The 19th of August is World Photography Day, a global initiative to increase awareness, share ideas and encourage people in the field of photography. But in an age when visual communications have become so vital to marketing and building a brand, do you give the choice of photography you use in your marketing the attention it deserves?
In the best-selling book Brain Rules, author John Medina states that when people hear information, they're likely to remember only 10% of that information three days later. However, if a relevant image is paired with that same information, people retain 65% of the message.
When it comes to marketing, photography is becoming increasingly vital. In the age of digital media, we are being inundated with content and only the best will stand out. Facebook’s own research shows that posts with quality images see 2.3 times more engagement than those without.
Your choice of image, whether for websites, emails, social media or other marketing collateral, needs to tick many boxes: they need to represent your brand, capture the attention of your client or customer and successfully convey a specific message.
Here is our checklist for ensuring you make the right photography choices for your marketing.
Quality not quantity
Whether you are choosing a photograph for the lead page of your website or for a social media post with a short shelf life, the same time and effort should be placed on finding the right image to reflect your brand and message.
The quality of your product or service should be reflected in the quality of the photographs you choose. Quality photography can set you apart from the competition, and encourage trust, loyalty, and investment. Consumers want to purchase from a professional, quality company. Quality photography is key to giving off the image of a professional business that will get things right.
Make attention-grabbing choices
There are 350 million photos uploaded to Facebook daily and 95 million to Instagram and the average person is estimated to view 4,000 to 10,000 ads a day: that’s a lot of images and a lot of messages. If you want your marketing, in whatever form, to make an impression, it has got to cut through a lot of noise to get noticed. That is not going to happen without a high-quality image that captures the attention and elicits a reaction from your target customer.
The saying, a picture is worth a thousand words, is true. With careful choice of quality photography, you can quickly grab your customer's attention and convey your message.
Even in social media posts with a shorter shelf life, do not be tempted to adopt the quantity, not quality approach. In oversaturated social media feeds, only the really great images will stand out and lead to customers stopping to read more.
Adopt a cohesive brand photographic style
Whether it is commissioning the same photographer for all your images, using the same filter, or researching stock images with similar style backgrounds, having a consistent look across all your photography will help create a consistent style and message that will become familiar to your audience.
Choose photos that will encourage emotions
Never underestimate the power of a great photograph and use it to your brand's advantage. Whether you want to motivate your audience into action, make them sit up and take notice, or incite an emotional response – there is a photograph out there that has the power to capture almost any emotion. You should spend as much time and effort choosing the right photograph for your marketing campaign as the copy you write.
Analyse Study your analytics to work out the kind of content your audience is engaging with and use it in your planning. Understanding what imagery works with your audience will help you continue to grab their attention on crowded platforms.
Optimise your images
Do not forget that images can also help your SEO. Images that are optimised can help your website get found and perform better in the overall search results!