So You've Got Some Great Photography, Now What?

So you’ve invested in a great photographer, put a lot of hard work into a great shoot, and have made sure that your post-shoot editing is on point. But now what? Photography can be integrated into a number of different facets of your marketing strategy, from social media to website graphics to product listings to blog posts. But believe it or not, many brands invest in great photography without an effective plan in place to ensure that that high-quality photography is put to good use. To maximize your ROI when it comes to great photographs, be sure to check out the following tips.

1.     Integrate photos into your social media strategy. Research consistently shows that consumers are more likely to engage with a brand on social media if the brand posts a picture. Posts with visuals on social media—including pictures—see much higher rates of engagement, accruing more likes, shares, and comments. That translates into improved brand visibility and higher conversion rates, which can ultimately boost your bottom line.

“Pictures have become one of the top de facto methods of sorting and understanding the vast amount of information we see every day,” David K. Williams explained in Forbes. “For commercial brands, visual stimulation is key – Facebook posts of pictures provide more response and interaction than any other kind of post. Whether they’re selling IT software, boutique clothing, food, entertainment or professional services – in today’s market, the companies that can rock visual media most effectively are reigning supreme.”

Why are photos so powerful on social media sites? Not only are they more effective in terms of capturing a users’ attention, but the user will also remember the photo more than they would text conveying the same idea. It boils down to what researchers have termed "the picture superiority effect." Basically, the human memory has two basic ways of retaining information: verbal and imaginal. Imaginal memory, or memory linked to images, has been shown to encode information in memory in a much more concrete way, and is therefore easier for people to recall. The better people can remember your content, the better it is for brand recognition, so it is in your best interest to integrate photos into your social media updates on sites like Facebook and Twitter, as well as to invest in ramping up your presence on visually-dominated social media sites like Instagram and Twitter.

2.     Make sure you have photos on your website. Great product photos are especially important. “Product photography is essential to digital marketing, especially for ecommerce websites and brands that sell physical products. Many times, this entails featuring a single product against a plain background so that the product stands out,” Nathan Chan explains in Entrepreneur. “That kind of product photography is highly important; who doesn’t appreciate a well-lit product against a crisp white background? Consumers want to see all angles of a product. They want important detail shots. Accurate color and portrayal of the product is essential. Great product photography can help increase the conversion rate for an ecommerce shop tenfold.”

Beyond just standard product photos, it is also important to include photos with real people into your website pages. Research shows that photos of people are among the most engaging types of visual content, and tend to outperform other types of visual contents. Even when text takes up more space than a photo, people will still spend more time looking at the photos, especially when the photos include people. For example, several studies have found that users spend longer looking at photos with people in them than they do actually reading the content associated with the picture.

However, when integrating photos into your website, there is an important caveat to consider: the photos absolutely need to be relevant to user experience. No matter how compelling a photo might be, if isn’t relevant to the message you are trying to convey, it is simply going to serve as filler, and it won’t deliver the results you are looking for.

3.     Add photos to your blog posts. Did you know that articles with an image every 75 to 100 words are shared significantly more than articles without images? Or that blog posts with visuals, including photos, consistently get more views than those without? Adding photos to your blog posts can and will enhance the appeal of your blog content, and will improve its odds of being shared across social media. This will improve your visibility and get you more followers.

4.     Use images in support of persuasive copy and in your calls-to-action. As you’ve likely heard before, a picture is worth a thousand words. As a result, it can go a long way in convincing your audience to make a purchase, sign up for your newsletter, or click a button. Basically, whatever you are trying to convince your audience to do, great photography can help. For example, research conducted by the University of Minnesota School of Management and the 3M Corporation found that persuasive presentations that included images were much more effective than those presentations that didn’t include images. You can apply this lesson to your own marketing strategy by integrating great photos into your persuasive copy and calls-to-action.

5.     Don’t be afraid to repurpose content. Last but not least, when you’re contemplating how to most effectively use the great photography you’ve got on your hands, it is important to keep in mind that you can and should repurpose content. Don’t be afraid to use the same image more than once. For example, a cool shot that shows up in your latest blog post can be posted on Instagram with a new filter and some hashtags. Of course, you want to have a diverse repertoire of visual content, so you want to avoid posting the same photo on different platforms two dozen times, but repurposing some photos here and there can actually be advantageous and can certainly help to maximize your ROI.  

In conclusion, before you invest in high-quality photography, you need to have a plan in place to ensure that you use it well so that you can maximize your ROI. After all, great photography isn’t cheap. You want to make sure that you are getting the most bang for your buck. 10twelve wants to be your complete marketing partner. We care about getting you the most bang for your buck and helping you represent your brand well. Contact us today to discuss your specific business needs and how we can help your business grow!