Using images – especially the off-the-shelf variety available from stock photo resources – is the default setting of most content creators. Write an article, publish it with a generic shot that vaguely relates to the piece and costs a couple of dollars to acquire, and never think about it again.
This is all well and good for blog posts and other desktop-based content, but what about mobile marketing? Is there a good home for the right image in a text message?
Yes and no. It’s true that the widespread adoption of smartphones has enabled consumers to receive rich content like images and audio. There’s a lot you can do with the right picture, especially if you’ve created something unique and eye-grabbing. Brand memory and recognition are principally visual phenomena, so a truly arresting image is far likelier to stay with a consumer than a slogan, mission statement or even company name.
But there are pitfalls. When brand marketers rely on images, they often forget that there’s little point in adding a picture if it doesn’t add value to the message. Remember, multi-media messages are charged at a higher rate than plan SMS, and they are frequently excluded from price plans. In some cases, marketers can pre-pay data fees – but make sure you’re aware of what your options are before tacking on pictures to your SMS messaging campaign.
You must also ensure you custom-create any image-led campaign for SMS and MMS. If you simply transfer a link from your mobile website – where customers can click on the link to see the image – it will not be clickable in a text message. Always review any images, videos or other rich multimedia content you send in text messages.
Finally, just because you can send an image with your message doesn’t mean you have to. The same is true for all mobile marketing tactics – they are options, not requirements. You have a rich palette from which to work, but if you throw all the paint at the canvas, it’s not going to be a pretty picture.