On average, people spend less than 15 seconds on your website.
As the digital world moves forward, so does the way users consume online content. We’re a society of scrollers. We want quick information.
Your website is the window into your brand.
User psychology tells us that simple, clean, and concise content wins the race. It also tells us that people love photos and visuals.
Photos allow us to see at a glance the characteristics of a brand. They help to guide us through the page. We form unconscious judgements based on the quality of the visuals on a website.
For example, let’s imagine a world where these two websites exist for the same restaurant. Which one appeals to you more? Which one makes you want to scroll down to find out more? Which one makes you want to book a table?
The obvious answer is the second one. But, why?
When it comes to showcasing your products and/or services, a high-quality photo holds more value than you could imagine. Well-planned photos offer the potential for increased sales and they’re no longer a luxury for business owners, they’re a necessity for attracting potential customers.
Social Media Marketing expert Jeff Bullas said,
“In an online store, customers think that the quality of a product’s image is more important than product-specific information (63%), a long description (54%) and ratings and reviews (53%)… 60% of consumers are more likely to consider or contact a business when an image shows up in local search results.”
Taking the time to invest in high-quality photos can be valuable for encouraging potential customers to choose your business over a competitor.
Not only do high-resolution, professional photos improve the likelihood of a user committing to your call-to-action, but search engines also favour original content over those sites using stock photography. Therefore, they help your site’s SEO, too.
Still not convinced? Here are five top reasons why high-quality photos should be a part of all marketing budgets.
Number 1: Your content represents your brand
The cost of professional photography might make you wonder if you can get by without it. After all, your smartphone has a camera and you can take photos by yourself. Or use stock photography.
Here’s where that thought-process is flawed.
No matter what you’re selling, every business in every industry can benefit from having professional photos on their website.
When it comes to business expenses that are absolutely worth it, high-quality photography should be at the top of your list.
Always try to remember that the content you use on your website represents your brand. Low-quality, pixelated, poorly composed photos will communicate the same about your brand, products, and services.
Your website is often where potential customers will make their first impressions of your brand, make them good ones.
Number 2: Content is king
When we speak about content marketing, people often don’t realise that photos are content too.
Photos are powerful and versatile.
Photos can make your website incredibly engaging and they can be used to build your brand on social media. Not only that but they can provide you with great offline content, too. From promotional brochures to print advertisements.
With such an influx of content on social media, it can be difficult for brands to stand out and get noticed.
Engaging with your audience and sustaining their attention on social media has become a competitive form of marketing. Visuals are no longer a nice-to-have; they’re an essential, core component of a successful social media strategy.
According to Twitter, Tweets with photos receive an average 35% boost in Retweets.
Social Media Strategist Jeff Bullas reports that Facebook posts with photos receive an average 37% increase in engagement.
Research by Buzzsumo found that posts with images receive 2.3 times more engagement than those without.
A quick Google Trends Reports shows that social images are so in demand that the search term “social media images” has been steadily increasing for years, with no signs of slowing down.
With all this data in mind, it’s more important than ever to showcase high-quality images as part of your marketing strategy.
By investing in professional photography, you can provide your business with helpful ammunition to enhance your marketing efforts.
Number 3: They’ll help you get found
In a nutshell, SEO is the process of strategically optimising the elements of your website in an effort to help it perform better in search engine results.
Google likes engaging, relevant content. There are many parts to SEO and they’re fluid, constantly changing and refining. One part is optimised photos.
Optimised photos can help you get found in search results, including features like Google Images. They help to engage potential customers by keeping them on your site for longer.
Stand out from the competitive crowd and showcase the quality of your business through the photographs you present.
Top tip: Remember to add things like captions and alt tags to your photos. They will help with accessibility and SEO. A professional photographer can help you with this.
Number 4: Nothing is cooler than being you
Many businesses fall on the convenience of stock photos. These have their purpose and can be great for filling decorative elements, such as blog posts and newsletters.
However, don’t fall into the trap of using stock photos in every part of your business’ content. This is especially true when you’re showcasing a product or service – there’s a bit of a grey area over false advertising when it comes to using stock photos without claiming them as such.
When people visit your website, it’s usually because something has drawn them to it. They’re looking to find out more about what you do. Stock photos don’t help them do that and could give them a false impression of your brand.
The most valuable way for potential customers to get to know your business is by showing them actual photos of your business, your team members, and your products and/or services.
Number 5: You’re hiring experience
Everyone has a friend that’s “good at taking photos” who is willing to work for free. When it comes to your business, photography is one of those things where you really do get what you pay for.
A professional photographer has high-end equipment, knowledge of lighting, and experience in their trade. They can bring value to your business because they’re capable of capturing the essence of your business.
Every brand has a story to tell, make sure yours is told in a quality way.
Which industries benefit from photography in their marketing?
All of them.
Photos can help you to engage with your audience. Whether you’re the owner of an accountancy firm or need a food photographer for your restaurant, high-quality photos are a high-value asset to your business.
Professional photographers help to convey your business message and attract more potential customers.
For example, the Medialiciously team create powerful photography and video content for the food and drink industry.
Restaurants have a distinct personality and food photography can help to showcase it in a meaningful way. Competition is fierce in this industry, so it’s important to stand out to your potential customers. Professional food photography makes sure your menu items look as great as they taste with regards to composition, lighting, and food styling.
What does high-quality mean?
Many factors come into play when we’re speaking about high-quality photographs. Things like resolution, sensor size, and lens-type all affect the quality of a photo. But, that’s enough jargon for one day.
To simplify, a high-quality photo is one that is:
- Sharp: Nobody wants to view a website with blurry, pixellated photos. Sharp photos mean that parts of the photo are pin-sharp. For artistic value, photographers will often use a shallow depth of field, this is when one part of the photo is in focus, while background distractions are out of focus. Don’t confuse this with out-of-focus.
- Well composed: Composition is fundamental in photography. Framing the photo perfectly with regard to the subject matter will take photos from looking basic to professional.
- Well lit: Photography is all about lighting. Under- or over-exposed photos can give your images a weird colour cast or worse leave them looking grey or washed out.
- Relevant: Photos should be relevant to the surrounding content on the page. If they’re not, question whether those are the best ones to use.
- Optimised: This doesn’t just mean proper captions and alt tags. It also means having photos optimised for page loading. If your website takes an age to load, you risk page abandonment. To maintain a sharp image that loads fast, you must find an appropriate balance between file size and resolution based on how big it needs to appear on your website.
Need a photographer?
Our team at Outlaw Social and Medialiciously are skilled creatives who can help turn your business into a brand. We can help you to increase your website engagement through beautiful photos that are unique to your brand.
Hiring a professional photographer can help you to produce content that stays consistent with your brand guidelines and design style.
We put together this handy sizing guide for social media visuals. Check it out.
We hope to work with you soon.