The old adage of ‘a picture paints a thousand words’ has never been truer in the digital age. Log on to any website, read a blog or open almost any promotional email and there’s an element of photography that provides branding, sells a service or portrays company culture. In addition, photographs are still the cornerstone of good print marketing – whether that’s advertising, outdoor media, leaflets or corporate brochures.
If you need the importance of photography quantifying, research by NewsCred found 40% of people respond better to visual information than plain text and 93% of people say that visually imagery is the number one factor impacting a purchasing decision.
Many businesses are guilty of falling into the stock photography trap and although your choice of images may feel fresh and unique, it’s highly likely that hundreds of other businesses are using the same photographs. It’s also worth considering how your choice of photography represents your company in-house and within the recruitment sector. If you’re using stock photography, you’ll probably be wide of your company’s own mark, therefore potentially damaging your corporate identity.
With World Photography Day now an annual event (falling on Monday 19th August in 2019), now is a good time to take a step back and evaluate the type of photography you’re using. Here’s Bond Williams’ 9 top pieces of advice to make your business snap happy:-
Take your own photos: to ensure your photographs are on message, bespoke and relevant, commission a professional photographer on a regular basis. This is crucially important if your image library contains staff shots or head and shoulder images. People shots give a company personality and work best when the subjects in the photos are your actual employees.
Stop relying on free sites: if you’re constantly downloading from free stock sites, the chance of using the same images as everyone else is multiplied. It’s worth paying for photos to reduce the risk and get more choice in the process. Resources including iStock, Getty Images and Shutterstock are updated regularly and have a more creative portfolio.
Keep an eye on your competitors’ output: if you’re dipping in to free photo libraries, ensure you’re checking what images your competitors are using so you don’t end up mirroring their choice. If the same photos are used, clients will find it hard to distinguish between companies, which could cost you business.
Think laterally: it may take a little more time but thinking outside the box when choosing images can help distinguish your brand and spark interest amoung clients. Rather than choose the most obvious photo, think about metaphors and similes to come to a more creative decision.
Don’t skimp on file size: stock photography is often offered in a number of files sizes and it’s wise to always choose the biggest one available. The rule of thumb is the higher the MB (megabyte) number, the better the quality – anything over 1MB is essential for print.
Alter a stock image to make it unique: if you are relying on stock photography, give it your own twist. Try cropping a photo to focus on one element, or turn a colour image black and white to create a point of difference.
Avoid anything cheesy or clichéd: the chances are it’s been used a thousand times before and will elicit a groan for your audience. Additionally, cheesy or clichéd photographs don’t reflect a creative or clever business.
Be aware of copyright: ensure any stock photography you use is copyright free or is licensed under creative commons public domain dedication. And don’t forget to credit the photographer if this is a condition of usage.
Give yourself an SEO bonus: if you’re uploading an image to your website, ensure you rename the file name with SEO key words and don’t forget to do the same for the alt tag too. This will help your website’s search engine ranking.
Louise Woodward (Chartered MCIPD)
Louise is an experienced specialist accounting & finance recruitment professional with over 30 years’ experience specialising in the sector during which time she has gained an esteemed reputation as one of the region’s leading recruiters evidenced by her long list of loyal and happy clients. Louise is also Group Secretary …