Guest Blog From Jacqueline with Another Hand Advantage
Three Reasons You Should Use Professional Images in Your Marketing
Chances are your audience’s first impression of your business will be online, through your website or social media. Read any number of articles written in the past 12 months and they all conclude; the use of images is important to “stop the scroll” and get your audience to take notice of your content. But what can you do to stand out and spark someone to learn more about your business and ultimately, purchase your products or services?
- Make a Better First Impression
While the use of smartphones is becoming more and more common for taking photos and sharing them instantly on social media, this isn’t the best option to rely on when it comes to your marketing images. The resolution is still much too low and you’ll quickly find that when you try to use your photos on a website or any type of print marketing materials, your images will be fuzzy. Even worse is to do an internet search to find an image. It may look sharp and clear when you find it, but then when you download it and try to use it at a higher resolution for your website or social media, it will quickly become out of focus and fuzzy. And we won’t even touch on the fact that you’re probably breaking copyright law by using an image you found from an internet search! If you want the first impression of your company to be that you are serious about what you do, use images created by a professional in a high enough resolution that it can be used in a variety of ways, online and in print.
- Create a Unique Style for your Brand
In addition to conveying to your audience that you care about your business (and theirs!), professional images help to create a unique style for your brand. When factors such as color, theme and style are considered, the images you use throughout your website, blog and social media help to define your brand and make it easier for your audience to pick you out from the crowd. When your images are cohesive from one platform to the next, it provides a seamless journey for a potential customer to follow you from a post on Facebook to your website and back out to another platform.
Other factors to consider when selecting your marketing images are your logo and brand colors. Choose images that compliment your logo and utilize your brand colors. There is nothing more jarring than looking at a website where the images don’t match the logo or the other colors throughout the site. It’s confusing and unsettling and a surefire way to lose visitors. If you don’t know the hex code for your brand colors already, do a quick search. Many stock image sites will allow you to filter your search results by color, ensuring that you create a beautifully styled experience.
- They’re Not as Expensive as You Think
Speaking of stock image sites, that brings us to the much-debated question, “Should you use stock images or hire aprofessional photographer to create 100% unique images for your marketing?”.
Here’s my rule of thumb: If the images are of you, the people who work for you or the products you sell, then you should use a professional photographer to take photos of you, your staff and your products. This creates a more personal feel when customers see a photo of the person they are hearing on the other end of the phone or corresponding with though email. And for products, this is an obvious choice, as you want to be sure you are representing what you are selling accurately.
If you are using images to describe your services or create a certain look or style in your marketing materials, feel free to use stock images. However, you should still put some time and effort into finding unique images that may not be found on the larger stock image sites. There are many creatives in the online marketplace now selling styled stock images. In some instances, the images are only available for a limited period, which cuts down on the number of times you’ll find that image being used by someone else. Once purchased you can even make them more your own by using a service such as Canva to add your logo or text to match how you’re using the image in your marketing.
So, what’s the difference in cost? A quick perusal of several stock image sites found that in most cases, you’ll pay anywhere from $5 – $30 for a stock image. Many of the independent styled image sites I mentioned earlier came in less expensive than that, with most images being around $5-$10 (and cheaper if you sign up for a monthly subscription which includes a certain number of images or downloads each month for one low price). The cost of hiring a photographer will vary depending on your geographical location, but I found that most business packages start around $250 and this includes anywhere from 10-15 edited images with the option to purchase more if necessary.
When you use imagery in your marketing you’re telling a story. A story about you, your business, your brand and your mission. You’re setting up your audience’s expectations for the quality of the products or services you provide, so be sure the story you’re telling properly reflects your business and the audience you want to attract. Professional images are an essential piece to creating that cohesive story.
Questions or comments? Please don’t hesitate to reach out!
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© Crystal Hollman, Crystal Clear Photography, 2017