They say a picture is worth a thousand words. If you asked our content writers, they may try to argue that point, but with digital media being the way the marketing world is going, a picture really is worth a thousand words. Underestimating the power of visual communications in your marketing materials can be a costly mistake.
With social media’s meteoric rise to power, it has quite literally changed the face of digital marketing. The influence of Instagram (and Snapchat) has changed the way that the coveted 18-35 year old demographic is expecting to receive their information. Show, don’t tell, has become the mantra of millennials and Gen-Xers the world over.
Websites, email marketing, and even search engine optimization require quality, high-res images to rise above the competition. Sure, your website could be designed beautifully and have an incredible user interface, but without a picture or two to make it pop, it likely won’t – pop that is.
How Photography Works
The human brain is a fascinating thing, as much as we are constantly learning about it, we still know so little. That being said, one of the things we have learned about our grey matter is that it processes images way faster than it can process words. Whether people know it or not, because we can easily extract a lot of information from an image, a compelling visual will carry more precedence than words do.
Remember how much we loved picture books? That love never really goes away. Growing up we had storybooks that had bright and interesting images, it has carried over to our daily adult lives. You may feel like you are in a state of sensory overload just going through your normal routine, even so, your brain still craves more stimulation – digital marketing is fast becoming brain crack. When you tell a visual story rather than a text heavy one, people are significantly more likely to remember it and share it with others.
Just like humans process information faster through a picture, we also have a much easier time remembering branded communications that are images. Words can get switched up in our memory banks and quickly lose their meaning over a short amount of time. Pictures are easier to burn into an audience’s mind and they remain true to their original meaning.
Yet another way that photography and video reigns supreme in the digital sphere is just by the sheer amount of space they take up. Sure, words may have been where social media started, but visual storytelling took their place rather quickly because they literally take up more valuable real estate in a newsfeed. You don’t notice a smattering of words sandwiched between big and bright images.
Not only is an image worth a thousand words, it is worth a thousand words in every language (approximately 9 billion words, scientifically speaking.) Even if you are not purposely marketing to people outside of the English language, a fascinating picture that tells a real story can speak to people in Cantonese, Arabic, English, French, and Quebecois, all at the same time. This begs the question if you could transcend language, why wouldn’t you?
Why Photography Works
Selling products or services with images rather than words is a pressure-free marketing tactic. It puts all the heavy mental lifting onto the audience, guiding them in what to think about, but not how to think about it. Putting the onus on the viewer makes them feel like it was their idea all along. Allowing people to do the work of selling your service or product for you is going to leave them feeling warm and fuzzy about your brand, instead of annoyed and completely turned off.
Images are a sure fire way to affect an audience’s emotions and they tend to be less manipulative than video. What sells products or services? Emotions! Scare someone and they’ll buy a home alarm system, make them feel nostalgic and they’ll buy the same kind of popcorn as they did when they were a kid. Pretty much all marketing efforts are tooled around eliciting some sort of emotional response from the audience.
Photography isn’t only about models, storyboards, schedules, and bright lights. Depending on the product or demographic, a well framed and candid shot can do better on social media than a clearly staged picture. Why? Because our world has been inundated by marketing and people are becoming savvier to staged and stock imagery – the audience is craving authenticity. Make no mistake, just because people want authenticity doesn’t mean that they are going to respond to shitty pictures. Just like McGyver, a truly great photographer can use their phone (or their SLR) to take planned images that appear candid and off the cuff.
On the flip side, and again, depending on the product, service, or demographic, high-quality images taken by a professional photographer can help build trust with an audience – especially in business to business marketing. Perhaps you have a service that is difficult to explain or an industrial product line, showing instead of telling can help build trust in what is being offered. In business to business marketing, photos that are clearly professionally taken can help build trust with the audience just by showing you are willing to spend the money to have them taken. That old adage ‘you’ve got to spend money to make money’ is true in this instance.
Rise Above Your Competition with Compelling Images
Think about the last time you saw a totally rad photograph. Whether you realized it or not, your brain probably visualized yourself right inside of it. The brain has its own fun version of Photoshop that can magically insert whatever it wants into any visual it likes (without all the time-consuming work it would take to actually Photoshop someone into an image.) That visualization is the holy grail of marketing – getting people to see themselves using your product or service will go a long way to convert potential customers into loyal clients.
Whether your business requires headshots, product pics or social media fodder, a professional photographer can take your business leaps and bounds ahead of the competition. All photography needs are not created equally, for that reason we offer our photography services at a rate of $110 per hour. We are also happy to create a specific client or project based package based on your needs. Get in touch to have a coffee and chat about how our photographer can help your company convert!