One of our staff members is looking to buy a home, and she told us about a recent online search. Scrolling through the professional photos of active listings in her area, she came across a home with pictures that should have never seen the light of day. The house appeared to have been robbed and ransacked; clothes were everywhere, furniture was strewn about, drawers hung open, trash and collectables piled up on stained carpets in bad lighting.
What did our intrepid home hunter do? She moved on to other listings that were more compelling. Based on the pics, she couldn’t imagine living in that house or building a fresh new start, let alone booking a walk-through. Even though the owner was asking her to overlook the junk (assuming it would be gone when she moved in), she told us she couldn’t do it. The moral? Poor presentation extinguished her interest in the product.
She’s not alone.
“When a customer attaches a high level of perceived credibility to a product or company, he is more likely to buy that product or do business with that company,” according to Aircall.com.
Some might say it’s her loss for not looking focusing on the home’s potential. As marketers, we say failure to close the deal is not the customer’s loss but the owner’s. Because of the ramshackle photography, she didn’t bite the hook and instead kept on swimming.
We’ve Seen It All…
Being in the web development business, we’ve witnessed a lot of situations where photos are added as an afterthought, or without thought. We can tell you based on the sheer volume of sites we analyze daily that the results of doing either will work actively against your marketing efforts.
We once found the same free stock image used on multiple websites within the same industry and in the same service regions. How can you possibly promote a brand as being better than the competition if it appears as a carbon copy of its competition, so much so it might actually get mistaken for the competition?
If we sound worked up, we are—it’s why we set forth with the intention and motivation to have an in-house photographer as part of our services. Bad photos are not worth the cost. You might pay less upfront, but in the end, you pay for the loss of customers.
Pop Quiz: Can You Spot the Difference?
Below are two photos. One is a stock photo, and the other is a professional photo. Which one grabs your interest more?
We expect you’ll say that the first photo was the one that gave you the feels. We expect this because it’s doing two things, it’s invoking energy through everyone’s dynamic body language and facial expressions. It has personality, an air of whimsy if you will. You’d have to be partially robotic if you didn’t feel a tiny flicker of life from our goofy team photo.
Personalized high-quality and impactful images will convey the concept and context of your brand, your team and your company’s history. Professional photos will help you tell your story, not someone else’s.
True facts about good photography:
- Images can alter a person’s mood, according to Psychologists Kirsten Ruys & Diedrick Stapel
- Detailed and vivid imagery of an object can enhance someone’s perceived ownership of that thing, according to a study by UCLA’s Joann Peck & Suzanne B. Shu
- 67% of online shoppers rate high-quality images as “very important” to a purchase decision, according to MDG Advertising
We also know that people remember sh*t more when it has a relevant visual attached. They’re better able to learn when visuals are involved. Meanwhile, visual-driven consumerism is rising, which includes advanced image search technology. Visual storytelling is the brave new world we’re living in, and if you want people to read your story you can’t just have images on your website for the sake of having images on your website. The images have to mean something to your business.
… And We’ve Heard it All
It’s easy to justify not getting professional photos. We’ve heard:
- I’m an awesome photographer, all my Instagram friends think so!
- My mom has a camera, she can take my product photos
- I don’t have the budget so I’ll take the photos myself
We are supportive of your mom’s hobbies, everyone needs one. But if she or whoever is taking your pictures doesn’t understand the concept of photography without filters, proper lighting/shadows, aspect ratios, resolution, framing and the best practices for web images, then you’re going to be actively working against yourself.
If you can’t sell what you’re offering, you won’t ever have a marketing budget.
Selling your goods and services will bring you revenue that you can earmark for future digital marketing strategies that will generate you leads and sales. If you can’t sell, you can’t market and if you can’t market you can’t sell. A nightmarish wheel of futile effort, to say the least.
High quality, custom images is a good investment towards your website’s ability to sell. Avoid asking your mom to retake all those portrait shots and make them landscapes so that they fit on the web pages properly, and her getting upset that you didn’t provide clear instructions in the first place, the both of you arguing before she blames you for the wilting lettuce in her garden and asking why your brother couldn’t do it because he took that photography class in high school.
Stop the Insanity
Save yourself time and exasperation and ask us for photography help. Our in-house photographer Jonah is the best family friend you never knew you had. He specializes in candid shots, headshots, on-site photos, product photos and more.