There is nothing sold online today that doesn’t require a visual. But many small businesses struggle to keep up with the constant content treadmill that is needed to successfully sell across platforms—from Instagram and TikTok, to email and in-store marketing—and to respond to new product launches, seasonal promotions and more. Maybe you also want to launch on Amazon? More photos and videos will be required for this too.

Overwhelmed? I get it.

It may seem overwhelming to put a strategic content plan in place with limited resources but it’s an essential component to drive growth.  Industry experts predict as much as 90% of the purchase decision comes down to photos. There are several factors you should carefully consider to maximize your brand’s content and deliver CASH to your business.

To drive sales – or what I like to call “cart magic” to your e-commerce store – here are the 5 things you should prioritize:

  1. Consider Costs. Determine how much you can spend on additional visuals by measuring how your customer acquisition costs (CAC) change with improved photo quality on your social media content. As an example, if your CAC started at $100, but dropped to $80 after posting new images of a popular product on social media, you’ll have an indication of typical savings generated through better images. From here, take the number of customers you hope to acquire and multiply it by your savings (in this case, $20 per customer) to create a sustainable budget for new visuals.
  2. Curate Consistency. Make sure your brand has a consistent visual personality across all platforms and mediums so that customers and prospects alike can easily identify and recognize your brand. Create a mood board to develop the style guides for your images. Whether you’re bringing in soft light or sharp shadows, playing with the variants of your brand color, or using the same filter across images, there are ways to maintain a consistent brand look and feel without reproducing the same image over and over.
  3. Prioritize Planning. Pay close attention to how your grids on social media are visually organized to boost engagement. Visual planning can skyrocket content performance for a few reasons: 1) a unique look boosts brand awareness; 2) planned content drives engagement; and 3) a consistent approach highlights your professionalism. Additionally, aim for regularity when it comes to the cadence of posts so that your audience comes to expect content, series, or giveaways at certain times. Releasing a newsletter every Friday will get more attention than sporadic posts. As you continue to feed the content machine, your audience will start to depend on your content
  4. Invite Interest. Your current and potential customers want to see your products in action and will support your brand because of the people behind it. Bring in the human element through real models, a set of hands, or even a pet. Today’s customers want to connect with your brand in a personal way, so consider putting yourself in front of the camera and showing how you do things behind-the-scenes. It creates authenticity and builds customer loyalty.
  5. Employ Experimentation. Play around with movement and color to maintain interest in your content and products. Movement captures the attention of potential customers in a way that static images sometimes cannot. Simple ways to do this include showing the product move between two positions or with a slow 360 spin to show the full view of an item. A dynamic content mix of photo and video will give customers a reason to continue browsing your page. Experimenting with bursts of color will also help your brand stand out in a sea of product-on-white images. Moving away from the bland with a clean monochromatic color scheme, contrasting backdrops and props, or complementary shades of warm neutrals will also help your content pop.

Product images are more important than product titles, descriptions, or even reviews when it comes to sales because photos are what really brings a product to life. Content plays a major role in every stage of the purchase cycle, from initial introductions via an ad to post-purchase online sharing. Putting an emphasis on the quality and type of content your brand is creating will go a long way in delivering the best first impression and keep customers coming back for more.

Liz Giorgi is the CEO and co-founder, soona Liz Giorgi is a 2-time media entrepreneur and Emmy-Award winner. Her current business, soona, provides the world’s first real time virtual shoot from a browser. She’s a passionate advocate for women in business and created the Candor Clause to tamp down on discrimination in Venture Capital. You can follow her @lizgiorgi on all social channels.

Visual content stock photo by farland2456/Shutterstock