Imagine you are planning an upcoming social media post that will promote the redesign of your company’s interior offices. You’ve written copy detailing the design and construction work that was done, the excitement felt over the remodel, how beautiful the offices look, and included several high-resolution images of the before and after. Now; imagine this same post, but with poor quality, blurry images. Next, imagine this post without any images at all! Which of these three posts do you think will receive the most engagement on social media? Featuring professional images from a photo shoot across your marketing materials is proven to increase engagement and boost performance. For the modern-day marketer, incorporating quality photography is crucial in a visual, content-focused world.
Get the most out of your photo shoot
Trust the experts
Promoting your business with professional photography allows your products and services the opportunity to stand out from your competitors. Entrepreneurs are known for the DIY gene, but attempting to DIY professional photography isn’t always best for your long-term business goals. Hiring an expert instead of using stock photography or your own photos on marketing materials like social media, brochures or your website establishes your professional brand and reputation. These items are often the first impression potential customers have of your business, and it is important to make a lasting, trustworthy impression.
Just as you are the expert on your company and its offerings, a professional photographer is an expert on making everything look picture-perfect. Creative, high-quality images reinforce the credibility of your business, resulting in customers trusting your brand and establishing long-term loyalty. In addition, one photography shoot can provide you with hundreds of images that can be used over time and across platforms.
Expert tip: Avoid commonly used stock images in your marketing materials to ensure your business and its specific products and services stand out from the crowd.
Tap into emotions
Photography has the ability to tell a story without words. While a good amount of your business’s products and services can be accurately described using text, business owners shouldn’t underestimate the power of visual communications.
How many times have you personally made a decision or completed a purchase that was triggered by an emotion? Professional images used in your marketing materials are often valued more than other content.
- 63% of customers value the quality of a product’s image over receiving product-specific information
- 54% of customers value the quality of a product’s image over a long description
- 53% of customers value the quality of a product’s image over ratings and reviews
Have a plan
You’ve hired the professional photographer, but that does not mean your job is done. Professional photography shoots should be planned for in advance and align with your company branding. According to Paul Ladd of Paul Ladd Photography, photography projects should always begin with a discussion between the photographer, creative agencies and copy writers involved to create a unified and strategic plan of attack. The project lead should keep a running checklist of things that come to mind in planning a photo shoot, and communication with the team leaders is a must.
Ladd also stresses to plan for the unexpected.
He shares, “I recently did a multi-day marketing shoot for a large corporation. It involved months of planning, hiring professional talent, finding specific locations, ordering branded clothing and more. One of the locations was a new luxury home. While this particular home was unoccupied, ongoing construction across the street created a variety of interruptions. If the camera was looking a certain direction, construction vehicles and equipment could be seen in the background. The house we were using was the only source of electricity in the neighborhood, so crews were having to run extension cords to the house we were using and at times, through our sets. We had to improvise and adapt.”
Planning in advance is not just for the ease of the shoot, but also to ensure complete preparation in case the plans have to change. This is especially helpful when using locations where you are not in complete control of the environment around you.
The end result of a strategically planned photography shoot can drive customers back to your website, establish brand loyalty and trust, and promote consistency across branded items. As with anything in marketing, remember to speak to your audience and plan around your business goals.