Can you think of the last time you went shopping online and saw a website without any photos or images? It’s possible, but highly unlikely. Today’s marketplace has become increasingly visual, where a customer goes shopping online and is greeted by pictures that tell a story or evoke a feeling about a company, product or service. In fact, it’s rare to find a business website that does not use some form of image or photo. In this digital and dynamic visual online marketplace, a picture is, indeed, worth a thousand words.
That’s why businesses should consider incorporating high-quality commercial photography into their online communications, websites, social media, advertising and collateral materials. Use photos, not words, to communicate your brand online. Take advantage of the growing visual medium and tell your story with photographic eloquence that will inspire customers to do business with you.
Why use pictures to sell?
In the online community, seeing and selling are becoming interrelated. One can better sell what the customer can see. People who use devices such as smart phones, tablets and laptop computers are now readily “talking with pictures.” Take social media, for example. How many times have you seen a person simply post a picture on Facebook or Pin Interest and let the image speak for itself? Photos have become a fast, easy means of immediately communicating an idea or feeling in just one glance.
Customers, too, respond favorably to sites using commercial photography. In a 2012 survey by ROI Research, 44% of people who responded said they were more likely to engage with a brand or product online if there is a picture. This means that using photos to express your online image is becoming more than just something “nice” to have as a decorative feature. It is becoming a “must-have” in order to be successful.
Choosing the right photography
When choosing commercial photography for your online business, make sure to first clearly articulate your business vision and brand. Know what your business stands for – one simple phrase or a few words – and what value your brand is offering to customers. Then, align your photo choices with the vision to ensure customers will get a clear understanding of your company’s brand.
You may choose to hire a professional commercial photographer. A good one will work to learn about your brand and then apply creative technique to produce photos that will speak to the customer segment that you want to sway. If you choose to use stock photos instead of hiring a professional photographer, make sure the images are expressive of your brand.
It’s a matter of style
Your brand communicates a specific style. In light of that, think about whether you want people, landscapes, products or other types of subjects to represent your business. Here are a few things to consider:
- Still life or active? If your brand is more service-oriented, photos of people are compelling. If you are selling a tangible product, such as items for a bakery, a mouthwatering photo of a delectable cake may be in order.
- Color preference. To a photographer, every color has a story to tell. Think about the types of feelings you want to evoke.
- Diversity. Does your product appeal to a multicultural audience? Is diversity part of your business strategy? If so, reflect it in your photo choices.
- Gender. Is your product or service for men or women – or both?
- Age. Is your product for children or younger adults?
If you use photos that are appropriate for the services or products you are offering, selling online is much easier. You can then let the picture speak for itself – directly to your customers.