If you prioritize high quality in your business, chances are you equally appreciate value. Effective photography campaigns are a significant investment by everyone involved, and we’re not just talking about the tens of thousands of dollars of camera gear we’ll utilize. The potential opportunities that could be created for your business through top-tier communication could be huge; not taking it seriously (and creatively) could cost you. If you’re coordinating a marketing project, it will also require some time on behalf of you and your staff, which directly correlates with what you’ll get out of it. What can you do to add exceptional marketing value for your investment and see new growth for your brand?
Remember That Your Website is Your Digital Storefront
I’ll repeat it, because it’s that important: your website is your digital storefront. First impressions leave a lasting impression, and your website might be the first interaction potential clients and customers have with your business. The majority of consumers use their smartphone to research and purchase online, so having a responsive, mobile friendly website is critical. From the era of the phone book, how and what information we can access online is extremely dynamic, up to date, and a main driver for consumer purchase decisions. You might have world-class products and services but lose customers simply because they can’t find the information they need on your website.
Customers expect quality data, convenience in finding it which includes fast load times, and they are incredibly informed. I have often left a brick & mortar store to make a purchase elsewhere, paying more for a better item, because of higher quality photographs, information, and reviews, providing effective communication online. Everyone with a smart phone in his or her pocket carries the power to learn everything you want them to know about your brand. It’s up to you to present that information well and stand out effectively.
Having a well designed website paired with eye catching images that communicate your message effectively is the best combination to engage new clientele. Beautiful, high quality images capture attention; when they’re sending the right signals, they’ll better help you sell, and I can help you with that.
Build a Working Archive of Marketing Photographs
When you hire a professional commercial photographer, think of additional projects you can have photographed for future uses. No one has ever told me they regret having great content, but I do sometimes hear regret for saying no to more. Having more photographs in an archive means your business will have more opportunity to promote itself with a consistent story, message, quality, and aesthetic. Investing in multi-day projects will provide more opportunity for more dynamic content, deeper storytelling, seasonal diversity… the list goes on and on. You don’t have to implement all of your new photographs immediately; if all of your business marketing needs are met, extra content will help keep things fresh in the future.
I’m on the Marketing Committee for Rafiki Africa Foundation, a non-profit based in Lancaster & Kenya that provides education for severely impoverished children and training to empower women. I have built an extensive archive of photographs from multiple, month long travels throughout Kenya, literally thousands of finished photographs, yet there are never too many. A specific marketing need always arises and if it’s in the archive, awesome. If not, the answer isn’t as simple as having a local photoshoot on a Tuesday as it would be for your business.
Look for Added Value Through Utility
Finding new and multiple uses for photographs is one of the best ways to make your commercial photographs work for you. Social media profiles such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Indeed, those are are low hanging fruit. Look beyond that and see how you connect with clients, partners, and your industry as a whole. Trade shows & publications, editorials in local news releases or magazine articles, promotional mailers, newsletters, calendars, and of course, your website, are other opportunities to consider. Creating a wide variety of photographs means you’ll be able to apply fresh content to relevant uses without overuse.
Planning & Layout
If you are coming into a commercial photoshoot for your business, make it a priority. Organizing staff schedules, considering logistics and any preparations that need to be made, all maximize productivity while photographing. Think about how and where the photographs will be used. Talk with your print and web designers, see what they need. Will these photographs need to fit known or unknown uses, including size constraints and a list of communications? Who maintains the company blog? Talk with them about what they’re planning to publish and see what images they can utilize. This is a chance to create consistent, high quality, targeted visual messages across all of your marketing channels, don’t sell your company short. From a layout perspective, photographing to fit a known space or having negative space to accommodate text/copy will also benefit your uses greatly.
For more in depth projects, taking time to location scout together is a great opportunity to discuss plans. Together we can evaluate challenges, develop concepts, set solid expectations and determine mutual priorities ahead of time. The investment in scouting is nominal compared to the benefits you receive: improved productivity and superb results.
Make It Happen
Learning your story, the nuances of your business, industry, your staff and the community you serve, will be the starting point for me as a photographer to align with your brand. We will determine what it is you need to say and how to communicate that message in an intentional, creative way. If you have a commercial project you are considering, contact Jordan to discuss creative possibilities to help you grow your business.