Why your preview image matters as much as the headline

Visual storytelling extends to selection of a photo or illustration that conveys to clickbait-weary readers the substance of your content. Here are seven tips for getting it right.

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When we talk about native campaign performance, headlines tend to get all the attention.

The preview image, though, plays just as important a role in the reader’s decision whether to engage with brand content.

Compelling visuals have long been at the center of creating great social media content, which is all native—it matches the look and feel of the content around it. As advertising moves into feeds, images have become just as important for boosting engagement with native advertising in traditional (non-social-media) publisher platforms as well.

As with headlines, the art of a good preview image is becoming a science. Here are seven essentials to picking a successful preview image for your native campaign:

1. Be authentic. The goal is for readers to connect with content and to think a brand just gets them. Generally, that’s more likely to happen if readers feel they look like the people they see in photos. In other words: Use real people, not models. Know your demographic, and show you understand them.

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