When was the last time you bought something without seeing a photo of it first?
Today's customers are very visual; they are used to seeing high-end pictures everywhere and expect the same image quality from your product. Good product photography is about taking the customer on a journey. It makes them feel like they can taste or smell the product, creating an emotional connection. An incoherent mash-up of various photos will not serve your brand as well as a visual red thread your client can follow.
Visual content stimulates our minds, especially when it addresses our emotions. And there is more of it out there than ever: More than 4.6 billion pieces of content are produced every day. That's a lot to compete with. How can you make your product stand out from the crowd?
Create a clear strategy
It is easy to gloss over this part, but it is crucial to flesh it out. Like everything else, your product photography has to be part of an overall strategy based on your client's needs and goals. The first step is to crunch numbers:
- How many leads are currently coming in via your website?
- How long do they stay, and what images keep their interest?
Keep this data in mind when planning your visual strategy.
Many of our customers find that a specific style of product image leads to more sales. This data will make it easier to define your visual goals and help to build the right portfolio of images. It is also useful to create a mood board based on your most successful pictures. As it will refer directly to your customer's preferences, it is a much better guide than anything based on the latest trends or your competition (although you shouldn't ignore these either). See what they have in common- maybe they always show a person or have a certain color scheme? Write down the patterns you can notice and use them as a foundation for your next photo shooting.
Whom do you want to attract?
Yet many find it challenging to define their customers. Here it also helps to look at your recent data and see what type of person buys from you. A good strategy ensures you don't want to be all things to all people; instead, it makes your products attractive to those who will benefit from them.
Part of addressing your ideal prospects is creating visuals those outside of that audience won't like. Remember, great product photography is linked to emotions. You can only make such a connection if you stand for something. Have you thought about the way you want to convey your values in the photos? What does your brand stand for? Is it luxury, sustainability, individualism- or something else entirely? If you are unsure, have a look at the brands that you lean towards and see what makes them stand out for you. Chances are you are attracted by the same things your brand stands for!
Use visual storytelling
In the visual economy we are in, "product experience" is defined mainly by the quality and volume of product images. Visuals often replace the physical experience in a store and have almost become a part of the products themselves.
But, like the store helps to define the product, your brand photos set your product in relation to your customer's expectation. When you visit Harrods' in London, you know that you will find mostly premium and luxury items; when you enter Walmart, you expect to see good value for money. Brick and mortar stores help to tell your products' story. If you want to entice customers online, you have to give them a similar narrative they can follow.
Good product photography can even make or break a company: Airbnb only became successful once it used sleek, shareable images to present its rental properties. Their photo strategy made the flats and houses desirable. At the same time, they reassured the prospects that it is safe to book via Airbnb- something that would have been much harder to convey via text only.
Pick up the colours for you product pictures very carefully
The colours you choose will depend on the age and gender of your audience as well as your product. Sustainable brands will naturally lean towards green and earthy colours, while luxury brands stand out best in black or gold. If you are not sure if your brand colours align with your message, have a chat with us- we will be happy to help.
It is crucial that you use the same colours throughout your photos and overall content to give your customers a visual guideline.
To stand out from other companies in your field, your product photography should be fresh and present the product in an unexpected way. Also, product photography follows trends- make sure you keep them in mind when planning your next shooting. Meeting expectations is the minimum- ideally, you want to wow your customers with beautiful, exciting product photography that makes them feel they can almost touch the item. Part of your photo strategy should be to have photos of your product that can replace the physical experience with it: if your customer cannot touch it, they should be able to imagine how it feels touching it. That creates the desire to purchase the product.
A visual content strategy is especially important for those brands that rely almost exclusively on Instagram to build a loyal following. There, everything is about the visual aspect. A person scrolling through Instagram might see 20- 100 images in a single setting. That means quantity matters as much as quality- if your prospect sees five or more images of your product in such a session, chances are high that they will remember you. In 2016, consumers expected around three images per product- today, that figure is up to eight.
In 2018, an eBay study showed a clear connection between the number of images and sales - more product photos meant an increase in purchases.
One way to benefit from the visual economy is to tell your companies' story through photos. How you came up with the idea, the hurdles along the way, and your products can all form part of an engaging story that draws customers. That way, your brand story becomes part of your overall visual strategy.
Creating a clear strategy for your product photography can easily increase your profit, but it can be daunting at first. If you need help with this task, contact us for a non-obligatory call - we would love to meet you!