If you haven’t grasped the importance of visuals in content marketing by now, there’s probably no hope for you. Harsh but true. After all, this information has been positively hammered into our heads over the last few years. If it’s not science bods informing us that 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual then it’s the analytics crew reminding us that articles with images get 94% more views.
But knowing visuals need to take centre-stage isn’t quite the same as understanding how to use photographs in your content marketing. Once you’ve stepped away from relying solely on stock images and are ready to showcase your brand’s unique personality with professional photography too, you open the door to a whole world of benefits for your business.
Here’s how to put those photographs to good use…
Shine the light on your products
It might sound like Content Marketing 101, but boring, basic images of your products are unlikely to grab the attention of your target audience. A professional photographer will be able to creatively bring your products to life in the most visually appealing way, perhaps showcasing them in the context of how they are put to use in everyday life. Think of your content as a lifestyle magazine aimed at your chosen demographic – photos that allow customers to visualise how the products will fit into their lives in an aspirational way will be much more likely to garner interest.
Show your human side
According to global media news and analysis experts Campaign, in this post-Trump, post-Weinstein, post-Brexit world, “we can expect to give short shrift to brands that reek of tokenism and insincerity”. Instead, it’s the brands that “understand and resonate with core human values and needs such as the desire for community and human interaction” that will succeed.
Use your photographs to catch candid, behind-the-scenes moments to showcase the human side behind your brand. This will also serve to boost your employer branding – transparency and authenticity are the buzzwords for brands this year. A professional photographer can ensure your images are filled with on-brand personality which will attract like-minded individuals when it comes to hiring.
Enhance your brand’s story
Professional photography, unique to your brand, can help enhance your brand no end. Remember that quality photographs indicate a quality service – your promotional materials must showcase your brand in its very best light.
Additionally, a consistent aesthetic can help you manage your brand better across a range of different and constantly evolving platforms. Ensuring your photographs follow the same style and making clear choices as to how your brand will appear – even down to the employees that feature in the images and how they dress – will mean there’s no mistaking your brand wherever the images are seen.
Build a community
There are some instances when professional photography can take a backseat and that’s when it comes to involving your community by encouraging loyal customers to share their own snaps. Photographs make for great user-generated content and promote a sense of community and affinity with your brand. Don’t forget to think up and use a relevant hashtag, make any guidelines clear, and consider how you will gain consent if you want to use their images in your content.
The winner of this week’s #NTchallenge is: @phil.williams.986! We thought his photo perfectly summed up the feeling you get on winter’s day walk in January: cool, crisp, bracing – and always worth it! Especially when there’s a cuppa waiting at the end. Cissbury Ring is the most historic hill on the South Downs National Park in West Sussex and is an ideal place to head to if you love walking and bird watching, due to its many vantage points that look out across the Downs. Thanks again to everyone who entered, and we’ll reveal our next challenge as always this Friday. #nationaltrust
The right photographs can take your content marketing from mediocre to top-notch. While there is a time and a place for stock images (provided they are of good quality, carefully chosen and you keep an eye on the usage rights), hiring a professional photographer to provide you with a backlog of images to share with your audience can help bump you above the competition.
To find out how we can help improve or look after your content marketing, contact M2 Bespoke today.