Finding the Right Content Imagery to Increase Engagement


It’s no secret that images are one of the best ways to increase content engagement online, as nearly every study shows that posts including images get more likes, shares, and comments than those without. However, simply including an image is not enough to increase engagement, as the image must be relevant to the brand and the audience it will be reaching.


When brands are selecting images to use on social media, it’s important to find images that match the mood and personality of the brand. For example, a clothing brand promoting a spring line should include bright, colorful, happy photos that convey feelings of springtime. A photo with snow or rain will not match the mood of a post promoting springtime clothing if the clothing is not designed for that type of weather.


One of the better-kept secrets about using imagery online is with regard to the people pictured in the images. According to Contently, over 60% of the company’s best-selling images had only a single subject pictured, while 20% had two or more. In addition, candid photos are expected to sell nearly twice as often as those with the subject facing the camera, as candid shots allow readers to more effectively picture themselves as the subject in the photo.


We’ve already mentioned that images should convey a brand personality in order to find significant engagement, however capturing a feeling or emotion is important as well.


When customers see an image of happy individuals, they will be more inclined to read the post and share its content because the feeling is something that they can relate to. When images do not convey strong feeling or emotion that coincides with the company’s personality and product, customers do not feel a personal connection to the image being shown, and therefore will be far less likely to promote it.


For some brands, concept art may be one of the best ways to increase engagement with imagery. Conceptual photos and art are timeless and can be related to by nearly any type of person. Because of this, they are excellent at appealing to a very large audience and are often some of the most often shared images on the web. Concept art stands apart from the traditional stock images and candid shots seen on most posts, making them a great way to stand out and catch the eye of the audience, encouraging viewers to continue reading. 


Finally, perhaps the most important tip on this list is to never use cheesy stock images in hopes of achieving high content engagement.


Whether it be on social media, or on the website itself, cheesy stock images are notorious for being laughable and unrelatable, making them a terrible choice of imagery in hopes of increasing contact engagement. While stock images may be inexpensive (or in many cases, free), they are not always the best choice for a post’s representation, making it well worth the extra investment of finding creative and unique photos. 


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Steve has entrepreneurship in his DNA. Starting in the early 2000s, Steve achieved eBay Power Seller status which propelled him to become a founding partner of, a contact lens and eyewear retailer. Four years later through a successful exit from that startup, he embarked on his next journey into digital strategy for direct-to-consumer brands.

Currently, Steve is a Senior Merchant Success Manager at Shopify, where he helps brands to identify, navigate and accelerate growth online and in-store.

To maintain his competitive edge, Steve also hosts the top-rated twice-weekly podcast eCommerce Fastlane. He interviews Shopify Partners and subject matter experts who share the latest marketing strategy, tactics, platforms, and must-have apps, that assist Shopify-powered brands to improve efficiencies, profitably grow revenue and to build lifetime customer loyalty.

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