Throughout your time spent checking social media, there’s a constant wave of photos, videos, gifs, and content that is always calling your attention. To get a better idea of what the word content encompasses and how it can benefit your local business check out our page about content creation. With the minute-by-minute influx of new content, we start to subconsciously scroll right past anything that doesn’t immediately lure us in and simply move to the next post that sticks.
As a local business, it’s key to have content that hooks viewers and effectively communicates the message you’re trying to get across to your target audience. You might be thinking that creating original photography is easier said than done and instinctually look for an easier option, like stock images. Admittedly, stock photography can save you money, time, and effort but that is as far as the benefits go. The problem with having generic stock images is that people are too accustomed to seeing them. Nielsen Norman Group did a study showing how “users pay close attention to photos and other images that contain relevant information but ignore fluffy pictures used to “jazz up”” the core message and detract from the authenticity.” Essentially stock imagery is creating another barrier for your audience, allowing them to routinely ignore the customized message you’re trying to express through digital marketing. When trying to emerge from the flood of content people wade through every day, stock photography is underwhelming and uninteresting due to its generic nature. Don’t just tell your target audiences what makes you unique, show them.
- Personal Connections
The primary feature that will anchor people to regularly interacting whether it’s liking, commenting or sharing is the personal connection. Regardless of the size of your crew, each member is part of a social circle that cares about what’s going on in his or her life. Replying to comments or liking other business pages shows that you’re involved in the community, and you’re willing to make time for each person. And then when they click back to your social media page or website they’ll be delighted to find real imagery which truly highlights your friendly local feel.
- Employee Recognition
By including staff in imagery, it creates an instant connection to parts of their social circle and therefore expands the net of influence of your business. Your online brand will become more personable and accessible when your audience sees genuine people in a comfortable environment. The stock version of this would have models posing in front of stark backgrounds, which completely misses the distinctive brand personality, voice and message your business is trying to communicate.
- Recognizable Imagery
The advantage of communicating a customized message and specific brand identity through original photography is that you precisely express a localized message. With stock photography, much of it communicates the same message that people routinely sail by online. The pristine, clean, and technically perfect image may appear to be beneficial, but it won’t effectively reel in the people who provide you with their business. Original photography is an important element of forming your visual and brand identity.
Another positive aspect to having custom images is that it effectively displays how your business is unique. Depending on the products or services there may not be stock photography to accurately express the uniqueness of your company. For example, if you’re a catering company with a unique menu or service, stock photography can communicate a fragment of that but not the entire story. Additional examples would be woodworking, construction, real estate, handmade goods, or really, any one of a plethora of products that might be different each time they’re created.
Original photography that reflects a brand personality, a genuine environment, and approachable people is the centre mast the will make people want to get on board with your company, helping you to set sail toward your company vision.