you optimizing your imagery? Please share your thoughts and learnings in the comments below!