In the First of a series of Guest Blogs, Thomas Turner, a Marketing expert, looks at the role photography has to play in creating the right image for your business brand.
‘Photography is one of the most essential parts of building a business, giving consumers (or even prospective employees) the chance to peer into what happens behind the scenes. Having professional and relevant images can add huge value to external communications, which is often forgotten by the uneducated.
As consumers, although we may not be conscious of it, images play a vital role in our purchasing intentions, especially from a marketing perspective. Can you imagine the commercial world without it? Picking up a car brochure and not seeing the vehicle itself. Browsing a college website and finding only blocks of text explaining the courses provided. It might do the job, but we all want to physically see what we are getting and what we are dealing with, even if it isn’t that necessary.
One of the main uses for photography in business is to paint a picture of the organisation represented, building an identity. Since a business’s reputation is based heavily on its identity, you obviously don’t want low quality, poorly focused images, which could do more damage than good.
First impressions are everything for a company, and it is a known fact that when people look at any form of marketing communications their eyes are immediately drawn to the images. In the few seconds that it takes someone to evaluate a company they need to be impressed. The images need to retain their interest and speak the mind of organisation as if it were personified, but above all they need to assure the consumer that this company is professional and isn’t going to mess up. If it doesn’t…you just lost yourself another customer.
With the emergence of the internet and social networks, images are becoming a more integral part of business campaigns, exploiting their undeniable ability to turn heads. Too many times I have found myself scrolling down my Facebook news feed ignoring all the text and focusing primarily on photos. For a business with the right photo, this is the best way to get their foot in the door and guarantee some exposure.
But it’s not just Facebook. Direct mail, advertising, brochures, leaflets and more all use this technique. This highlights the importance of photography to promote engagement with the consumer, which can consequently build brand awareness and value.
As a shortcut to great photography, some people may turn to Google Images with it being commonly assumed that photos taken from there are free. This however is not true due to automatic copyrights, and so a lot of companies buy stock photos to use in their material. On the down side this will not be tailored to the company, and therefore will probably not represent it as well as bespoke images from a professional photographer. In addition it runs the risk of people noticing that it isn’t original, which could damage credibility and, as a result, revenue.
Moreover, eye catching photos can sometimes be achieved by the amateur photographer, but would a basic picture express a professional organisation effectively? Probably not otherwise professional photographers wouldn’t be paid to capture such images for organisations as regularly as they do.
As Napoleon Bonaparte once said, “a picture is worth a thousand words”. Others say that the right picture in business is worth several thousand quid, and it is for that reason that it is an area that should definitely not be overlooked when looking at marketing communications in the commercial world’.