No one liked Pinterest when it first launched.
The founder, Ben Sildermann, struggled to find investors who were on board with his vision when he approached them at the outset; no one thought his project would amount to much.
And while Ben may have been frustrated then, I have a feeling he’s laughing now.
Because that little project no one was interested in investing in? It’s gone from 5,000 users to a whopping 180 million users in just 5 years.
Pinterest has become an inspiration resource, a search engine, and a fantastic outlet for businesses to market their offerings. It’s filled with gorgeous, high-quality photos of everything under the sun. It’s a visual feast.
While the statistics of Pinterest’s growth are shocking and inspiring, they’re even more telling of just how powerful visuals are today and will continue to be in the future. They’re indicative of the direction things are moving when it comes to marketing your business and getting noticed by potential customers.
There are many different visuals you can use to promote your products and services - from infographics to animated videos and everything in between - but photos are one of the most effective.
And while we know that subconsciously, we don’t always take the time to consider why.
So now’s a great time to take a few simple minutes to consider these 3 big reasons you should be making every effort to capture high-quality photos to promote your offerings.
1 | Photos help people visualize what it would be like to use your product/service
We all do it, and probably without realizing.
We’ll scroll through high-quality images of delectable desserts, gorgeous homes, and stylish outfits on Pinterest or Instagram and consider what it would be like to eat that blueberry crostata with vanilla bean ice cream, snuggle up on that comfy couch with the colorful pillows, or wear that plaid button-down with black skinny jeans.
We subconsciously place ourselves in the photo.
That’s so important to understand as a marketer. And yes, if you’re a business owner (especially if you’re a solopreneur), you have no choice - you’re also a marketer. So you might as well learn all you can and be a darn good one.
By using photos, you’re helping people visualize what it would be like to use your product. You have the opportunity to make that fictitious experience seem excellent with your photography if you approach it the right way.
So take that into account when you’re taking photos of your products.
Consider your lighting, the objects that are in the background, the props you use. Take an objective look at your images and ask yourself whether they’re portraying the right kind of experience for your audience.
2 | Photos provide visual proof
Last week in my post on creating a winning marketing concept, I mentioned that providing proof encourages belief; it helps build trust with your potential customers. And in order for people to buy things from you, they have to be able to trust you.
To help you build that trust, you have to give people reasons to believe (RTBs) - proof that they’ll actually obtain the benefit you’re promising them.
Photos provide visual proof. You can use them to demonstrate your product in action, show up close details and features, and display the outcomes of using your product.
Would you buy a new pair of shoes online if you weren’t able to see detailed photos of them? Probably not. You want to know exactly what you’re getting, especially if you’re buying them online and can’t see the shoes in person.
Photos build trust with your prospective customers by helping them see exactly what they’ll receive once they buy from you.
The same is true for any other product or service; you want to understand exactly what you’re going to get before you click the big red buy button.
Make it easier to win over prospective customers by helping them get a great idea of what they’ll receive once they buy from you. Use high-quality images to demonstrate your offering in action and provide visual proof.
3 | Photos convey messages quickly
I’ll give you a second to let this image sink in.
What were your first thoughts when you saw it? Surprise? Disgust?
That’s exactly what the marketers behind this campaign for smoke-free dining wanted you to feel, and they were able to convey their message within a second or two because of this clever photo.
When you’re trying to marketing your offerings - especially among busy people with short attention spans - you only have a short window of time to get your point across.
You can’t sit down with each person you come into contact with and explain the ins and outs of your product for a half hour. You have to convey your message within a second or two.
Photos give you the ability to share a story quickly.
The marketing campaign above wouldn’t have been quite as effective if they had tried to paint the picture in your head of a woman eating a hamburger full of cigarettes over the radio or in text, would it? It also would have taken much, much longer.
But because they used a photo, they were able to catch your attention and convey a message quickly and develop an emotional response from their audience. That’s great marketing.
Before you take the time to capture images for your products and services, consider the message you’re trying to portray to your audience. Go back to that clever concept you created and brainstorm creative ways that you can carry that concept out in your photos.
And if you enjoyed this post and want to learn more about how you can use visuals to increase engagement and sales for your business, be sure to take a look at our newest Elle & Company course!
How big of a role do photos play in your marketing efforts? What are your biggest struggles when it comes to taking high-quality images for your business?