No matter the industry, using professional photography and video content across your website, social media and other digital channels catches the reader’s interest, and improves your visibility and consistency online.
Professional photographs are one of the most worthwhile investments one can make for their business: Visitors are 80% more likely to engage with content if it’s paired with an image, and 64% more likely to remember what they read.
Images are essential to a business, and you have a few options to get them:
- Use stock images
- Take them yourself
- Hire a professional photographer
If budget is the priority for you, I would recommend one of the first two. However, if your priority is getting more leads, engaging with customers, or increasing brand awareness, hiring a professional is your best bet, since original photography is far more authentic and successful in achieving those goals.
If you don’t have long to read the full list breakdown, here is a short overview of the reasons to hire a photographer:
- Brand Identity
- First Impression
- Customer Engagement
- Competitive Edge
- Versatile Assets
In more depth:
Imagery is an indispensable part of your brand and how your business communicates itself to the public. Your imagery gives you the chance to showcase your brand’s personality. Additionally, it shows people you are serious about quality and professionalism. Your photos represent your brand. Low quality, unprofessional photos on your website will communicate the same about your products or services.
Images on your website and social media are often the first impressions of your business. Your website and social media channels are the first places potential customers are going to find you, and you want to leave a good impression. Seriously, we humans are suckers for anchoring heuristics (AKA focalism.) – This refers to the human tendency to accept and rely on, the first piece of information received before making a decision. That first piece of information is the anchor point that sets the tone for everything that follows. In other words, you really want to leave a good impression, and professional photography does just that.
People connect with people, so using photos and videos of your actual staff, office, and business gives customers a chance to form a connection with you before you’ve ever met. This cannot and should not be overlooked, especially in the professional services industries where trust and connection are important to retain customers. You could always use stock photos, but because they don’t show your actual product or service, it won’t come across as authentic.
With social media now an essential part of consumer/seller interaction, audience engagement is of the utmost importance. However, be careful as there is a clever way to do this. Some photographers will not be aware of the psychology behind photography which allows for that authentic and genuine feeling. In this instance, you may receive a product that leans into the ostentatious nature of social media. Needless to say, that is not good. So, EVALUATE YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER!
Consistently in your pictures will help your online brand grow and reach more prospective customers naturally. Brand guidelines really help us, photographers, with this as we get a clear understanding of your values, who you are, and your aesthetics; fonts, logos, colour scheme etc.
You will be surprised by the impact of having a consistent and memorable social media presence. Your reputation as a business can spread as quickly as wildfire, and people will remember you for the quality of your posts. Play the long game.
Now that digital marketing has cemented itself as an integral part of modern business, we must accept that content is key. A sleek, aesthetically pleasing and content-driven website will generate a much higher return on investment (ROI) than a simplistic homemade one. Having exceptional photography next to all of your product descriptions will greatly enhance your site traffic, this will be palpable.
Professional photography can be the difference between someone clicking your Ad on Google, engaging with your social media or enquiring through your website. It can lift the quality of a business more than you know, which translates to higher quality services and higher quality customers. Be consistent in your aesthetics, values, brand imagery, linguistics and so on. Professional photography will be key in standing out above your competition
“Pictures are worth a thousand words.”
We are simple creatures, we often make decisions simply because something looks nice. Use that to your advantage! If you have high-quality imagery on your website, anyone interested in purchasing your products will subconsciously view your business as an expert in your field. Case and point, Apple has gotten away with (over)charging their customers for more than a decade, and they can do that because they present their products in a very pretty way. Sadly*, that is all it takes sometimes. (Or luckily* depending on your perspective.) Perceived value can go an incredibly long way. Clever marketing and high-quality ad material can take your business to a whole new level.
Search Engine Optimization – The process of maximizing the number of visitors to a particular website by ensuring that the site appears high on the list of results returned by a search engine.
There are many elements to SEO, one of which is images.
Optimized photos help more people find your website by performing better in the overall search results. This kind of content is more engaging for potential customers and keeps them on your site for longer, encouraging them to choose you over a competitor.
“content is king.” Photos can be recycled again and again in a range of content. Whether it’s building your brand on social media, (Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin, etc..), sharing them in blog posts and articles, or utilising them offline in marketing materials such as brochures and business cards. There is a long list of possibilities to enhance your marketing efforts with professional photography.
Getting the perspective of a creative outsider, in any field, is invaluable. Ask them questions, offer your opinions, and get as much out of the arrangement as you can. The images you use for your website, catalogues and point of sale (PoS) all go a long way in communicating who you are, what your business does, and what your fundamental values are. Professional photographers know a lot about the industry and can provide some useful insights.
Camera phones make it easier than ever to capture a moment. But it still doesn’t compare to the equipment a professional has. Most importantly, the years of experience behind the camera make such a difference and cannot be overstated.
Doing photography yourself is doable but it does require a lot of time to complete all stages of production.
In conclusion, photography has the potential to take your business to the next level, if done right. It will show potential customers who you are and build trust with them before they even walk through the door. If you’ve been wondering how to enhance or grow your business then it’s time to hire a professional. If there are any subjects you would like me to write about, drop me an email and I’ll see what I can do!
Remember, vetting your photographer is so important! You want to make sure the individual in question has the right skill set, attitude, and understanding of your project before you move forward. I offer free creative consultations as an opportunity to do just that! If you have a project which requires a professional photographer, I encourage you to book a creative consultation.