Here it is, one of the most common cliches of all time (at least since pictures were around) – A picture speaks a thousand words.
The saying is so prevalent because it captures the power of images so clearly. It should be no surprise that images are not only a highly effective communication vehicle, but are also a powerful asset in search engine optimization (and social media marketing.)
Images can bring organic search benefits both directly- optimized images draw traffic from image searches and from integrated search results, and indirectly – images make pages more appealing and more likely to receive inbound links.
What image types make sense for B2B marketers?
The use of images can cover a wide range of goals and objectives – product marketing, application use, capabilities presentations, highlighting data & metrics, customer support, employee recruitment, and many more. Here are some quick ideas for image types that B2B marketers should consider incorporating into their SEO & social media strategies:
- Product images
- Banner ads
- Company history
- Corporate logos
- Buildings & facilities
- Presentations (cover pages and, potentially, entire slide decks)
- Trade show participation
- Employee happiness
So, why Flickr?
Use Flickr’s ability to create photo Sets and Galleries to group images by type/use.
If you need access to company images for web pages, blog posts, Facebook, presentations, or for any purpose, having an account on Flickr ensures that you can access the photos in the office, at home, and on the road. It is easy to give other employees “access” to the images because they are public (if you choose to use those settings, which is the point of this article.)
Join Groups and network with like-minded people (great example – the Infographics Group.) Joining the right groups will help increase your exposure and make it more likely that your images will be found and used.
This last point segues into the aspect of sharing that is critical for enabling Flickr to be used as a powerful search marketing tool.
Enable as many sharing options as you can (or, as many as your corporate standards and Legal department will allow.) In the Privacy & Permissions section of your account, you will be able to set various levels of sharing for the following. Who can download your images? Who can share your photos or video? Who can add you to a photo? Who can blog your photos? Allow your images to be added to a gallery. Galleries allow members to bring together photos or video around a theme or idea.
Once you have your images on Flickr, and have either made your sharing options public, or can log into your account to grab image embedding code/links, you will find it very easy to use your images across the Web. For example:
- Blog posts (embed code)
- Blog templates/platforms (e.g. WordPress widgets)
- Google Gadgets (quick search query)
- Articles (on site and off site)
- Facebook (share images)
- Twitter (Twitter2Flickr)
- Additional social communities that have created Flickr integrations (e.g. Squidoo, Zimbio, etc.)
In order to get the maximum benefit from Flickr, you will likely have to sign up for a Pro Account (roughly $25/year.)
Case in point?
As I was researching this topic to ensure quality and originality, I searched in Google for “flickr b2b”. The first result, indented, contained this page, B2B & Niche Business Social Media – How Does That Work? Congratulations to Lee Stacey for this small win! Lee’s Flickr profile and blog (Lee is Web marketer in the UK, and just got some nice exposure and links here because of his Flickr activity.)
- Getting Links and Content From Flickr, Search Engine Land
- 6 Ways to Use Fickr for Business, Merrick Management & Media Services
- Flickr Axing Business Use of Photos for SEO, Search Engine Journal
- Google Maps Integrates Flickr Photos, Marketing Pilgrim
- Comprehensive Guide to Using Flickr for Traffic Building, Dosh Dosh
- Using Photos to Build Inbound Links, Small Business SEM
- Link Building With Flickr, Uber Link Building
- Should You Upgrade To A Flickr Pro Account?, Justin Wright
Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.