7 Ways Photos Support Marketing (HINT: Social Media Included)

Photography—This Year’s Must-Have Marketing Accessory

This year's must have accessoryFacebook’s recent $1 billion purchase of Instagram has the business world talking about photographs. In today’s content-driven social media ecosphere, photographs – more broadly including images, illustrations, cartoons and infographics – are this year’s must-have marketing accessory.

Why? The answer’s simple: photographs can break through and communicate in a message-cluttered environment.

Here are seven ways photographs support your marketing efforts and why you need them.

  1. Photographs are ubiquitous. Special equipment is no longer required to snap a photograph. Anyone with a mobile phone has a camera and the more sophisticated smartphones and iPads have high quality ones as well as video capabilities. (According to Prosper Mobile Insights, about half of smartphone owners use their smartphone instead of a digital camera.) As a result, it’s easier to click a shot of something that’s unusual or that you want to remember than it is to make a note.
  2. Photographs power social media connections. Photographs are easily transferred from a mobile device or camera to share on a variety of photography focused, social media platforms including Instagram, Facebook, Flickr, Pinterest, Tumblr and others.  For social media, where 90% of participants lurk, 9% of participants do something nominal and 1% of participants create content, photographs represent an easy, low risk way to encourage consumers to engage.  It’s an ideal way to coax user-generated content since there are no issues with poor spelling and/or grammar, elements that often keep participants from sharing their point of view.
  3. Photographs provide content marketing to support your business. When it comes to content marketing, it’s important to think beyond text. Instead, consider what information your prospects seek or what questions your prospects and shoppers have. Use photographs for conveying information as well as attracting an audience.
  4. Photographs provide a 360-degree view of your brand. Beyond having a visual representation of your brand such as a logo or icon, photographs are an important way to build your brand. Consider the type of look your photographs have—color or black and white. Alternatively you could give them a retro look. Use photography and related images to showcase your products and their best features. For online etailing, video is becoming more important so that prospective buyers can see the entire product from all angles. Beyond the products, photographs give prospects, customers and the public a view into your organization. Show them your offices and introduce them to your employees. This is a great way to get beyond the facelessness of etailing.
  5. Photographs attract attention. Images including photographs draw readers in. Where possible, use photographs of people since people like to look at images of other people.
  6. Photographs communicate better. Skip the thousand words, there are instances when an image is a better method of conveying the precise meaning. This is particularly true for fashion-oriented businesses such as clothing and make-up. With a photograph, there’s no confusion over what color green you’re referencing.
  7. Photographs cut through language barriers. As visual communications, photographs don’t need to be translated. They convey meaning when words or language fails. This is particularly important in today’s increasingly diverse world with language differences.

When planning your marketing, content and communications, consider how you will use photographs to help build your brand and engage your audience. Integrate your brand into your photographs.

Are there any other points you’d add regarding photography and integrating it into your marketing plans?

Happy marketing,
Heidi Cohen

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Photo source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/87659272@N00/3864650497/

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