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5 tips for using website imagery to sell more products

Choosing the right website imagery can have a huge impact on your eCommerce store’s conversion rate. The right imagery can evoke certain emotions, get visitors excited about your products, and ultimately make you more sales.

In this article, we’re going to outline how you can use imagery to sell more products on your website. Let’s get started.

Connect with customers by humanizing your business

People don’t want to feel like they are spending money with a faceless corporation. So, to earn more sales and grow your customer retention rate, you need to focus on using images that humanize your business.

For instance, showcasing photos of your team can help website visitors to put faces to your name, building trust and encouraging them to buy from you. You can also show the behind-the-scenes of what it’s like to work at your company — this will help people feel like they know your team and business well, encouraging them to invest in what you’re selling.

Let’s take a look at an example of a business that does a great job of humanizing itself with images for inspiration.

Florin Roebig, a trial attorney law firm, effectively puts faces to its business right on its website's homepage. Above, you can see the two partners of the law firm in the hero image. This helps to humanize the Florin Roebig name and ensure people feel a connection to the firm, so they find getting in touch less intimidating. This is very important for a business like a law firm — legal issues can be nerve-wracking, and this image helps to show that there are real people behind the company, waiting to help those who require assistance. This can then help them to secure more clients. 

On your website, you can use images of yourself or your team to humanize your business. This will help you build trust with your website visitors and make them feel at ease. In turn, this will make it more likely that people will make a purchase, increasing your sales!

Help customers to imagine themselves using your products

If you can help your customers imagine themselves using your products, they’ll be much more likely to buy them. This is a huge part of optimizing your website and will help you drive more conversions. You can do this effectively by using images of people who represent your ideal customers — for instance, if you’re targeting an elderly demographic, use images of older people. You could also use user-generated content, like pictures from your customers’ social media pages, to get your website visitors excited! Just be sure to ask permission from your customers before posting them on your website.

You can also show off images of your products in action. This will help people get a better idea of how to use your products and how they work. As a result, they’ll start thinking about how your products will help make their lives easier, making it more likely that they’ll make a purchase.

Let’s take a look at a few examples of businesses that help their customers imagine themselves using their products with imagery for inspiration.

Bounce, a luggage storage company, helps their website visitors imagine themselves using their services on their location pages. They show off some of the available spots in Boston where a customer can store their luggage. Providing these images helps website visitors to start thinking about their upcoming trip and using Bounce’s services to make their time in Boston as convenient and enjoyable as possible. This can help encourage visitors to make a purchase!

On your website, you can use imagery to help website visitors think about how your services can help them. Use images of where and how your customers can use your products to encourage more sales.

GSD Painting and Decorating Contractors, a commercial painting company, also helps their website visitors to imagine themselves using their services on their homepage. Throughout the page, there are images of GSD Painting and Decorating Contractors’ past work. Seeing these images can help website visitors imagine what their own spaces will look like with a new paint job, which is likely to significantly improve the company’s conversion rate.

You can use images of your products or past results to get customers to imagine themselves using your products or services. Show these images off on your website to get people excited and you’ll increase your chances of making more sales!

Use images to demonstrate how your products work

People like to make informed purchases. So, if you can show exactly how your products work through your website imagery, you can increase your chances of making a sale. You can do this with product photography, GIFs, graphics, or images that show your products being used.

Let’s take a look at an example of a business that uses imagery to show how their products work for inspiration.

FreshBooks, an online accounting software provider, uses imagery to clearly show how their platform works. For instance, on their product page, there is an image of a user holding a phone with a screenshot of their software. This image can show people just how easy the tool is to use and that it’s ideal for sending invoices and ensuring they get paid quickly. With this image, FreshBooks shows that they’re capable of addressing a common pain point for their customers, which will encourage them to try out the software. 

On your website, consider using imagery that shows exactly how your products can solve a common problem that your ideal customers have. This will help give website visitors a better understanding of how your products work and encourage them to make a purchase!

Choose imagery that shows off your brand’s personality

If you want people to feel connected to your brand, you’ll want to show off your personality. This will help people relate to you more, which is sure to encourage a lot more purchases. 

When choosing eCommerce website imagery that reflects your brand’s personality, keep in mind that the requirements will vary depending on the type of business you run. For instance, a kids’ toy store will want to use colorful images, while a law firm will want to use more polished and professional imagery.

If you’re not sure about what kinds of imagery will work best, start by thinking about how your ideal customer expects to be communicated with. You could even browse your competitors’ websites to see what types of imagery they typically use to get some inspiration. 

Try to stir up emotions among your audience 

Emotional marketing is a very helpful sales strategy. If you can inspire a strong sense of emotion in your customers, they’ll feel more connected to your business and be much more likely to shop on your eCommerce website! There are a lot of emotive images you could use, depending on what you sell. For instance, you could show people joyfully using your products or pictures of people who are sad because they have a problem you could solve.

Here are a few examples of ways you can stir up emotions in your customers with imagery:

  • Happiness: Everyone likes to feel happy! Show off images of your customers enjoying life while using your products.

  • Sadness or fear: If you work with people in trouble, like at a law firm or healthcare company, show images of people who are upset because they don’t yet have your products or services to help them.

  • Belonging: Show images of your customers using your products in a community or family setting to show that your products will help them feel less alone.

Let’s take a look at an example of a business that uses this strategy well for inspiration.

Helix Hearing Care, a supplier of hearing aids, uses imagery well on their hearing aids and solutions page. As you can see above, they use an image of two older people enjoying a glass of wine and presumably benefiting from the use of the company’s hearing aids. This image will encourage a visitor to imagine how their life could improve if they buy these hearing aids. For instance, they’ll be able to enjoy carefree conversations with their loved ones, and hear sounds they may have been missing. This will make them feel more connected to Helix Hearing Care as a company. Seeing these people enjoying life will increase the likelihood of them making a purchase.

On your website, consider showing off pictures of people who have had their lives improved by your products or services. This will provoke an emotional response in prospective customers, which will make it much more likely that they’ll make a purchase!

Summary

Imagery is one of the greatest tools you have at your disposal to sell more products! In this article, we outlined how you can increase your sales with emotionally evocative imagery, user-generated content, and the like.

The Best Online Courses for Small Business Owners 

When you decide to start your business, it can be a combination of both an exciting decision and one filled with trepidation. A lot of the time, those feelings of trepidation can be because you simply don’t feel prepared for that level of responsibility. Those feelings are totally normal. You’re taking a big step, and this will be a challenging experience. A lot of the best businesspeople in the world will tell you to fail in order to succeed and just throw yourself into it. Although, if you would rather feel more comfortable in yourself, there are a lot of online courses you could take to ready yourself more for the business world. 

Online Marketing Courses 

The internet is the greatest tool that you can use to promote your business. Every kind of organisation now has an online presence and there is an increasing number of consumers who take to the internet as a means to buy new products. As such, learning how to market yourself online is crucial for any business. Not only can the conventional form of marketing help you, but you can also find innovative ways to draw in customers as well. 

For instance, take Click Intelligence, a CBD SEO agency. It’s an expert in developing content that is both unique and SEO friendly so that organisations are able to stand out in what to many would seem like a saturated market. Yes, there is no doubt that learning online marketing is crucial for businesses. 

Become a Small Business Owner With a LinkedIn Online Course

This course is incredibly helpful and comes with over 11 hours’ worth of content. It comes with information about the basics of starting a business, the complications that can come with starting a business and what you should be prepared for when you step into the world of entrepreneurialism. The basics include the likes of the legal side, operational side and the financial side of the business

What makes doing a course with LinkedIn so helpful is that they usually focus on what you need to do if you start a business by yourself or with friends and family, which is common for a lot of small businesses. As such, you get to learn exactly how you can build a business model and develop a business plan accordingly. That way your business will not only be viable but also legally legitimate. 

Start a Profitable Business Online (a Course by Lewis Howes)

You’ll struggle to find a more credible business source than entrepreneur and podcast host Lewis Howes. On this course you will be given the chance to learn everything about creating a profitable online business. It comes packed with step-by-step information about the entire process of getting your idea and then creating, launching and building upon your successful online business. You will be given the low-down on how you can continue to develop your product, which includes developing practical strategies that will assist in its overall growth. 


5 Steps for Planning a Successful Seasonal Marketing Campaign

Planning a marketing campaign is no easy feat. A lot of effort and collaboration goes into ensuring that it can be implemented and will yield excellent returns. But what if your company is promoting a seasonal product?

A seasonal product certainly adds a layer of complexity to any marketing endeavor. However, it also presents a unique opportunity for the marketing team to flex their creative muscles and develop something special.

But before jumping directly to the steps, let’s first talk about seasonality.

Defining Seasonality

Seasonality can be defined as the periodic fluctuations that regularly occur in a predictable pattern based on a particular season, quarter, or month. Another way of putting it is any predictable change or pattern in a time series that recurs or repeats over a year.

In Western countries like the United States, seasonality takes its cue from the actual weather seasons―spring, summer, fall, and winter. For example, you’ll have lots of people gardening in the spring, visiting the beach in summer, going leaf-peeping in fall, and building snowmen in the winter. Online businesses need to consider this well ahead of time. 

Seasonality can also occur during certain holidays that present ripe commercial opportunities. For example, most businesses experience an uptick in sales right around the Christmas holidays (more examples below).

Seasonal opportunities are tremendous, and often, they’re the most commercially critical times of the year. So it’s only fitting to conclude that it has a significant influence on the strategies that e-commerce organizations put in place. 

Purchasing habits tend to shift based on consumer activities. As such, a lot of companies can benefit from tapping into their consumers’ holiday psyches, warm fuzzies, and spirits.

Seasonality from a Marketing Standpoint

When we talk about marketing, seasonality goes way beyond throwing a few light-hearted and festive posts on your brand’s social media accounts.

Why is this so?

Each season is different. There are specific noteworthy holidays celebrated during those times. The events and activities that take place are also different. People don’t typically carve turkeys or wear ugly sweaters in July.

Retailers can increase their customer base by 30 to 50 percent during the holidays by investing in effective seasonal strategies every year. 

Some examples of seasonal opportunities that can increase revenue dramatically and create a connection with your target audience are as follows: Halloween, Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Christmas, New Year’s Eve/Day, and Valentine’s Day.

Adjusting Your Message, Budget, and Approach

Seasonal marketing is all about having phenomenal timing, unique content, and perfect campaign execution that earns engagement and, ultimately, sales.

Because purchasing habits can and do shift, businesses need to take this into account well ahead of time. It’s essential to start preparing for peak season as early as possible, so you’re not left wondering what your next move should be.

In its Holiday 2016 eCommerce Report, the content monetization platform Skimlinks pointed to a notable trend in consumer behavior.

“Consumers start and finish their shopping earlier than ever before, and that means publishers, advertisers and agencies alike need to be readier earlier than ever before to capitalize on the holiday season’s opportunities from an editorial and advertising standpoint.”

How to Plan a Seasonal Campaign

Several factors come into play when planning a seasonal campaign. You’ve got timing, demographics, the content/message, physical and online events. And at these events, you may have to come up with custom packaging so the product fits the season.

Hitting on all these factors dramatically increases the likelihood of having a successful marketing campaign and sold-out products.

Having a systematic and step-by-step approach prevents your team from being overwhelmed. It makes it easier for everyone to be organized and on the same page throughout the planning process.

So, without further ado, here are the steps.

  1. Choose the right seasonal opportunity

Every season has something different to offer; the key here is to be selective. Do your research and collect data on when your customers are most likely to engage and then choose events that somehow relate to your business. 

Jen McKinnon says, “The online stores who perform the best on public holidays are the ones that are most well prepared for the local calendar, tailoring their shopping events to their audience and making the most of the vacation vibe that a public holiday provides.”

Here are a few popular holidays, events, and themes you can start with:

Spring

Holidays

  • Easter
  • April Fools’ Day
  • Earth Day
  • Mother’s Day
  • Memorial Day

Events and Themes

  • Spring weather
  • Spring sports
  • Green initiatives
  • Bright color schemes

Summer

Holidays

  • Flag Day
  • Independence Day
  • Labor Day

Events and Themes

  • Summer weather
  • Barbecuing
  • Vacations

Fall

Holidays

  • Halloween
  • Veterans Day
  • Thanksgiving
  • Black Friday

Events and Themes

  • Back to school
  • Fall activities (e.g., pumpkin picking, haunted houses)

Winter

Holidays

  • Hanukkah
  • Christmas
  • New Year’s Eve/Day

Events and Themes

  • Super Bowl
  • Snow
  • Staying warm

Creative marketers can make every season work. Whether you create season-related content (e.g., social media posts, blogs, and infographics), host a themed contest, or promote a sale for relevant products and services, this list should be in mind.

  1. Use the right message and approach

As with any marketing campaign, your seasonal campaign messaging is essential. To help you get started, you should be thinking of the following:

  • Mapping the customer journey and the story you want to tell. A customer journey map shows the story of the customer’s experience, from initial contact, through the process of engagement and into a long-term relationship.
  • The emotions you want to evoke in your audience. The goal of appealing to emotion is to connect with your audience and make them receptive to your message. If you can do that, your audience is more likely to understand where you’re coming from, accept your views, and take action.
  • A call-to-action. The ultimate goal here is to make your audience take action or the desired next steps you want to encourage.  
  1. Work out your budget

The key to a successful seasonal marketing campaign is fine-tuning your budget, so there are no surprises.

First things first, you’ll want to start by creating a list of your baseline costs. These are the minimum expenses required to keep the doors of your business open from month to month, which include the following:

  • Monthly lease or rent payments 
  • Utilities (e.g., electricity, internet service, and cellular service)
  • Taxes
  • Insurance

Next, look at your existing budget and make allowances for what you’ll need to get your business ready for the season.

Things you may need to consider include:

  • Bonuses or gifts for employees or customers
  • Gifts for vendors or clients
  • Ongoing marketing or advertising expenses
  • Added payroll costs for seasonal employees
  • Postage and shipping if you’re mailing out orders to customers
  1. Model successful campaigns

You don’t need to reinvent the wheel. Have a look at some of the last few years’ most successful content campaigns for a particular occasion using tools like Ahrefs and BuzzSumo.

When evaluating existing, successful campaigns, spend some time thinking about how each piece approached content format, distribution, messaging, and emotion.

Furthermore, one of the best parts of seasonal marketing is the ability to recycle your best-performing ideas the following year, as long as you make your content as evergreen as possible.

A great example is Hershey’s Christmas Bells commercial. The brand has run the TV spot every year since 1989, making it the longest-running Hershey’s commercial of all time.

  1. Treat every customer individually

For seasonal marketing to be effective, your customers should be tailored to individuals, regardless of channel, and the best way to do this is through customer profiling.

A larger segment may have several thousand customers in it, but brands still need to treat each member within that segment as an individual.

Review and Repurpose

It’s essential to document your campaign results carefully. Treat them as points of reference for future campaigns.

Try to not only repurpose the successful elements but also identify the weak sides of your promotions so you can eliminate them next time.

Pay Attention to the Results

It’s worth noting that there’s no such thing as a perfect seasonal marketing campaign. You can be widely successful, but there will always be little things that can be improved upon or changed entirely. 

Seasonal campaigns can be tremendously fun, but you need to take the data seriously. If you’ve gone through the trouble of meticulously planning every aspect of your marketing campaign, have the same attitude when accessing the results. Examine all available data and meet with your team to see how you could have done things differently and do even better next time around.

You can find opportunities for improvement to keep in mind for your next seasonal campaign by tracking your follower engagement on social media, the campaign’s ROI, and other KPIs,

No-Frills Beginner’s Guide to Amazon Advertising

Every e-commerce business has leveraged advertising to fuel their sales, with Google and Facebook Ads being the most popular. But many are missing out on what might already be staring them in the face: Amazon advertising. 

Amazon has gained a massive following in the e-commerce industry ever since its launch back in 1994. In fact, 66.4 million households in America have an Amazon Prime subscription. That’s more than the number of people who go to church on Sundays! 

This fact alone shows how massive the opportunity is for e-commerce owners to advertise on Amazon, and it’s one that they shouldn’t miss. But first, how do these businesses get started? 

Amazon Advertising: How Does It Work?

Amazon Ads work the same as Google Ads. They are displayed in different areas of the e-commerce platform when a user types in a related search query on the Amazon search box. You can differentiate them from the regular search results as they are labeled subtly with text like “sponsored” or “ad.”

Amazon advertising has a similar process to Google Ads. Advertisers bid on specific keywords to increase the visibility of their products. These are pay-per-click ads, which means the advertiser will only pay for the ads that a user clicks.

While Amazon advertising is an excellent opportunity for e-commerce businesses, they can boost their advertising strategy with Google Ads.

Online consumers are now smarter than ever. Around 53 percent of shoppers do a Google search before purchasing products online. And if a business isn’t advertising on the world’s most popular search engine, they’re going to lose the advertising game to competitors.

Entrepreneurs who don’t have the time and expertise to place their ads can outsource the work to Google Ad specialists. These services take the work off their plate and put their advertising budget to good use.

How to Advertise on Amazon 

  1. Make out your goal 

Before anything else, businesses should determine their advertising goals. Amazon allows advertisers to set their success metrics based on their goals, such as increasing their sales or promoting their brand.

For example, they can monitor the Advertising Cost of Sales (ACoS) to drive more sales. On the other hand, impressions are a great determining factor for boosting brand awareness.

Knowing the goal beforehand also helps advertisers determine which ad type will work best to reach their goal.  

  1. Pick the right products 

Now, it’s time to choose products to advertise. For retailers that have a vast inventory, selecting the right ones can be tricky.

But the most fail-safe trick is to advertise the most popular products. These will more likely gain conversions. Before placing the ads, merchants should stock up on these bestsellers to avoid buyer issues.

Of course, they need to ensure products are priced competitively. Otherwise, they’ll be losing to competitors who are selling the same items for a lower price.

  1. Optimize your product pages

Ads can get you clicks, but they won’t guarantee conversions. This means advertisers also need to improve their product pages to drive checkouts.

Shoppers will look at these pages for accurate and persuasive details about the product. These include a clear, compelling product title and description, high-quality product photo, and other specific information on the product. 

For example, clothing brands are more likely to convert shoppers by placing the right measurements of their products. People need to know if they’re getting something that’ll fit them just right.

Entrepreneurs that don’t want to deal with product procurement may consider dropshipping on Amazon. This allows them to open up shop, set up sponsored ads, and earn a portion of the sales from a main seller.

  1. Determine the right ad type for you

There are different ad types on Amazon, and each of them doesn’t work the same or provide the same results as others.

  • Sponsored ads – use automatic keyword targeting that leaves it up to Amazon’s algorithm to use the most relevant keywords to the product

  • Headline search ads – also known as sponsored brand campaigns that feature up to three of the brand’s products in the ads

  • Product display ads – PPC ads that appear on product pages, on top of offer listing pages, and below search results

  • Video ads – displayed on devices, websites, and other Amazon-owned assets across the web

  • Stores – an Amazon store lets you display all your products on one convenient page for free

5. Choose between sponsored brand and sponsored product 

The difference between a sponsored brand and a sponsored product listing on Amazon lies in the products displayed, and ultimately, the ad’s goal.

A sponsored brand will display three or four of a brand’s products in one row, which helps boost awareness of its product range.

Meanwhile, a sponsored product post only promotes an individual product. This means advertisers that use this type of ad are focused on generating more sales for that specific product. This also benefits those whose goal is to target a niche audience.

6. Use advanced targeting features 

By using category-specific targeting, you can display ads only to interested shoppers that’ll likely give clicks.

For instance, users clicking on a Nike sportswear might also be interested in exploring other sportswear brands. Because of this, they’re more likely to click on sponsored products related to that item.  

Amazon allows advertisers to target products by category, providing them greater control on where and when their ads appear on the platform’s search results.

7. Do keyword research 

Before bidding on specific keywords, ensure that they’re the correct terms your target audience is looking for. Otherwise, you’ll be wasting your ad spend paying for clicks that don’t get enough conversions.

To target your ads at a smaller yet more high-intent audience, try to be more specific by bidding on phrases or exact match keywords. For instance, instead of targeting a broad keyword like “scented candles,”  you may want to target “soy wax scented candles” if you’re offering a more eco-friendly option.  

Test the Waters

E-commerce marketing is a rapidly growing field with increasing numbers of job openings.  Advertising is all about trial and error, whether you’re a beginner or not. With the tight competition, it’s hard to achieve a goal overnight. But following these tips will help narrow that room for error and boost our chances of success.