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Regardless of what you are selling and who your clients are, when it comes to establishing social media presence, professional photography is a must for every business in every industry. Photos can reflect your company’s values, show your advantages, tell the story of your brand in an attractive and engaging way, and help connect with clients.

Here are 4 reasons why every business should invest in high-quality professional photography.

  1. Your Media Represents Your Business

Most of the customers now conduct online research before deciding on major or costly purchases. They make assumptions about the quality of products and services based on the content that businesses present online. With the rise of such platforms as Pinterest and Instagram, visual content has become more popular than ever. And if you cannot provide your clients professional photographs of your products or services, then they will buy from competitors who can. According to a study conducted by MDG Advertising, more consumers (67%) value the quality of a product’s image more “product specific information” (63%), “long descriptions” (54%), and “reviews & ratings” (53%).

It’s tempting for business owners to find a lower cost alternative to hiring a professional photographer. They either take photos themselves or use stock photography. By doing so, they risk damaging their professional image. Low quality, unprofessional photos can scare off potential customers. Well-crafted, eye-catching photographs, on the other hand, project the idea that products and services that you provide are of high quality. Several companies conducted studies to find out whether original photos performed better. Marketing Experiments found that original photos converted at rates 35% higher than stock photos.

Stock photos are the worst way to showcase your business because they neither reflect your style nor show your values to consumers. They are photos of someone else’s business after all. For example, if you run a restaurant, you cannot use someone else’s pictures of food and restaurant’s interior. On the contrary, if you showcase beautiful photographs of your chefs at work and of your brand-new menu items on your social media, customers will more likely choose you over a competitor who doesn’t put as much effort in creating brand’s visual identity.

When it comes to making a first impression the photos are of high importance. What do people planning a vacation expect to see on such websites as TripAdvisor or Booking.com? Interior photos of hotel rooms that look cozy and invite people to experience the tranquility of a gateway destination.

When people visit your website or Instagram page, they want to see real you. Not reposts from other accounts. Stock photos reflect the idea that you want to appear perfect instead of being genuine. They also give people a false impression that you hide something. If what you have to offer deserves to be seen, invest in professional photography to help your clients get acquainted with your company. What’s one of the most popular and effective ways to make your potential customers familiar with your business? It is showing actual photos of your executives at work, your team members in their usual environment, and how people use your products and benefit from your services.

  1. Customers Appreciate Transparency in Business

Over the past few years, brands and retailers have been facing a challenge of maintaining consistent, uniform, high-quality product images and satisfying the demand for transparency.

Transparency now plays a significant role in building a successful business model across all industries. “Withholding or cleverly reshaping information is no longer a viable option for this new era of consumers who are savvier than any generation before them and for whom skepticism seems to be a default setting,” MegaFood CEO Robert Craven recently wrote in Entrepreneur. “In order to build brand loyalty, companies need to first build trust.”

Your customers will appreciate if you demonstrate how your products are made and how you conduct your business. It will show that you are proud of your product, your team, and your organization. To make a point, let’s take two companies that produce skincare products. One of them publishes the photos of the process of how the ingredients are being collected and processed in the social media and the other one does not. Whom do you think customers will trust more?

According to a study by Label Insight, nearly all consumers surveyed (94%) reported that they were more willing to follow and support a brand and that offers transparency. 73% indicated that they would be willing to pay more for a product that provides complete transparency.

Not only consumers highly appreciate and value transparency but potential employees too, because it indicates that a company has nothing to hide. Job seekers expect they there are going to be happy and satisfied at the new workplace.

Transparency, therefore, enhances accountability and provides information for customers and potential employees about what the company is doing. The more open you are to your audience, the more they will trust you, and the higher the chances that they will buy from you or do business with you.

3.Professional photos bring more traffic to your website

Great way to bring more audience to your website and improve user experience is to publish unique quality media content and optimize it for search engines. The reviews and analyses conducted over five years conclude that professional photos with the right links are necessary for your SEO and provide a higher (84%) click-through rate than websites and blogs with poorly crafted photos or with no photos at all.

Optimized photos accompanied by related text can help your website get found in the image results and show up higher in the search results for the keywords they are optimized for. And if these photos are well-crafted, they can also help to engage visitors and keep them on your website for longer leading them down the sales funnel. For example, having analyzed over 100 million Facebook updates over the course of three months, BuzzSumo found that posts with images had a 2.3x more engagement than those without.

Relevant images added to the articles on your website will help readers understand them better. Your articles need images that illustrate specific concepts and ideas, and your every post should have pictures that reflect its topic. For example, a promotional webpage for corporate event planning services should have pictures from previous events including photos of the venues and guests and headshots of the speakers.

Search engines like Google and Yahoo are configured to value unique content more than reposted items. Moreover, original photos are encrypted with your metadata and are a great tool to ensure your ownership over the content compared to stock images which are tagged to other sites. These are strong arguments to use actual photos of your products and team members on your company website. Original content such as photos of engineers at the construction site or delivery men bringing fresh food to the customers will make your business look alive and make people trust you more.

Good-quality photos appeal to users more than poorly lit, badly composed images. Webmasters are more likely to link to a crisp, sharp image thus increasing visits to your site. Attractive images look better in the thumbnail versions displayed in search results and inspire users to click on them. When someone looks up “Asian restaurants in Houston” on Google, a thumbnail image will appear next to the restaurant’s description. And restaurant managers want these images to be compelling and attractive.

Resellers, vendors, hotel owners, and craft sellers know that image search is something that people do as research before they choose them. People will base their decision on who to buy from based on the images that appear in the search results and then they’ll visit the website that published the image.

Photos can be featured in blog posts and articles. Create a different content strategy for every medium and share photos that show people what happens behind the scenes to increase your customers’ trust in your brand. Linkedin is the perfect business social network to post pictures from conferences, seminars, and corporate events. Publish visual content on Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, and Facebook to promote your products and services.

  1. Your clients want to know who you are

There are many uses for a professional portrait. You need it for your website, your LinkedIn profile, advertising, gravatar, etc. In this electronic era, business is very personal, and your clients want to know who you are. They want to deal with real people, not just names.

If you run or own a business, then your face represents your company and people will form opinions about your brand based on your image.

Victoria Asinovsky, an award-winning photographer, says that a social media profile picture is one of the most important photos to have—especially for speakers and executives. Because your profile photo is the first thing most potential customers are going to see when they visit your corporate website or your social media profiles.

“Today social networks are providing businesses and their representatives an opportunity to connect with their clients. And it’s a great opportunity to make a great first impression and create recognition for brands,” says Victoria.

Business headshots are more than getting a quality picture taken. They capture a brand or reflect a person’s character in a single image. A business portrait should present your authentic self if you want the clients to trust you.

The quality and style of your headshot convey a lot about you as a person and signals how you conduct business. An outdoor shot in casual attire sends a very different message than a portrait in a business suit against a solid color backdrop. However, if you intend to publish a business portrait in the social media, it is advisable to stay away from the company’s premises and exclude corporate symbols. The media have more interest in unique pictures than in standard photos at the office table.

CONCLUSION

Photographs are one of the most effective marketing and least expensive mediums available. With them, any business can create a unique brand identity and enhance marketing campaign capabilities.

Professional photos are a vital component of any company’s marketing strategy. Regardless of the industry you are in; sharp and cleverly composed pictures convey a sense of attention to detail and represent your or your team’s professionalism that carries over to your organization’s reputation.