Use the right images to promote your business
We often say that a picture is worth a thousand words. We know that images and videos are now an essential part of promotional activity. But do we use the right photos?
Making some simple changes to the images you use can make your marketing much more powerful.
Using the right photos is part of persuading visitors that your business is good for them, relevant to their needs, that they will be welcome and are making the right decision. Visitors need 'evidence' and using the right photos is part of that. They help to build reassurance and credibility. It's worth taking a look at your website, social media and other marketing channels to see how you might need to upgrade or change some images.
Here are some quick tips
Appeal to humans with humans: put people in your pictures. Visitors need to have "they understand me' or 'they're just like me' moments, to feel reassured and that you're offering something that's really relevant to them. Beautiful landscapes can attract attention. Showing people actually enjoying those landscapes is more effective. So, if you say your business is close to great walks, show the walks with people enjoying the walk.
If you want to appeal to certain markets, make sure you include photos of relevant people in some photos. For example, if you're family friendly, a photo of a family enjoying an activity will catch the eye of a family visitor. It's a good idea to make images a little aspirational, without them looking too posed (even if they are), and as authentic as possible.
if you include people in your promotional photos, make sure you have their permission to do so.
You can add life to images by setting up a 'scene', even if you don't have people in them. You can imply that visitors were there or are about to arrive. For example, a table with two steaming mugs implies someone will come along and have a drink.
A good rule of thumb when staging shots is to try to create a mini story e.g. 'two people are going to come and enjoy a cup of coffee as they relax and plan their day'. In this instance, you might show a couple of maps or guidebooks (perhaps with the name of your area clearly displayed) and two mugs of coffee.
Try to use images where:
- something is happening
- something has just happened
- something is just about to happen
Visitors can find it hard to imagine themselves in a place, which can get in the way of them visiting. Most people either lack imagination or are too busy to quickly see themselves in the picture so we have to help them.
Years ago I was trying to sell a two bedroomed flat in London. One of the bedrooms had a double bed in it, the other had a sofa bed which I'd folded to use as a sofa. About a dozen people came to look around the flat. They all told the estate agent that they liked it but wanted a two-bed flat. It was a two-bed flat, but they couldn't see that. The estate agent told me to open up the sofa bed, put on a duvet and couple of pillows. The first viewer who came after I made this small change instantly made an asking-price offer on the flat. You need to think about your business in the same way.
Consider these two photos of the same table.
It takes an effort to stage the setting like this but it instantly makes the viewer feel like they're in the picture, and invited to the party.
What could you do with your business to make visitors feel more welcome, and convince them your business is right for them?
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