Why Professional Photography & Video is Worth It When Building a Brand Image

Why Professional Photography & Video is Worth It When Building a Brand Image

The next time you surf the web, take the time to study the images and videos used on each website. Ask yourself which website designs stand out the most? Which website brands do you trust the most and why? Which sites look generic? Many questions can be asked when evaluating a website and why you like that space. One of the most overlooked areas in website development is photography and video, and there are many reasons factoring into this. In large part, these three types of web development contribute to this lack of attention:

1. Tech Savvy Versus Design Skills in Web Design

First, traditionally websites are built by code-savvy technicians with a high degree of internet technology experience and a low degree of graphic design experience. Websites are a balance of technologies incorporating optimized content, creative branding, photography, and video. Many times the photography and video production element is lost due to the lack of skills in these areas.

2. Budget Constraints in Web Design

Secondly, the all-in-one individual that is multi-talented with coding, design, and content experience, but with a shoe-string budget to build a website for a client. The developer settles for online stock images. Although some may be very nice and themed in the business theme, they lack customization for the brand to stand out from its competition as well as there could be a thousand other similar businesses using the same photos and videos for their services.

3. Overused Templates in Web Design

Thirdly, the individual that uses website building applications that construct the website from pre-loaded templates on the fly. The templates are also shared with thousands of users and have a limited selection of images to choose from. The images are never quite what you need to represent your branding but will do to bring the site to market.

Time Constraints + Cost Constraints = Lower Quality Websites

But the unspoken main issue is Time & Cost for these items to be created. At least, that is the most used excuse I had heard early in my career when first starting out in digital marketing. Later in my career, I built this into the overall project management of new website construction. This leads us back to the main question.     

Why is custom photography and video so important?  

The Bridge of Trust 

Custom photography and video have a unique look to them that sets them apart from stock photography and video purchased from online photo galleries. This is because the photographer works with the owner to understand the goal of each photo that needs to be taken and why each detail in the frame is important to the branding.

When I worked as the digital marketing manager for a national healthcare provider specializing in senior services, we set out to separate our brand from the other senior assisted living business competitors by focusing on custom photography and video for all marketing channels. This included our website, print collateral, web applications, vehicle wraps, and national commercials.

To better understand the customization strategy, our competitors offered the same services, marketed in the same locations, created commercials for the same service information, and held franchisees in the same locations as our franchisees. With so much of our business and our competitors’ business resembling each service offered, it was very important to find a way to establish a deeper connection with our potential customers that would connect with them on a personal level.    

Unique Branding & Brand Strategy

To start, the images are yours, and no other business has the ability to use your photography or video. The custom photography or video used sets your brand apart from your competition. As potential customers research products and services in their area, custom photography can sway a visitor towards conversion.  

Investment

In the senior services healthcare example. We defined consumer perceptions based on market research. What came back to use was interesting. In the case of senior care, most people think of them as institutional with a low degree of attentive care. We needed to not only separate our brand from that mindset but also present a loving environment where Moms and Dads would continue the same quality of life when selecting senior care. The perceptions included:

  • Male vs Female – Masculine vs Feminine environments
  • Inside vs Outside – Confined spaces vs Freedom to explore
  • Custom Clothing vs Institutional Clothing – Individualism vs Conformity

The three bulleted items above represent a perception that the common assisted living shopper looks for in their search to find the right company to help them with a very personal decision to make. Their main concern is to find a reputable business that will share the same love and affection for their parents as if they were at home.

I know this personally because my mother passed away from Alzheimer’s. Many Americans face this ever-expanding disease. We set out to share our experience through our marketing, making a statement through imagery that we as a business understood the concern you, the customer, have in entrusting your most precious loved one with a stranger.

Using creativity to address the concern and build a solid bridge of trust was the mission. No matter what type of business and product you sell, it’s a must to think of the details that build trust with the consumer. Personally, we all have brands that we purchase repetitively. Have you asked yourself why? Do so and capture the feeling and then apply that feeling to your business photography and video. The investment of time and money will be well worth your energy.    

Return On Investment

When asked why our customers selected our brand of senior services to assist with their loved one’s needs, there was never a delay in response. The overwhelming response was that our photography and commercials connected with them personally on a deep level. They felt that we held a better understanding of their parents’ needs. Understanding the connection between branding and customer perception can be very cerebral and subjective. Many times we make choices based upon the most minute level of detail. By recognizing our customers’ needs and taking the extra steps and investments to produce award-winning photography that painted a vivid perspective of their needs, we captured market share and trust in the brand.  

As your business progresses, take the opportunity to revisit your website branding. Ask yourself the hard questions. Does my website photography or video move you? Does it make you want to buy your own product? Are your images and videos aligned with the vision you have for your branding? If not, write down areas to improve upon and then invest in those areas. The return on investment for hiring a marketing agency to produce high-quality customized photography and video is worth the investment. I can guarantee your business will stand out from your competitors.

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