Are you using photos in your storytelling?

This 5280 article caught my attention today with their great use of images courtesy of Santa Barbara-based Rent Café, a real estate listing service. The story features many of the major changes in Denver’s cityscape over the past 10 years and is a great example of why you should use photos to tell your story.

If you have great content that’s not getting the attention it deserves, think about how multimedia elements can draw attention to your topic. You don’t need to look any further than your social media accounts or you favorite online news source to see why. Articles and posts that use images or video get considerably more engagement than those without.

This particular example uses some pretty slick time-lapse functionality to show 10 years of development, but you don’t have to get fancy to effectively use visuals. Here are four tips for using media well in your content:

  • Show contrast (which is executed beautifully by Ama Otet in the Denver skyline example).
  •  Use unique images that are specific your topic whenever possible. You don’t have to be a professional photographer or a designer to use your own work. Just ask the 400 million and counting active Instagram users.
  • If you must use a stock photo, be creative and avoid the cliche. This Hubspot blog post has several simple suggestions on using stock photography well.
  • Share existing news images and always give credit! It was the DBJ’s media coverage featuring Rent Cafe’s photos that caught my attention and inspired this post. You’d be hard pressed to find a news or social outlet that doesn’t enable and encourage sharing.

 

What images are getting your attention?

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