The importance of good imagery
It’s not a secret. It only takes a quick Google search (and let’s face it, we only ever use Google) to find heaps of evidence proving that using good imagery on your website and social media platforms is essential. From increasing your credibility to prolonging consumer engagement, adopting effective imagery when marketing your brand is a no-brainer.
The question is, what defines good imagery, and where does it come from? A quick, go-to solution is to use stock photos. The vast majority of the images available on stock photo sites are often too awkward and disconnected to use, yet search long and hard enough and you may find the occasional image that can partially communicate your brand ethos. Problem solved, then? No.
The true power behind great imagery is not just in its immediate visual impact and its ability to grab the consumers’ attention, but its role in communicating the essence of your brand. Stock photos are unable to achieve this as they communicate someone else’s vision, often capturing generic emotions and messages. In order to communicate a consistent brand message, you need bespoke imagery.
First, you need a plan. Consolidate your brand values and the message that you want to communicate through your imagery. It is crucial to have a consistent theme and style in order to reinforce your brand’s image. For example, consider the marketing strategy of an antique dealer. When incorporating great imagery into their strategy, the antique dealer will need to consider the thoughts and emotions they wish to provoke in their target audience. If their brand’s key value is to restore elegance and ownership to neglected furniture, their imagery should communicate this.
Once you have committed to investing in bespoke imagery it is easy to rush the process, at the expense of achieving the best results for your brand. Instead, consider how you can get the most from your images. Are they going to be used on your website? Will they be used as a portrait image? As a banner? Will they be viewed on mobile devices? Do you plan on incorporating a graphic into the image? If so, how should you frame it? If you have a clear plan and strategy for using these images, then you can have more structure to your photo shoot and make sure you acquire content that is usable and effective. Planning takes time, but the results are worth it.
To go back to the antique dealer, it would be easy to pay a photographer to turn up at the warehouse and spend a day taking nice photos of the stock. However, your images are likely to lack consistency and may be limited in terms of usage options. Instead, the antique dealer may consider pursuing a marketing strategy that simultaneously communicates their brand’s values and the variety of antiques available, to be used on their website and across all social media platforms. Taking an image, for example, of a well-lit antique in the centre of the frame amid a backdrop of unlit clutter, would give a lot of scope in terms of cropping for a variety of image sizes, and allowing for the incorporation of graphics. This simple piece of direction can give the photographer everything they need to produce a portfolio of beautiful images that are composed and framed consistently and have been shot with an intended use in mind.
Armed with a portfolio of images that you are confident communicate your brand values and are consistent with your marketing strategy, it is time to engage your audience. Whether they are visiting your website’s landing page or viewing your social media platforms, consumers are attracted to beautiful imagery and, if it communicates the right message, you will attract the right customers. Bespoke imagery gives you control over what those pictures say about your brand. Use it well, and you will see the benefits through greater consumer engagement and, consequently, more conversions.