It’s a valid question don’t you think?
You know how it goes. You write your latest blog post, leave it a while, edit it, rewrite the odd bit, and it’s done.
Then you remember you need an image to go with it. Last minute; you would rather be done with the whole thing. So the image that pops up on everyone’s phones and laptops is a stock image that’s boringly all too familiar.
You had the chance to put something with your words that could create a stir, evoke an emotion, lift your piece to a new dimension.
But, never mind. You’ve thrown a picture of a notebook and a coffee cup in there instead.
You might remember, a few weeks back we looked at the rule of “7×3” (yes, that’s 21. The number of times you’ll need to post your work on social media to be sure it’s being seen by everyone you want).
Why not use a different image each time you (begrudgingly) post?
You could alter the set up of a family unit (standard, bi, gay, single, with or without children…), include or exclude animals, use oblique, implied images, or opt for in-your-face image matches words style pics.
A could starting point is to look at what everyone else is doing, and then brainstorm thinking about what they’re missing.
You want your posts to stand out. Images are a key part of doing so (and video; take a look at this piece).
But don’t copy, instead, innovate. Remember our piece from last week; where others zig, you zag, yes?
Whilst it might feel a little unsettling to put yourself out there as bucking the trend, being different, or even a bit “out there”, it’s a path worth treading.
It could be the hook that buys you a following. An audience that’s growing, waiting for your next post, hoping you’ll keep up the good work of being unique.
Ask yourself, why are Innocent smoothies and Ben & Jerry’s ice cream frequently hailed as great examples of how copy works? Because they did something different (and then got bought out by Unilever and Coca-Cola respectively, thus proving the big boys are paying attention all the time too).
Be wary of just sticking to type, especially if your service or product cuts across stereotypes (see here). Be controversial, if you dare. Look at KFC’s latest TV ads. They made waves with chickens strutting around as if they’re happy at their fate (prompting a good few complaints).
However, they provoke a response, not a tired “like we’ve not seen that before” response.
That’s always what your images should be aimed at achieving.
Standing out from the crowd.
Causing a stir.
Throwing a big stone into a calm pond and watching the ripples upset the status quo.
So, the takeaway is to make sure you give enough time to pick an image that doesn’t immediately reek of sameness. Doesn’t rehash the tired and tested. Creates a bit of a stir.
Look at Trump. Witness Brexit. People these days are ready to embrace the unlikely. You just have to come up with your own take on it. Take the initiative back and claim the high ground.
Let the fireworks fly.