Focus on photography (part 2)
Last week we looked at the importance of photography in marketing, and how vital it is for audience engagement. But when is it OK to reach for the smartphone, and when is it time to call in the professionals?
Sometimes, a candid camera type shot is exactly what you might want – yes, even for business. Smartphone pictures have their place; just as social media helps businesses to convey a more human side, so off the cuff photography can do the same. Sharing a quick pic of a birthday in the office on your Facebook page, an excited tweet when the new promotional merchandise has arrived in the office with a sneak peek pic, a shot of someone using a product or creating one of your recipes, even a shot of your new roadside billboard – there are countless times when it’s absolutely fine to be a bit less formal. There are so many sites designed to help you share your pictures, it’s a really valuable, useful resource – as long as it’s appropriate!
You can also use photography in social media to encourage interaction from customers – how often have you seen the “Send us a picture of you using product X” approach for competitions online? It’s a great way to get extra exposure for your brand. And if it backfires and you get the negative posts every so often, well, that’s what reputation management is all about! (See our blog here)
But however useful smartphone reportage photography can be, there are times when it’s absolutely essential to call in the professionals. That doesn’t mean the style of photography has to be stuffy or formal; that’s entirely up to you, and your photographer, to ensure that the style suits both the brand and the medium chosen to represent it. But professional, high resolution shots should be used for:
– All print media. Photos have to meet minimum resolution requirements for print (which will differ depending on the finished print size) which smartphones just can’t deliver
– Your products. You want your products to be shown off at their absolute best, so it’s worth investing in really good photography. How likely are you to buy something online if it looks like someone’s just snapped it on their phone? You want high quality, professional product shots, ideally from several angles and showing close-ups where relevant. (If you need convincing, just think how tantalising fast food looks on the adverts compared with the real deal!)
– Your website. You are professional. Your business is professional. Don’t let it down with poor photography. It shows.
– Press releases. A great photo is often the difference between a successful press release and a damp squib. Make your story sing – bring it alive with really good pictures. You’re much more likely to get coverage from it.
– General marketing. From adverts to flyers, brochures to billboards, your photography needs to look good.
It’s easy to be a bit more informal in today’s business world, but as with any exposure your business gets, make sure you are making the most of every opportunity to show off your brand. You’re selling your quality, your reputation and your image, at all times.
Photography is an excellent, and essential, tool to help with that; just make sure you are using the right sort at the right time! (And don’t worry if you don’t know anyone – we do!)