Don’t underestimate the power of a good photograph. Whether it’s images of nature and wildlife, family portraits, cute kittens or conflict and war, the photograph has a profound effect on how you feel and what you think.
In marketing the visitor economy, many of the key ways of getting the message across to customers use photography, whether it’s to sell a destination, a meal or an event. Think of how many ways you use images every day – on your website, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Linked In … I could go on. You use images in your visitor guides, programmes, menus and brochures, you send them out with press releases, in fact it’s harder to think of when you wouldn’t want to use a good image to promote your business.
The key here though is ‘good’ image, there is no excuse today to use substandard photographs in any of your marketing.
Building a Photo Library
Digital cameras and smartphones have made it so much easier to actually take photos ourselves, and while you might not be Rankin or Annie Leibovitz, you can probably come up with some decent images that you can use online.
Build up a bank of photographs to use across the whole spectrum of your business, yes you can take them yourselves, but you can also use stock photos from many of the free (or paid) photography websites. Good ones to try include Pixabay, Morgue File and Foter but there are many others out there. Do always check on attribution and licensing though, to make sure you don’t fall foul of any issues.
For more information about photography websites take a look at this really good article written by Jacqueline Thomas from Canva here.
Using a Professional Photographer
You also need to work with a professional photographer to build up a collection of top class images of your business that can be used across all media. As an occasional photographer you can do an awful lot with todays photographic equipment, but sometimes it take a professional’s eye to get everything right, from the lighting to the big idea shots.
Find a professional photographer who’s work you like and who you think will do their best for your business. There are experts in food photography or architecture, portraits or action shots as well as generalists who have a good grasp of most aspects of photography. Speak to the photographer and make sure you both understand what sort of thing you are looking for.
Be specific and explain what you are using the photos for, let them know who your audience is, what your budget is, what your timescale is. The more information that you have for them, the easier it will be to fulfil your needs. I have found most photographers to be generous and understanding about what is needed and have often got a great deal for my money.
Check out your Competition
Take a look at your competition and see how they use photography in their marketing. Have a look online and make a note of the websites that attract your attention. I bet that most of them use images to great effect. Facebook posts and Tweets with good photographs tend to get the highest click through rates and Pinterest and Instagram wouldn’t exist without images. As an avid Pinterest fan I know that a good image attracts my eye to a particular pin, if you think about how many images you see, a photograph has to be good to stand out from all the other noise.
I know that this must all seem time consuming when you are trying to run your business, but marketing is often all about getting the right image across first time. We all make instant judgements whether consciously or not and if our first impressions are not the best, it takes us a long time, if not forever, to change our minds. So take this aspect of marketing seriously –
Build up an image library for your business, in the long run it will save you time and money, make it quicker to deal with social media, advertising and press enquiries and you will have an archive of your business achievements.
Find a professional photographer who understands your business, who you are comfortable working with and who’s work you admire.
Make sure you keep an eye on your competitors and on current trends.
If this has inspired you to look at photography for your business in a different way that’s great. If you want to share any photography marketing tips or if you want help with this aspect of your marketing please don’t hesitate to contact me.