Photos can be essential for encouraging customers to buy your product, whether you’re promoting a vacation destination or a pair of shoes. Even service-based businesses can still benefit from marketing with photos (such as ‘meet the team’ photos on your website to help humanize your company).
Of course, in order for your business to look professional, you have to take care when it comes to the quality of photos and where you source them from. Certain mistakes could cause potential customers to lose trust. Below are just a few examples of mistakes to avoid when marketing with photos.
Relying on generic royalty-free stock photos
Using free stock photos can save you money and it can be fine for some situations like blog posts and memes. However, you should avoid using free stock photos when creating adverts or important informational content for your site. Such stock photos may be overly familiar to some people and could prevent your company from standing out. Others may recognize these photos and assume that your company is cheap or uninspired. This is why it can sometimes be better to pay for more unique photos.
Only supplying single photos of products
A single photo of your product may not give customers the information they need. While it’s acceptable to only use one photo on an advert such as a banner ad or poster, you should make sure that your site contains multiple photos of each product so that customers can see it from different angles. An alternative option is to offer a 3D photo.
Not using consistent backgrounds/angles/lighting
If you sell lots of different products, you should try to keep some consistency to how you photograph these products when listing them on your site or in a catalogue. Ideally, all products should be photographed from the same place using the same lighting and background. This stops your inventory from looking too messy and allows products to easily be compared. Hiring a professional product photographer to take unique photos may be the best solution (don’t use supplier-provided photos if they all look very different).
Not knowing when to ask for permission to use photos
If a photograph belongs to someone else, you should always ask the owner before using it for marketing purposes. Meanwhile, when it comes to pictures of people, always ask the people in the photo for permission to use it – even if they are your employees. Some people may sue you if you use a picture created by them or containing their face without seeking permission, so always ask for permission first to be safe.
Not knowing when to hire a professional photographer
You should be careful of using photos taken by yourself for marketing purposes. If you don’t have great photography skills, consider whether the photo is high quality enough to reflect the quality of your product or service. There are professional photographers out there that specialize in all types of commercial photography that could be worth hiring. For example, if you want to take top quality photos of a property that you’re helping to sell as an agent, you may want to look into a specialist real estate photography company like Urban Angles.
Placing unreadable text over photographs
Many static adverts consist of text over a photograph. When creating these adverts, it’s important that the text is readable. If text is too hard to read, your message may not get across. Make sure that the text is legible. This post at Slide Team offers a few tips on how to make text over images readable.
Using stretched/compressed photos
It’s also important that photos are not visibly stretched or compressed. Distorted images could make your company look amateurish. By resizing images correctly, you can make sure that this doesn’t happen – this guide at Tech Smith explains more.