Have you ever watched a video because the thumbnail-image of it compelled you to do so, and then found that the video had nothing to do with the image that convinced you to watch it?
How did that make you feel?
Chances are you felt at least a little bit cheated and upset that you wasted your time watching one thing when you expected to watch something else.
This is something that you NEVER want your Sparrow post readers to experience.
Congruence: Delivering on Expectations
When you’re creating a post, you want to make sure that the post image, title, body and call-to-action all work together to deliver the overall theme of your post. This is known as “Congruence”, which is defined as agreement, harmony and compatibility.
Your post image and title create a certain expectation in your reader for what the post will be about. Giving the reader what he or she expects satisfies his or her need to get what was promised.
If, on the other hand, the parts of your post are un-related (non-congruent), the reader will feel confused and possibly even cheated because their expectation, based on the post image and title, was not met.
Building Trust with your Reader
When all parts of your post are congruent you deliver on the reader’s expectations. This will help build a level of trust for you as an author, and your readers will be more likely to open future posts from you.
Break that trust however, by promising one thing and delivering another, and your readers will be much less inclined to open anything more from you.
Congruence Doesn’t Mean Lack of Creativity
Keeping your post components on-topic and congruent doesn’t mean you need to abandon your creativity. You have leeway to use an image and title that may not be COMPLETELY on topic, as long as they convey the big-picture idea of what the post will deliver.
As long as the reader comes away with a feeling that, “it all made sense,” you’ve done your job of successfully tying the parts of the post together in a congruent manner.