Internet users are known to have nearly instantaneous reactions to what they see on their screens. In less than 50 milliseconds, users experience an initial “gut feeling” that help them decide whether they’ll stay or leave. This first impression depends on many factors including structure, colors, spacing, symmetry, and amount of text, fonts, and more. Looking at a brand’s visual gallery is no different. In addition to the aforementioned variables, consumers make their judgments based on attractiveness, likability, trustworthiness, competence and aggressiveness.

Simplicity

Customers want to have an experience when shopping whether it is online or in a store. To experience a brand there is a need to bring the product or service to customers so they can visualize how the product looks, feels, and functions. Pair customer photos with quality product photos in order for a strong call to action.

A study by Google Research on why websites need to make a great impression concluded that users strongly prefer website designs that look both simple and familiar. In other words, preferred websites have a low complexity and a high prototypically. Visual complexity is how complex the visual design of a website looks. The prototypically is how representative a design looks for a certain category of websites.

Consumers don’t simply prefer high prototypically and low complexity; they expect these attributes. Designs that contradict users’ expectations when visiting a website can create a negative first impression. You can glean some of this information when putting your gallery together by paying attention to what consumers are sharing, liking, and commenting on.

Engagement

In 2014 1.8 billion photos were uploaded and shared every day on photo/image sharing sites such as WhatsApp, Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, etc.

With the rise in popularity of social media, today’s consumers are more active than ever in sharing the brands they love. Consumers are not only engaged, but they are also the most authentic and compelling brand assets available today.  Olympus is a great example as they create a call to action for their customers without directly promoting the product.

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Sharing
Creating visually compelling galleries across your marketing channels can be done easily by collecting, curating, and tagging images that your customers contribute and share. With multiple galleries to promote categories or specific hashtags will help generate connections and strengthen relationships with your customers by rewarding them for their engagement. It takes a strong awareness towards reflecting on shares, comments and likes. In the end it is about balance. Share the right type of content that is useful to your customers and prospects to keep them engaged but also step back and allow your customers to create the content for you.

A great example is Unique Vintage. On their website they offer customers to use the hashtag #iamunique on (Twitter, Flickr and Instagram) to share ways their customers are unique from fashion to personal passions. Another option is direct uploading onto their website for customers to win a chance to have their photo featured in the website gallery. With interaction provided directly on your website your customers will be inspired to explore more of your products to express themselves.

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In conclusion it is essential to keep these best practices in mind when developing your visual galleries. To be successful you must consider consistent simplicity, provide engagement, and continue to share. By sharing your customer’s generated photos on your channels you’ll soon experience the benefits of you loyal and socially active customers.

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