You’ve probably heard that humans are visual creatures, but did you know that our brains also process visual information faster than text? In other words, using strong visuals in your digital marketing efforts will help your posts resonate more with followers and help them remember more information about your business. Strong visuals not only keep the attention of your existing audience while helping you attract new followers, they also help you to express your brand identity, highlight important information, differentiate your business, and showcase your products and offers.
Getting started with creating impressive visuals can be tough, but there are so many resources to help you; for example, there are plenty of free stock imagery websites where you can search and select images to fit your content. A few of our favourites are Canva, Pexels, and Unsplash. Canva also allows you to create various designs and promotional materials with your chosen images and is a great resource for designing seamless visual content.
You can, of course, use your own photos in your online content, but it’s important that the pictures be high-quality. If you have the equipment and experience necessary to take exceptional high-resolution photos, go for it! Ready to try your hand at taking some photos of your own? Here’s how to get started:
Get inspired: Pinterest, Instagram, and stock image sites are great places to scroll through to find some photo inspo.
Have a plan: Decide what you want to shoot and what you will be using your images for; this will help you decide what should be the star of your photo.
Find your light: Natural light is your best friend! You can usually find some beautiful light next to a window on the shady side of your house or outside in the shade. Avoid direct sunshine, so you don't end up with harsh shadows.
Choose a clean and simple background: A plain white background, neutral floors, wood table tops, marble countertops, a brick wall, or mural - you probably have a lot of options in and around your house that would make a great background.
Place your props: Start with the star of your photo; this is what you are trying to promote or what you would like to draw focus to. Next, add in your secondary props that support your story and add context for your star. (Pro tip: Consider if you would like to add text or graphics to your image after, making sure to leave space for them as needed.)
Shoot your shots: A trend in social media photography right now is flatlay, an arrangement of objects shot from above; get above your scene using a chair or ladder (be safe!) and shoot from a bird's eye view. Next, change your angle to capture some additional shots for more content options. Have fun and get creative with your objects, angles, and lighting - just make sure it looks professional!
Filter for consistency: Using set filters or editing presets can help make your images look more consistent and professional, and create a more consistent brand image.
Another option, if it’s in your budget, is to invest in an actual professional: branding photography is a very sought-after service right now since it provides businesses with professional photos that match their brand and aesthetic. Branding photographers are experts in figuring out what kind of visuals you’re looking for and helping you get the best shots for what you’re trying to promote. Here are some of my tips for choosing a branding photographer:
The right look and feel: Start by looking for photographers online and check out their websites to find a portfolio that has the look and feel that you want for your brand.
The right vibe: Getting in front of the camera can make you feel very vulnerable and it’s important to find someone who makes you feel comfortable and who you can have fun with.
The right process: Be sure to book a consultation and have the photographer walk you through their process for branding photos. This will allow you to see how it aligns with what you need and know that their photos will be worth the investment.
On a tighter budget? Many branding photographers also offer mini packages, which can be the perfect bang for your buck if you want to refresh your online image with some new photos but don’t need a large catalogue of images.
Perfecting visuals for your online content is a process, but remember that it’s worth your time to help make your business stand out from the crowd. If you’re interested in learning more, Etched In Marketing offers one-on-one and team training for various content creation tools that can set you on the right path to beautiful and unique visual content.