Visual content is a business necessity. Every brand is a matter of perception, which means that your photos should capture its soul and personality. It’s about connecting with the hearts and minds of clients, inspiring your audience, and building desire.
Stock photography is no longer enough for creating business awareness. Authentic and striking images are far more likely to engage and lead to sales if they are tailored to your target customer.
It’s vital to plan a marketing strategy around the best images that establish the right tone of voice for your business and yield results. To make your brand is memorable, think of custom photography the same way as dressing a store window. People passing by should stop, notice, and say “WOW”!
Let’s talk about your visual concepts and the golden key to engagement.
Visual Communication In Numbers
The way your clients search and consume information has changed dramatically the last few years. Visual stories are no longer the icing on the cake; they are the main component of your marketing campaigns. Research is pointing out that 79% of all Internet traffic will be video in 2018. That’s pretty impressive. We are moving from written web information and blogs to an all-visual Internet world.
Why is that? For one, information overload is pushing users to skim through online content, rather then read word for word. Visual communication saves time by relaying messages faster. Images are processed 60,000 times faster in the brain than text. A user can understand a visual scene in less than 1/10 of a second (that’s way faster than you can read this sentence!)
Images are more persuasive, more engaging, easy to remember, and fun to share. With photos and video images, you can convey a richer experience than a text-heavy page alone. When it comes to social media, Facebook posts that include images produce 650% higher engagement than regular text posts.
Seeing Is Believing
Visual communication creates a big impact. As the old saying goes, “a picture is worth a thousand words”. Human beings are hardwired to respond to imagery, and the power of a good visual isn’t just a scientifically documented phenomenon: it’s the whole reason our industry exists.
Going the extra mile and featuring authentic, professional photos on your website, social channels and campaigns can help create an emotional connection with your audience. It will also allow you to portray genuine faces, spaces, and products. You just can’t accomplish that with a stock image.
Visual communication results in better retention of the information as well. Photographs that are original and unique have the power to position your brand above your competitors and build up your credibility.
Creating An Experience
Photography and videos are the easiest way for users to experience life elsewhere without going there themselves. When you add intimate visuals to a web page, you are creating an adventure that goes along with your product/service. This experience becomes a visual journey that establishes a personal connection between your product and its audience.
Psychological studies have found that our attitudes are strongly influenced by story. This is because a good story drives our emotions and is the best method to get a message across. Integrating visual content in your marketing campaigns is the golden key to engagement.
Powerful Visuals + Embedded Emotions = Engagement
What Kind Of Images?
Do something unexpected. Show a completely different angle of your subject. Keep it simple. Stay true to your brand and allow consistency. Capture the client’s experience; instead of showing a product, show the product in use, the benefits it generates, or the atmosphere it creates.
One of our favorite photographers to work with, Pete Byron, reminds us constantly that “good photography creates an emotional response. It could be an adverse reaction or a positive one. As long as it stops the viewer on a page- my job is done”.
Consumers want to believe that the visuals they are seeing are authentic. Aim to portray real people, real moments, and real emotions. Imperfections can play in your favor. So don’t overdo the post-processing work.
Users don’t identify with posed models anymore. Unpolished images featuring ordinary people have a better conversion rate. A great example is Dove and their huge success in capturing the authentic human experience.
This is where original photographs are important, says Pete. Stock images are generic. Original images are specific. “To me, art is the making one of opposites. This is what I try to do with my photographs”. This is why we love working with Pete, he strives to capture genuine emotions.
Know Your Audience
Meaningful visual content starts with knowing your customer base, their favorite topics, search lingo or the channels they use to discover information.
Be clear about your purpose, what kind of images are you sharing, and why are you sharing them? Are you creating entertainment? Are you conveying an emotion? Are your customers learning something new? Whatever your strategy, plan in advance and stick to your brand positioning and tone of voice.
The weakness of stock photography is that stock images look very staged and generic. Even when well manipulated, stock footage will not always fit your brand’s vision. With custom photography, you have total control over the creative vision and emotions you are looking to portray.
Custom photos are very effective at connecting with your clients in a very personal way. Impactful images are authentic, inspired, and create a dream.
Let’s create some fantastic visuals together. Call us for advice or say firstname.lastname@example.org.