Photo Shoot Your Way to Sales Growth
By Lauren Simonds May 23,
The way you visually represent your company can affect your sales growth. We look at how using original photography makes a big difference in your bottom line.
If you want to differentiate your business from your competition, then look no further than the images on your company website. Stock photography litters the Internet, and often the same generic models-as-business-people smile out from competing businesses.
In theory, saving money on stock photography seems logical, especially for cash-strapped SMBs. And while studies show that websites with photos of happy people can do wonders for a company’s bad reputation, stock photography is a short-term fix that doesn’t yield any ROI.
According to an article by Joe Taylor at Small Business Computing, investing in high-quality, professional photographs—of staff and of products—can drive business, boost sales conversions and help you stand out in a competitive field. These tips show you how.
(MORE: Banking on Business Growth)
Authentic Images Build Trust and Rapport
Web-usability expert Jakob Nielsen and professional photographer Alina Vincent agree. People respond better to pictures of real employees on websites. People tend to ignore website images that don’t ring true, and instead will spend about 10 percent more time looking at company photos of real employees.
It’s not surprising that a photographer would recommend a professional photo shoot, but Vincent posits that photos of your real employees will help you build a stronger rapport with potential customers. Go beyond the staid headshot; include a variety of images and settings that you can use on websites, catalogs, ads, billboards and brochures.
Pro Shots Drive Business
Perhaps your business deals more with products than with services. If so, high-quality product shots are essential if you want to increase sales conversions. Karen Lee, an expert on Etsy, says the quality of your product shots can mean the difference between business success and failure. She recommends shooting with indirect light and taking the time to consider each shot—including appropriate backdrops and props. The goal is to reveal the story behind each item and help it evoke a desired lifestyle.
2/ Study: Professional Photos of Listings Boosts Sales
DAILY REAL ESTATE NEWS | WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 04, 2013
Professionally photographed homes tend to sell for more money and sell faster than homes listed with point-and-shoot cameras, according to a new study by the real estate brokerage Redfin.
The study found that homes priced between $200,000 and $1 million sold for an average of $3,400 to $11,200 more than their list prices when professionally photographed than homes with amateur photos. For homes priced between $400,000 and $499,999, the study found that homes professionally photographed sold for $11,200 more.
In an analysis of 22 markets, the Redfin study evaluated the sales success of homes shot professionally with a digital single-lens reflex camera versus homes shot with amateur, point-and-shoot cameras. The study evaluated homes priced between $200,000 and $1 million.
The study also found that homes that were professionally photographed also tended to sell faster. For instance, homes in the $400,000 range that were professionally photographed sold 21 days faster than those photographed with point-and-shoot cameras.
THE USE OF PHOTOGRAPHY IN BUSINESS – WHY ITS SO IMPORTANT AND WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW July 14, 2014
Photography is more crucial to the promotion of business than it has ever been… the power of visual communication has rocketed with the rise of digital and social media such as Facebook, Twitter etc (See our recent Social Media Blog for more info). It is proven that photographs and images are far more likely to engage your potential customers then text alone making it necessary to include imagery on your website and printed marketing materials to help get your message across, therefore making it crucial to use good quality and engaging images that are right for your brand.
Where, how & what is photography used for?
Photography is effectively used in campaigns, advertising, branding, on your website, social media and much more.
A recent survey by ROI Research found that 44 per cent of respondents were more likely to engage with brands on social media if they posted pictures – more than any other means of connection such as links or status updates. Facebook will show a larger amount of your followers posts that include photographs then just text alone posts.
It can also be beneficial to have a good, professional photograph of yourself so your potential customers can see the face behind the business, making it more personal. People are more likely to do business with someone they know and trust which is why its important you show yourself.
It is just as important to display your products and services professionally as well. Well taken photos will enhance your business’ PR whether its online or on printed media. Fliers and hand outs, if given out in the high street, at events and exhibitions, or hand delivered to homes, are much more likely to be read and not binned if they are covered with eye catching imagery.
Where can you get photographs/images from?
You can either:
-buy stock images,
-hire a photographer
- or use your own photographs.
If you decide to use your own photographs, you need to consider how this portrays you to the public… if they don’t look professional, which they are likely not too, as the lighting, composition, quality etc will not be that of a professional photograph then it will portray your company as unprofessional. Stock images can be perfect but you need to make sure you have the correct license for what you want to use them for to prevent legal issues arising. I will talk a bit more about this shortly. Stock images can also be bought and used by your competitors, so they will not make you stand above your competitors. Hiring a good professional photographerto produce quality pictures that are unique to your business will help you stand out from your competitors and, by making sure those images fit well with your brand, they will help attract the right customers too.
What you need to know about using stock photographs or images from the internet.
copyrightMany people assume that images sourced from google are free to use as long as there is no copyright watermark on them. This is incorrect. From the time an image is created it is automatically protected by copyright. Copyright is a form of protection provided by the law and applies to all images. To use an image without having permission or purchasing a licence is known as infringement. Infringement of copyright can be very costly and result in lawsuits, legal fees and sometimes criminal charges. Some examples of infringement are… using all of or just part of an image without permission, use beyond the agreement of the license or permission or asking a photographer to recreate the image identically or adapting the image.
A lot of people assume that if an image has been copied from a google search and used, it is very unlikely the creator will ever be able to find out its being used… this is not true, lots of images are ‘digital rights managed’ and their use is easily detectable. Even if the image isn’t digital rights managed, there are other ways it can be detected.
There are sources of free, legal images. But the quality of these images can be lower than paid-for images. The better quality free images can also be over-used, making them less effective if they have been seen over and over.
There are two main types of licences when purchasing stock photography. ‘Royalty-Free’ and ‘Rights-Managed’.
For royalty-free images, you get nearly unlimited use. You can use the image in pretty much however you like, for as long as you like, as many times as you like. Following payment of the license fee, no additional royalty payments are owed.
Helter Skelter Media
Why Professional Photography Matters
September 29, 2015 News
According to Twitters own analytics, including a picture in a Tweet gives a 35% boost in retweets
On Facebook, a picture generates 53% more likes than a text only message and 104% more comments according to Hubspot.
Again, on Facebook the inclusion of a photograph in a post with a link gives an 84% uplift in the clicks through to that link
Statistics like these emphasise what we feel is a growing trend – that as technology makes it easier to view pictures and video on the move, marketeers are gaining traction for their clients by leveraging the power of pictures.
While one can argue the merits of Facebook and Twitter in the context of different industries, the fact is that picture power is real and it is a potent weapon in the promotion and differentiation of your products and services.
Given that the benefits of photography are so real, surely we can use our iphones and a bit of instagram magic to deliver the photos we need?
Well, some people can and some people can’t. If you’ve got an eye for an image (and lots of people have) and can spare the time then that might work for you. If your time is better spent running your business or generating more work then you might want to check out the alternatives to using your own photographs.
Seriously? Don’t go there. Helping yourself to an image from the web breaches the photographer’s copyright and the image search in google will quickly show where any given image is being used. More photographers are resorting to legal action to get paid for these pictures and a standard settlement is four times the market value of the picture.
Stock photography is a great way to get hold of professional quality photographs at a comparatively low cost. Companies like Alamy, Getty Images, and Shutterstock sell pictures for pounds. The cost of commissioning a photographer to take that essential sunset shot is likely to run into hundreds of pounds – so if you don’t need a unique photograph and realistically many businesses don’t, then stock photography is worth considering. The photographer gets paid, you are licensed to use the pictures, everyone is happy. We provide pictures for Alamy, but all of the companies I’ve listed here have huge collections.
Why Professional Photography Matters
If your requirement is for unique images that reflect your brand values and show your product and your people in a way that enhances both the brand and the chances of the product selling then you really should consider a professional photographer. In doing so you will be providing a personal and unique experience for your viewers, driving engagement and fostering the relationships that will ultimately lead to sales.
Working with a professional photographer should be a collaborative process – it’s your brand and its important that the photographer understands the values and qualities you want to project. There is a difference between Harrods and Poundland and nowhere is that difference more obvious than in the way they represent themselves visually.
Helter Skelter Media