Successful marketing involves the telling of a story through images and words. And in some cases, more so in the visual as opposed to the verbal, thus photography plays an important part. And while there are more and more amazing affordable stock image sites available to utilize, there is an argument to be had on using original photography when possible.
In reality, stock photos are necessary. And thankfully many amazing photographers have supplied and inspired vision for your message to shine bright. We recently posted a blog related to FYRE Festival so an eclectic campsite sounded like the perfect backdrop. But budget and time wise, it made more sense to access a stock image as opposed to recreating a campsite gone awry.
Your original photography can play a captivating role in your marketing plan – especially depending upon your type of business.
1. Original photography will differentiate your brand from the sea of others
Brand establishment is heavily present on social media and the digital space in general. It is no longer enough to post a randomly snapped picture – now you have to show up with a loud and vibrant message that people can recognize and that correlates with your brand. In a perfect world, a consumer would see an image and immediately associate it with your brand without any cues, logos or text to help. That’s the kind of real brand recognition that we shoot for, the kind that holds some serious power.
2. It’s all YOU
It can be difficult to find the appropriate image for the content or project you’re producing. If you are behind the lens, the days of searching endlessly for the perfect stock photo are over because you get to shoot exactly what you want and need for the project. A solid visual image strategy will help you to shoot for your projects within those parameters you’ve set, while accomplishing your goals for the image and having a similar branded look between them all.
3. It establishes your brand’s originality and individuality
If you want to engage your audience and get a return on your marketing efforts, you’ll need to provide valuable content and, most importantly establish a definitive personality. You must truly know who your brand is, and what that brand’s personality looks and feels like before you can build an engaged base of fans. Weather it’s on your blog, social media platforms or anywhere else, it is important that your brand gives your audience an authentic, human feeling. I don’t feel that there is a better way to achieve this than to produce and use custom branded imagery, with a very specific and intentional look and feel.
4. Show your flavor
Depending upon your service, culture, and/or atmosphere, original photography can be a crucial element to success. Seeing is believing. If your business is food, then showing a stock image of a hamburger is not only deceiving, but uninspiring. Give them the goods! If it is food, make mouths water, if it is atmosphere make them want to be there, if it is culture show them HOW you are different, if it is an experience make them feel it!
Of course there are always going to be certain situations that call for stock images…But if you want to stand out and captivate your audience, a surefire path to accomplishing just that is a well thought out custom imagery strategy.