A lot of kids grow up playing as many sports as they can juggle in a season, and while I gave quite a few of them a try, I finally accepted that athleticism was not my strong suit. I did, however, discover that I had an eye for photography. I started off taking blurry pictures with the cheapest digital camera I could get my young hands on until Santa surprised me with my first Nikon. As I taught myself how to use it through trial and error, my friends and family started to recognize my talent. Photography was a talent that I initially hated having; it seemed “nerdy” to be taking pictures while all of my friends, my cousins and my brother were stud athletes. But, as my skills improved I started realizing that these “stud athletes” valued my picture perfect photos, and a lot of other people did too.
Throughout high school, photography became a part of my identity. I could always be found on the sidelines of sporting events or school occasions with my camera. Players would text me an hour after games asking how soon they would be able to see their action shots from the night. I even acquired some paid jobs for senior pictures and family portraits. Nerdy or not, people valued my talent.
Maybe as a photographer I’m biased, but I think that in today’s world of social media, people value pictures now more than ever before. Photographs still serve their purpose of “capturing a moment” but they’re no longer limited to Sports Illustrated covers or filling the family photo album. With technology like portrait mode on iPhones and social media apps like Instagram and VSCO, it’s easy to instantly share an aesthetically pleasing photo of what you ate for dinner on #FoodFriday.
While photos are a fun feature on most social media networks, they’ve also become a crucial part of visual communication in marketing strategies. If you don’t believe me, take a look at these stats featured in this chart, In All About Images:
- Articles with relevant images average 94% more total views than articles without images.
- A press release with photos gets nearly 15% more online views than a text-only press release.
- 60% of consumers who use online search say they prefer to contact a business whose listing includes an image.
- Nearly 70% of e-commerce shoppers say the product image is very important when making their purchase decision.
According to this article, the Heart of Modern Marketing, there are 10 ways that photographs allow a business to communicate their values with clients.
- Get Attention
A collection of photos may be what attracts an audience and keeps it scrolling down a website or media channel.
- Delivers a message with no words
Unlike words, photos are fast in the sense that they require little to no effort to understand. A good photo should tell a story with little to no words. Since visual information can be processed faster, the person on the other end will get your message whether they take the time to understand it or not. With that being said, it is important that your photos are communicating the correct message.
- Establishes a non-verbal connection
If an audience associates your brand with an image, they will make that connection every time they see an image of similar kind.
- Viral potential
If a photo is eye catching, it is possible that the audience will share it with their audience, becoming a cycle. Photo sharing features on social media make it easy to instantly publish an image at the click of one button.
- Establishes brand credibility
Marketing with consistently good photos shows that your brand values detail and will do the same with work for clients.
- Tap into emotions
Emotions play a major role in a consumers buying decision, so it is essential to understand the consumers soft spot and deliver a photo that hits them right there.
- Inspire action
Isn’t that what a marketer wants? Photo-oriented ads are more likely to evoke action from a user than a plain call to action printed message.
- More engagement
When I was a kid learning how to read, I always liked the books with more pictures than words, and it turns out I’m not the only one. Believe it or not, most audiences will be more engaged with a piece that has photos built into it than one that doesn’t.
- Build Trust
If someone likes what they see, they are likely to keep looking. One good photo could lead your client to their next purchase of your product.
- More sales
If photos can capture and maintain the attention of your audience, your product sales will likely result in more sales.