Where do today’s high-end influencers dwell? If you answered “social media” then you know what’s what. There are entrepreneurs and influencers who make a living—a great living—by promoting themselves, their brands, and products via social media channels. The vast majority of today influencers are landing on Instagram, and while short videos can now be shared on that platform the vast majority of their content consists of photography.
Mobile devices have connected humanity in ways unimaginable just a few years ago. Social media platforms pushing content to mobile devices has created a new breed of celebrity. As an entrepreneur, you have an opportunity to become an authority in your niche, at least on a local level, but possibly on a national or global level as well. But what does photography have to do with this?
Consumers shop with their eyes and always have. Even back in the days before the internet, shoppers would go walking around downtown and look at the newest displays in the local shops. Such window shopping influenced what was popular with the public. I also remember getting the gigantic Sears catalog in the mail each year and spending hours looking at the photos of toys, gadgets, and other cool stuff. I never cared about the product description without first being enticed by the photo.
If anything, social media has made humanity even more visually-oriented. Customers still shop with their eyes today, but rather than perusing shop windows or 1,000-page-long catalogs they scroll through their preferred social media platforms. Consumers have their tastes and choices validated via the opinions of others—their friends and favorite influencers. As brick and mortar shops find it increasingly hard to compete in today’s connected marketplace, one of the best investments an entrepreneur can make is in quality photography. You and your business cannot thrive and increase brand awareness on platforms like Instagram or Pinterest without great imagery.
So, if you want to crush it on these visual platforms and see increased customer engagement and sales, then you need to invest in creating magazine-style photographic content by hiring a professional. Here are five reasons you should invest in great photography:
Photography Creates a Connection with Customers
Since consumers buy what they see, you need to create a library of images that feature your products and services. The other truth about purchasing is that people buy from people, so imagery that creates a narrative that shows who you are helps consumers make decisions without a great deal of internal debate. Using appropriate, on-brand images help you build a strong brand message in a way text along never could.
Photography Improves Engagement
I’ve you’ve read this blog for any amount of time, you know that I bang the drum about how visual content is far more engaging than text-only content. Photos grab attention and help keep customers from scrolling on by. Why write paragraphs of text that not only won’t grab attention like a photo, but may actually be a turn off to today’s consumers.
A Compelling Product is More Important than a Great Price
Remember, since consumers shop with their eyes and tend to make emotional decisions more often than logical, needs-based decisions in their purchases, compelling photography exponentially increases your chances of making a connection with your customers. Think about how often consumers make purchases based on brand image rather than actual quality. Why do you think celebrities start their own product lines? Why do existing companies hire celebrity spokespeople? Why do successful companies invest a huge amount of their marketing budget on compelling imagery? Because they know the vast majority of purchases are impulse and emotion-driven, and quality photography scratches that itch for consumers in a way pricing can’t.
Quality Photography is Timeless
While you should make every effort to hire a professional who understands the market and knows how to showcase who you and your brand are right now, the truth remains that a great photo will always be a great photo. The average may not be able to define what makes a great photo, but they recognize one when they see it. Use this to your brand’s advantage by using quality photography throughout all of your marketing efforts, from your website and social media to print marketing and billboards.
Photographs Can Spread Like Wildfire
The potential of a photograph getting shared across your customer base is a huge advantage to your business. A text-only post about a product or sale is unlikely to be shared among family and friends while a compelling photo may garner much higher engagement and shares.