Digital Marketing, which includes the use of social media for business promotion among many other online tools and strategies, is the perfect starting point for startups…
On-brand professional photography is becoming less of a buzz and more of a must for businesses of all sizes. It can be a huge contributor to your overall branding, providing bespoke and consistent visuals that stock images simply can’t contend with. But what exactly is professional brand photography, and how will it help your business?
Building a recognisable and consistent brand can be a powerful marketing tool for businesses, regardless of their niche. It’s much more than simply matching your website colour scheme to your logo, it’s your business’s entire identity encapsulated in your presentation and how you speak to customers (also known as Tone of Voice). Professional photography should sit firmly within your presentation, but can often go overlooked in favour of cheaper or free alternatives such as Stock Images or graphics compiled through sites such as Canva. A portfolio of personalised professional images that represent your brand’s tonality and style, however, can perfectly complement your carefully crafted words – building a recognisable brand that people can trust and understand.
While stock images can provide cheap marketing opportunities and are often great tools to utilize for small businesses or those on a strict budget, they lack a personal touch and too many generic images can create an air of untrustworthiness. There’s also no guarantee that another business isn’t using the exact same image(s) for its own branding and marketing.
Professional photographers, however, understand exactly how to present their subject in the best light possible – both literally and figuratively – in a way that will attract visual viewers to your service, offering you the chance to turn views into leads, and leads into sales. Photographers know how to create a narrative through pictures, too, and will use a combination of on-brand colours, textures and light to convey the messages you want to promote.
Promoting your brand through professional photography isn’t just for your product or services, either; it includes expertly taken, welcoming pictures of you and your staff, too. When considering your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) factors, Web Crawlers (the tiny little spider-bots that work for search engines) love to see the site belongs to real people and hasn’t just been created by a bot for views. Similarly, your customers feel the same way. Nothing adds quality and a personal touch like a strong, professionally taken headshot with a name and introduction to help your customers understand who they’ll be talking to, and how you’re going to interact with them.
So, how do you work with a professional photographer? Just like working with any freelancer or external contractor, building a relationship and supplying a clear brief is key.
Firstly – and this part really is vital – you’ll need to make sure you have a clear set of brand guidelines for the photographer to understand. Any good photographer will want to capture your unique voice and tone within their images and, without a clear-cut set of guidelines, the results can be messy. Next, you’ll want to find a specialist photographer that understands what branding is and how it can help promote a business. Lastly, it’s important to make sure you can build a good rapport with the pro, and that their visions and values are similar to your own (or your business’). This will help make sure your final products are precisely what you both had in mind, and can both come away happy with the results.
It’s proven that most people now absorb information in short bursts through images and videos. In fact, articles and posts with images get 94% more views than those without, and that’s largely because the images command attention – especially when they’re clear and relatable. It’s also proven that prospective clients are more likely to trust a brand that’s consistent and unique in their branding and tone of voice.
And please keep in mind, there’s a whole host of places you can use your photos to promote your brand after your investment. You’re not limited to your website, articles and social media, they can be used on business cards, in your newsletters and as a part of any PR materials you publish too!
Professional photography is just one piece out of hundreds, combining to form a much larger marketing and branding jigsaw puzzle. If you’re missing pieces, the picture is never fully complete – just as your business’ brand is never fully realized and may not reach its full potential. Put all the pieces in the right place, though, and you could land yourself with a consistent, recognisable and professional brand that draws in viewers and leads.