I know what you’re thinking:
“Why would I spend my valuable marketing budget on photos? There are so many other things I need. Professional web design, some print materials, heck, maybe even a radio ad. My money is tied up in inventory, and infrastructure. I can get pictures on the internet.”
Does this sound like you?
While all of those points may be valid, photography is actually a really great long-term investment for every business no matter the size. Here’s why:
1. More Professional
Images that are low quality, cropped incorrectly or are poorly lit can make prospective customers skeptical. Having good, high quality images is a big factor in your overall credibility.
2. Shareable Content
This is a big one. The right set of images can be timeless. They can be used across a variety of different online platforms, in print media – the possibilities are endless. The best thing about the digital age is that if you have even just a few beautiful, high quality images, you can manipulate to create a myriad of different shareable pieces of content that can last for years.
3. Build Trust With Clients
Have you ever used one of those product sites that have these great images and you have high expectations about the product you’re receiving, only to discover it’s not what you thought it was? No, we aren’t saying you should copy this strategy, merely emphasizing the trust people put in images, especially when shopping online. Having those quality images and following through with quality products is an important factor for building long term trust and brand loyalty.
4. Boost your Google Rankings
SEO is driven by a combination of strategies. Alone, having original images will not greatly impact your overall rankings. As part of a strategy, original images will be valued over stock images that may be used by multiple sources and can create opportunities to be featured in image searches, and on Google driven panel pages.
5. Brand Consistency
The most obvious visual elements of your brand are your logo and branding, but photography is also a great way to tell your brand story. Imagery can support a “vibe” or give a visual representation of your ideal client base that they can connect with. If you’re all over the place with your imagery it could muddle the information you’re trying to communicate to your audience.
6. Get Exactly What You Want
The title says it all. With original photography, you control all elements of your final image. Don’t waste valuable time searching for what you want, when you can create it.
7. Anyone Can Use Stock Imagery
This one is also pretty obvious. Most stock imagery is available to purchase to anyone with an account. This means that if you’re using stock, you always run the risk of having the same images as your competition. Not only does this make you unmemorable, it could potentially associate you with your competition.
Ultimately, there may always be a time to fall back on stock imagery to fill gaps (Looking at you, blog header), however, unless you are looking for pictures of Toronto or New York, selection could be limited. Having a collection of original images will be valuable to your company and your marketing efforts for years.