Contributed by Jason Hatch, Senior Director, Product Management, Web Experience, Asia Pacific & Japan, Akamai Technologies

 

For any digital marketer, visuals can make or break audience engagement. Case in point, recent research1 shows that on average, total views increase by a whopping 94% if a published article contained a relevant image compared to one without. High quality images can further lead to positive brand perception or enhanced end-user experience, prompting consumers to make a purchase or revisit the website.

It is the duty and responsibility of digital marketers to ensure the smooth delivery of visual content to their target audience. But are you really doing enough and getting it right? Cross check with the S.P.E.E.D checklist below to find out:

 

• Swift and seamless page load times
High quality images can weigh websites down due to their sheer size, which has grown dramatically from 0.47 MB in 2011 to 1.53 MB in 2016 – an increase in size by 3.25 times.

 

 

This is a common headache for businesses especially eCommerce retailers, whose web pages are typically loaded with icons, logos and product images. With nearly 1 in 5 consumers expecting pages to load instantly2, they are quick to move on when they experience long loading times.

It is thus critical for digital marketers to work closely with their web publishing team to ensure a frictionless browsing experience at all possible touchpoints. Deploying a solution that can automatically and intelligently optimise the image for any device or web browser is also essential to keeping consumers engaged throughout their browsing journey.

 

• Peak performance regardless of website traffic
High website traffic can be both a boon and a bane for digital marketers. Boon – high traffic may lead to higher lead conversions. Bane – when the website fails to handle the traffic, disrupted user experience may end up driving visitors away. And service outages can be more severe than one imagines: Half of dissatisfied users will visit another website to accomplish their activity, while 45% are less likely to visit a page again after a bad experience3.

During these trying times, digital marketers have to work with their IT teams to ensure that their chosen delivery platforms are built on a highly distributed network architecture and powered by intelligent traffic routing software. This will enable the software to leverage both geographic and network proximity and effectively route traffic for end-users, ensuring high performance and low latency in content delivery.

 

• Engage mobile and desktops for real revenue
A single image viewed by the end-user is usually made up of many more derivative images at the back end to cater to heterogeneous devices, browsers, operating systems, formats, resolutions and more – easily jumping up to 108 variants or more. Manually creating and managing all the derivative images is often time-consuming and inefficient.

 

 

Digital marketers, together with their web designers and publishers, should instead streamline operations by automating the image creation workflow to optimise and resize images. By integrating this into a wider responsive web design strategy, marketers can cut down on costs and effort while delivering images at a faster rate to audience.

 

• Embrace emerging sales models
The touchpoints which brands use to engage with end consumers have grown exponentially, and will continue to expand. Emerging sales models can change the game completely as brands seek to sell beyond their websites, leveraging alternative eCommerce platforms such as Facebook Marketplace, Rakuten, and Carousell. As such, image management processes on the back end also need to be able to readily adapt to new platforms and scale as and when required.

 

• Design for diversity
As new devices and image formats continue to roll out at an unprecedented pace, digital marketers need to future-proof their image management policy so that they can easily tailor to new image sizes and formats with just the click of a mouse.

Did you fare well in the above checklist? If not, it’s high time you apply these best practices to your digital marketing strategy to better engage your consumers. Remember, getting your image management right is the key to a successful digital marketing campaign and ensure that you maximise the potential of your content assets.


[1] Skyworld, Skyword Study: Add Images to Improve Content Performance
[2] / [3] Akamai, Performance Matters Report, 2016

The author is a 3rd party contributor to AdAsia and this article represents his views.

 

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