Photography has advanced rapidly since its inception. Gone are the days of film processing and attachable flashes. You don’t have to schlep your gear to a dark room and hope someone doesn’t barge in.
Digital cameras and computers make it easy to snap a shot and make it perfect. According to one report, people upload an average of 1.8 billion images each day. Facebook alone receives more than 250 million photo uploads in 24 hours.
Today, businesses around the world use photography to enhance their branding efforts and promote success.
- 1. You Can Spread Your Message
A photo is worth a thousand words, allowing you to relay your message instantly. Use photography that communicates your company’s personality and uniqueness. What do you want to say? Do you have specific values or missions that will speak to your target audience?
For example, as a fashion brand, you wouldn’t want drab photos with dim lighting. Instead, you should portray a fun and fresh style, showcasing bright colors and the latest trends. If you’re a corporate law firm, you can create an air of modernity without losing sight of professionalism.
- 2. You Can Offer Inspiration
Do you want to get your name out there? Then you need to create shareworthy content. People don’t want boring text guides and how-tos. They want flashy photos, inspirational messages and awe-inspiring ideas. Combining images and quotes can be powerful. In fact, you can get 38% more likes if you use pictures with faces.
Instead of throwing up an image of your product, photograph an employee using it. Don’t be afraid to add humorous or motivating text. For example, a beauty brand could create a step-by-step photo guide on how to apply their new mascara. Encourage followers to share their thoughts and start a dialogue.
- 3. You Can Personalize the Message
Think about traditional advertising — an ad in the newspaper or spot on the radio. You learn about the product or service, but not much about the people behind it. With digital marketing, you can use photography to personalize your brand’s message. Give people something to envision when they think of your business.
Add an employee page to your website, filled with profile pictures and bios. Refresh the images every few months to keep yourself at the forefront of clients’ minds. When you send an email blast, add a photo to your signature. A personalized email will help people remember who you are, even if they forget your name.
- 4. You Can Increase Engagement
Social media should be a vital part of your digital marketing strategy. Studies show photo posts get 53% more likes, 104% more comments and 84% more click-throughs compared to text-based posts. Photos get more engagement than links, videos and text-based updates.
Instead of sharing one photo per post, create an album. While picture posts get 120% more engagement, photo albums receive 180% more engagement. Are you a fashion brand with a new line coming out? Showcase all the latest designs in one spot.
- 5. You Can Develop Cohesion
Photography in branding involves the use of images, logos and color schemes that will appear on all your content. It will not be on just your website, but also your social media pages, emails and apps. Branding photography might include on-location shots of the building, company leaders, the team, office environment, products and more.
Which companies have the most successful branding? Red clowns and golden arches instantly bring to mind McDonald’s. A 12-inch sub in front of a green background is always Subway. These brands achieved instant recognition through the consistent execution of cohesive photography.
- 6. You Can Entice Your Audience
When you remember something, what comes to mind? Is it a text description, or a visual image? We all see stuff in our minds, whether it’s a past birthday party or an idea for a future marketing event. In fact, 90% of the information that comes to the brain is visual.
Photos can capture an idea and evoke an emotional response. They’re meaningful and compelling, not to mention essential for effective branding. According to one study, 37% of marketers believe visual marketing is the most vital type of content for their industry. With consumers’ shrinking attention spans, it’s crucial to use attention-grabbing images.
- 7. You Can Boost Conversions
A critical part of branding is your call-to-action (CTA). Once you show what you have to offer, what will your final argument be? Perhaps you want users to sign up for your email newsletter or purchase your new book. An image CTA will stand out.
In an image CTA, the text, button and photo work together to spur the user to take action. For example, if you’re a fashion brand, your homepage might have a picture of your latest design. Include a button underneath with the text, “Try This Style.” Photos are effective because they tell the user more about what they’re clicking on.
- 8. You Can Build a Connection
Photography is the first place to start if you want to build a connection with your audience. Show off your employees, from the top leaders down to the interns. Depending on your industry, you don’t need to stick to the standard headshot. Get creative and allow customers to feel a connection.
If you’re having a companywide picnic, take and share photos on Instagram. Let people see the team eating, laughing and having fun — outside of work. Do you have a unique company culture? Share pictures of decorated desks or Bring Your Pet to Work Fridays. The more photos you share, the more people can relate.
- The Power of the Picture
As a marketer, photography should play a key role in all aspects of branding. It allows you to develop a unique identity for your brand — something you can’t achieve through text alone. Studies show businesses that use photography reap the rewards, so make sure you cash in on some.
Lexie is a graphic designer and UX strategist. She enjoys taking her goldendoodle on walks and checking out flea markets. Visit her design blog, Design Roast, and follow her on Twitter @lexieludesigner