Facebook, Pinterest, Tumblr and the ever-increasing popularity of Instagram (currently at 1 billion users) indicate that taking and sharing photos remains one of our culture’s favourite activities; an obsession if you will.
Sharing photos may have started out as a personal way to share the fun details of your life with friends and family, but now small businesses of all kinds are posting photos to generate interest in their products, develop and grow their brand, increase followers and encourage sales. Combined with well-written copy, a great photo can help sell (almost) anything.
Even if you’re not selling Teslas, IPhones or new Android apps, it doesn’t mean that your brand, voice and product should be ignored. Social media is perfect for showing people how your ‘boring’ toilet, shower cap, paper towel, insurance policies and light bulbs will help improve their lives. Adding engaging, professional looking photos to your social media posts will improve your marketing strategy by recapturing the attention of current followers and enticing new ones to pay attention to your business. If you’re not sure how to take and create compelling photos or how to post the best images for your brand, read on for some helpful tips.
Explore Your History, Visually
Obviously you want your clients to be interested in your product, but you should also consider that selling your product or service is about building a relationship with your patrons. A relationship begins by getting to know each other: your client wants to know who you are and how or why you work. Creating a sense of familiarity will increase your integrity as a professional company while building the foundation for a consistent and recognizable brand. Using photos to tell your business’ back story will give followers insight into your company’s ‘culture’ and introduce yourself and/or your team.
Whatever you have to sell or promote on social media, there is always a beginning, an origin story. Try to remember how the idea for your business began and what makes you stand out. What are your contributions to your community? What special business practices I.E: environmental actions, sponsorship, work environment initiatives, employees or completed projects make your company notable? Show your client that behind your professional image are real humans with real stories. Capture them via stunning, memorable photos and increase your brand engagement.
Create a Local Visual Presence
Photographs will promote your company and spread the word about your services. By submitting high quality, clear images of your brand, services, and products to Google Local and other local business listings your business images will appear in relevant local search results. This means your business, and images of your business, will be featured on Google Maps. Eighty percent of marketers use visual components in their social media marketing and thirty-two percent note visual images as the most important content for their business. This means, clients using search engines for leads are more likely to contact a business whose profile includes photos. To ensure that you’re putting your best, most stunning brand ‘face’ forward, see the next section.
Looks Are Important
In order to communicate your brand effectively while ensuring that your photos stand out from the ninety-five million images that are posted daily to social media, you need to pay attention to the formal qualities of your photos. The idea is to make viewers want to ‘like’, ‘click’ and ‘share’ your photos. Photo-editing apps will help encourage social media ‘scrollers’ to take special interest in your company and products by helping you to create not only interesting but also professional and unique looking photos.
Using a photo-editing app is easy and allows you to correct and/or perfect the technical aspects of your pictures before you post them. Important details like framing and composition, resolution, lighting and color will make or break the way that your clients receive and ultimately engage with your pictures. A photo-editing app also makes it easier for you to maintain visual brand consistency, which is important for achieving easy and quick online brand recognition. Some photo-editing apps feature tools specifically designed to help creatives and entrepreneurs develop their brand, product, or service on social media. Instasize for example, offers a free seven-day trial, which gives you ample time to explore all of its features, download it here.
Photos Will Make Your Blog Remarkable
The perks of being a small business includes being able to introduce the human faces behind the ‘machine.’ A simple way to show off your product and introduce your company at the same time is to write a blog. Blogs are an excellent way to share special events and news, achievements or changes to your small business, and the people behind it.
Adding photos to your blog posts will immediately increase the visual appeal of your site in addition to helping to illustrate your story. Insert only the best images to break up text and maintain the interest of your readers. Connect the images to the content of the writing while maintaining a little creativity.
A photo accompanying text that describes your restaurant’s signature dish should definitely include images of the food but keep in mind: photos of the wine, flowers, sky, furniture or fabrics surrounding it will help establish an atmosphere and create a sense of desire in your reader. The photos should add value to what you are describing rather than distract from your message.
Remember, posting regular blog entries doesn’t have to be a chore. Make it exciting for you and your readers by turning your posts into a regular ‘series’ united by a common product – ‘Best Use of our Bungee Cords—is a fun theme if you’re a company that distributes moving supplies and is looking for a way to increase user engagement.
Helpful things are seldom boring. Content that you might think is boring (how to unclog a toilet, how to remove egg from a carpet etc…) is never boring to the people who need assistance. Inspiring and informative images are a great way to show off the features and benefits of your product while enhancing the experience of a tutorial.
As a business, you have plenty of possibilities to inform your clients about the benefits and features of your products; you can make step-by-step tutorials that show you and/or your employees using your products to the fullest of their potential or even request user generated content from your patrons showing them using your products and services. Or, try creating a themed photo collage using a collage app for Instagram that lets you assemble multiple photos; ‘how to chop carrots a la julienne’ using your company’s knives, for example. Posting informative images to your social media feed answers your client’s questions, encourages others to test out your wares while proving that you’re a trusted expert in your industry.
Posting photos regularly as a part of your social media and marketing strategy is a fun, interesting and generative method of developing your brand and increasing awareness of your products or services. The biggest advantage of social media is that it’s a fast, economical and easy way to share a variety of photo-based marketing content. Visually relevant, compelling and consistently professional pictures will attract new followers while increasing your brand recognition. Try to use as many different social media channels as possible to boost your online presence and hone your photo-marketing skills.