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Does Your Online Presence Include Photos of Real People?

No matter what business you're in, online marketing success depends on good graphics. Visual displays decide everything from consumers' faith in your website's legitimacy to the likelihood of a product's reliability. One of the most important graphical elements to include on your website, your e-commerce platform, and any video thumbnails is properly executed and relevant images of people. 

Why do you need pictures of people to boost your sales?

Marketing relies on social proof. An overwhelming majority of online shoppers use reviews and demonstration videos to inform their purchasing decisions. If multiple, relatable people find a certain product or service useful, the assumption goes, then that individual consumer will too. Pictures carry an implied degree of social reinforcement, even if viewers know the pictures are stock photos or staged. 

If you have a small business or a relatively unknown brand in a competitive market, you need every inch of social reinforcement you can garner. For this reason, it’s important fill your website and online profiles with relevant and tasteful pictures of people engaging with your products and services, not just your products and services themselves.

What types of pictures work best on which platforms?

As a general rule, the people in your photos should be smiling or have some sort of positive expression. Note that other positive expressions might include surprise, intrigue, focus, etc. This is true even for negative situations or products and services that just decrease unhappiness instead of increasing happiness. Make sure you have:

1. People in your video thumbnails.

YouTube and other platforms have relatively small thumbnails, but a human face is still one of the best ways to fill up that real estate. People are much more likely to click on videos that show a person.  Include a picture that shows a face, the product, and a short blurb of text. This strategy implies real people are talking about and using the product.

2. Smiling people on your landing pages.

Landing pages need to be actionable and get straight to the point. Your images should focus on this strategy as well. Set smiling real (or even quality stock) photos next to reviews and recommendations. As a user is scrolling, they might not read the review, but they'll see the smiling photos as subliminal reinforcement that what you're offering is valuable.

testimonial review with smiling client headshot

3. Focus on People on Social Media

Social media…it’s implied in the name – your social media should be social, AKA, focus on people (and occasionally a good cat or dog meme).  Did you know social media users often engage more with the posts that are more behind-the-scenes showing people (whether they know them directly or not) than standard static blog posts, or other useful links?

social media post with collage of people

Want more advice on making your small business’ online marketing a success?  Need help determining the best layout of content and images on your websiteContact our team today for more assistance with all your web and marketing questions!

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