Running any company on the Internet changes your view of online content. However, you have to step back in the consumer’s shoes from time to time to keep your advertising customer-centric. Many business owners forget to do that.
An excellent example of such disregard is the lack of quality visuals on many online shops and business websites. Sure, the owner sees the layout as logical and to-the-point, and they know what value their brand brings to the world.
Does their audience feel the same? Likely not.
Let’s explore the significance of high-quality photos and videos on your website to help you avoid this common pitfall.
The importance of visuals
If you’re looking at your current website and thinking that putting effort into visuals would be more trouble than it’s worth, consider the benefits of doing so.
Visuals create an experience
Visual content makes website visitors relate your name to an experience. The written posts matter, but images that convey your primary message and quick videos that sprinkle in relevant information are essential pieces of the puzzle.
You can use images to convey your statement, showcase your worth, and show people how you want to improve their everyday lives.
For instance, viewers will want to see how they look in real situations if you sell clothes. Restaurant websites should make mouths water with their food art. Imagined experiences push people to check out your brand in real life, turning viewers into customers.
Visuals tell a story
Storytelling is an essential marketing strategy, making you memorable and helping you evoke an emotional reaction in your audience.
Video lets you authentically get across the statements for the customers to remember. You could tell a story about how your company came to be, how your products help the consumers, or the ways you’re giving back to the planet.
Visuals drive sales
You can’t reasonably expect your company to blossom if few people even know about you, but imagery can help.
As long as you make your posts exciting and engaging, those who see them will likely share them with their friends and family. As a result, the next time a person is considering a product or service in your industry, your well-produced chunk of content will come to mind.
Visuals build trust
Trust is the foundation of any long-lasting, fruitful business-customer relationship, online and offline. However, customers are more and more hesitant about brands. It’s on you to stand out from the bunch and convey transparency and reliability.
You can showcase your industry expertise, share tips on the best practices with your product, and give your viewers a peek behind the scenes to see your manufacturing process.
All these little pieces of content add up and make people feel comfortable about shopping with you.
Authenticity is key
You have two main options for website visuals — stock imagery or authentic photography.
Stock photos are generic images available for content and marketing materials. They’re free and broadly accessible, but they’re not the most effective for website marketing. Authentic, custom photos give you the following benefits:
- Full control: original photos let you determine the exact tone and atmosphere to match the brand
- Stronger brand identity: while any photo beats words for establishing your brand, originality is what matters to the customers
- Reliability and trustworthiness: creating and incorporating self-made images makes you seem dedicated and transparent
If you’re short on time and looking to get your products out, try finding a source of consistent, HD-quality imagery to avoid seeming disinterested in your marketing.
Our solutions help you overcome the issues with traditional stock photos, letting you combine premade backgrounds with the most recognizable features of your brand. For instance, if you were a pet shop looking to promote a new set of custom family-friendly products, you could use this photo and add a background that matches your logo.
Using unique photos will make a real difference for your customers. Here are a few examples of how this can look like:
So, professional and unique photos will make a good impression on your customers.
Developing brand style
If you go into content production without a good plan and a clear vision of your brand image, it’ll only seem lackluster and fail to attract audiences. Consider the following to keep the visuals consistent and on-point.
Think about the way the broader world online sees your company. Are you a traditional company or more playful and experimental? The image composition should reflect that.
If you’re taking a shot of your employees to share online, they could all sit around the desk and pose for the camera. Alternatively, snap a picture of the team in action, messy office, board ready, developing the latest idea.
The colors you choose for your branding depend on the feeling you want your audience to associate with the products. Your coloring should match, or at least be reminiscent of, your logo for brand recognizability, too.
Think about brands geared towards young people. They’re usually sharp, bright, and dynamic, with pastels and loud tones to accentuate feelings of joy and excitement. On the other hand, minimalism and warm, neutral tones are the way to relax and calm.
Of course, you don’t have to choose the same colors for each photo or video you produce, but maintain consistency in filter use and central details.
Since it’s inevitable for visuals to tell your story, you should consider ways to tell tales that positively reflect the brand.
If you’re going for trustworthiness and transparency, you could share your entire process and bring in the experts. Brands looking to maintain a sense of playfulness around their name could show their product’s place in fun activities.
Using imagery in advertising
Finally, let’s go through the ways to make your brand imagery work for your marketing.
Know your targets
Before you launch your photo marketing campaign, you’ll need to identify your niche. Go as specific as possible, looking into the gender, socio-economic circumstances, education levels, and everyday activities your audience would engage in.
All these details inform your campaign and help you tailor it for effectiveness. For instance, marketing to college-aged women lets you get bold and quirky in your fashion ads, while the same promotion for moms with young children would emphasize ease and practicality.
If you take L’Oréal Paris as an example, they target women in general, and they are always emphasizing natural beauty. Their models do not wear too much makeup in photos, and it’s very discrete:
Vary your content
Visual marketing is a constant process – you can’t post one batch of content and call it a day. The goal is to keep traffic coming and going, and people won’t enjoy seeing pictures from three months ago.
Ideally, you’ll add various sections to your website for different purposes. A solid setup might be:
- The landing page displaying your primary activities
- A product section with multiple images and lengthy descriptions
- A behind-the-scenes part with videos and professional insights
- A mission page for your video advertisement and team images
- An upcoming page for announcements and discounts
- A blog section for more casual posts
Send creative emails
You can and should connect with your customers on social media (more on that later), but an email list is ideal for sending out personalized, informative messages.
Combine creativity and relevance and add photos to emails about discounts, promotions, or reminders of a full cart awaiting checkout. You could even run a contest, giveaway, or a newsletter — they all work ten times better combined with eye-catching visuals.
Modern companies have social media profiles across the board to attract as broad an audience as possible and spark conversations.
Social platforms are the best spot to organize giveaways, post product updates, and connect with audiences on a more personal level.
You could also show the face behind the brand by posting content of yourself discussing the products. People will see you as honest and relatable, which does wonders for brand loyalty.
Animate your visuals
This one works best for products and services that make a swift, visual difference. For example, if a person is looking for an app to polish their pictures, a selfie editor displaying the before-and-after shots in its advertisement will get their attention.
You can apply this one in other fields, too, from makeup and beauty care to cleaning supplies and organizing tools. Think about what problem your product solves and make the message crystal clear through animations.
Organize virtual events
People are competitive, and they love getting an award for their efforts. Why not use this to your advantage and run a contest in line with your photography marketing?
User-generated content is your go-to strategy. Your customers create images and videos and tag you, leading their followers to your profile. Some ideas include:
- Most creative product usage
- Group photos with your items
- Make-your-own-commercial contests
- Artwork competitions
- Product improvement ideas
Think of a small prize — it could be a free item or a discount for the next purchase — and spread the word. People will find the challenge entertaining, and you get tons of free advertising in return.
Tying it all together
Finally, remember that branding is essential for your business to flourish, and photography and videography are indispensable for making it happen.
Think about your brand and which style matches it best, and put your content out there. The second you do it, you become much more likely to attract a large customer pool excited about your product.
Autor’s bio: Ashley Lipman is an award-winning writer who discovered her passion for providing knowledge to readers worldwide on digital topics. Since her first high school award in Creative Writing, she delivers awesome content through various niches touching the digital sphere.