The Best Content in the World Means Nothing Without the Right Pictures

It’s time to post some new content to your site. You’ve done the legwork to get all the details together. You’ve got the writing. Heck, you’ve even got the bad@$$ title that’s going to bring in the traffic.

All that’s missing is your image.

Unfortunately, especially for employee spotlights, images for blog content typically falls to the wayside. It ends up being a last-minute thought rather than a major piece of the post that deserves as much focus as the content itself. This is a problem for a few reasons, but let‚Äôs start with the raw data:


The numbers speak for themselves, but the story they‚Äôre telling is an important one for any brand that‚Äôs trying to gain traction (employer included!): pictures are a must-have in today‚Äôs visual-centric online world.

But having pictures only gets you to square one. You can‚Äôt just schlep any old picture up on a blog post about your employees or company culture and expect it to get you those additional 94% more views. So what will give your pics that extra oomph?

A Cure for Stock Art-itis

Our recruitment marketing team may not be doctors, but there‚Äôs a disease that we diagnose many employer brands with. That disease is Stock Art-itis.

Picture this: you write an amazing post featuring one of your best employees telling a story about an awesome presentation they were able to put together in their career with your company. Now, rather than getting a picture of them, you go to Google and type in ‚Äúpresentation‚Äù and end up posting the story with something cringeworthy like this:

stock photo office

You need an antidote for your stock art-itis suffering.

Scratch your head and say it doesn‚Äôt make a big difference all you want, but here‚Äôs the deal‚Äîyou are selling these stories to candidates, candidates who you would like to see apply for a job. All that effort you put into your content goes to waste when you publish it with a picture like this. The point of your content is to give an inside look, but an inside look posted with a canned photo isn‚Äôt an inside look. These people in the photo are not the people who work at your company, and candidates know that.

When pictures speak for your content, they have to match up with what the content is saying.

It’s Not Stock Art, But…

The buck doesn‚Äôt stop with abandoning stock photos and taking your own pictures either, because you need to take the right kind of pictures.

To know what the right kind of pictures are, let’s look at what makes the wrong kind of picture:

fedex driver

You may be thinking, “What’s wrong with this? It’s a real FedEx guy at his job.”

You‚Äôre correct, but this picture still isn‚Äôt getting to the heart of the job. This guy was obviously told to stand against a van, cross his arms, and give an Oscar-worthy smile into the camera so they could have a happy image of a FedEx guy at his job.

Candidates look at this kind of picture and, while it‚Äôs better than our stock friends up there, they can still smell the BS. Chances are, FedEx drivers spend very little time cheesing against the side of their delivery van, and candidates know this. This is not an inside look at life as a FedEx driver, this is a picture that was staged and might as well be a stock photo.

Doin’ It Right

There are companies who do get it right. Home Depot’s main careers site page features this gem:

home depot careers

We‚Äôve got what looks like real employees, doing what looks like a real job inside of Home Depot.

It‚Äôs real, it‚Äôs raw and it‚Äôs in-the-moment.

Sure, you don‚Äôt have them smiling painfully into the camera like it‚Äôs the best day they‚Äôve ever had, but candidates will look at this picture and it will resonate with them because they know they‚Äôre getting, if not the true inside look into life at Home Depot, at least what looks like the true inside look into life at Home Depot.

Now It’s Your Turn

Getting the right pictures for your content is gravely important, but that doesn‚Äôt mean it has to be the hardest thing in the world. We‚Äôve talked on our blog before about the process of taking amateur but professional-looking photos, where you‚Äôll learn how to physically get the snapshots you need.

It‚Äôs the mental block you have to surpass that I want to leave you thinking about. As much as you‚Äôd love for your employees to be beacons of happiness all day every day, the reality is they are not. No one sits at their desk all day smiling, because that‚Äôs not real. Get past the idea that your employees you photograph have to be staged and looking perfect, and embrace the idea that candidates want to see your employees in raw action and know they‚Äôre getting the real deal.

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