Quick Sprout recently gathered some data for image use in blog posts, which suggests, among other things, that using royalty-free images are no longer beneficial to a blog post’s success.
Neil Patel and his team did a quality job using 41 blogs from varying industries as the sample. You can also do this same study for your blog for even more relevant info.
My experience tell me these lessons will hold for most businesses.
Animated graphics and hand-drawn images
For both of these #1 and #2 ranked image types, you have to think about time invested. While the results are there, the wow-factor is there, you might be spending more time than the return is worth.
“The cost of producing one was too high compared to the results it generated. These animated graphics didn’t do as well in the B2B sector as they did in the sector covering consumer-facing topics such as how a car engine works,” said Neil Patel about animated graphics.
No rocket science here. People love sharing infographics. So much so that Patel recommends sharing one per week on your blog if you are not already.
One of the benefits to sharing infographics is you do not necessarily have to create them, although the return is greater when you do. Plenty of businesses are creating infographics and want them shared or published elsewhere.
While not a cure-all for your content, infographics are a quality quality supplement.
Graphs and charts
Posts that feature a graph, surprisingly, only come in 4th in social shares. But what they lack in shares they make up for with backlinks. “On average, they received 258% more trackbacks than blog posts with other types of images,” said Patel.
Visual data is not necessarily the most accessible, but other publishers love it.
This was the most surprising to me, that screenshots ranked so low on the list, next-to-last.
Patel thinks this is because so many blogs use screenshots for promotional posts. Or, in my words, for low quality posts. If you are writing a how-to article for the web or any software, screen shots are highly educational. For higher quality content like this, I suspect the results are closer to that of graphs and charts.