The Problem with Stock Photography

Stock photos are unoriginal and overused. In today’s digital age, attention spans are shorter than ever, and competition is fierce. For small businesses, standing out from the crowd requires a strategic approach to marketing. One of the most impactful ways to achieve this is by investing in high-quality photography and videography so your potential customers can get to know your brand authentically. High-quality photos and videos can be the difference between a customer scrolling past your ad and stopping to learn more about your brand.

Stock photos don’t capture the essence of your business. Stock photos are all too easy to spot, after all, they are specifically made for mass distribution. Because of this, stock photos are generic, staged, and lack any real “wow factor”. You’ve likely seen them as memes, spliced in videos, and even plastered on billboards. Stock photos can make your content look generic, especially if a competitor is using the same one. Standing out requires visuals that are unique to your brand. When it comes to small business marketing, authenticity is key to capturing your audience’s attention and business. Don’t just tell people what to expect from your business, show them! 

In this blog, we’ll dive deeper into the reasons why investing in photography and videography is crucial for small business marketing success.

The Importance of Creating Great Content for Your Business

Photos of your business builds trust and credibility. 

First impressions matter, especially online. When potential customers visit your website or social media pages, the visual elements they encounter shape their perception of your brand. Unbranded photos and generic videos leave your potential customer wondering, “What can I expect from this business?”. Conversely, high-quality visuals of your space, employees, product, and portfolio convey a sense of credibility and professionalism, fostering trust and interest.

Interesting visuals increase engagement on your marketing efforts.

Humans are visual creatures. Our brains process visuals much faster than text, and captivating images and videos can significantly boost engagement. Compelling photos can stop a scroll on social media, while well-crafted videos can hold a viewer’s attention for extended periods. 

This increased engagement translates into more website traffic, higher click-through rates on ads, and ultimately, more leads and sales. But it’s not just about catching attention; high-quality visuals also serve as powerful storytelling tools.You can use photos and videos to showcase your products in action, introduce your team, or to tell the story behind your brand. This emotional connection is crucial for building brand loyalty and creating valuable customer relationships.

PGN Insight: We’ve found that Instagram videos are typically watched for 3 to 6 seconds while TikTok videos average a 30-second watch time!

Photo and video can be used as an SEO tool on social media and on your website.

The importance of photography and videography extends beyond social media and website aesthetics. High-quality visuals can also play a significant role in search engine optimization (SEO). Search engines like Google increasingly consider visual content when ranking websites. By including relevant images and videos on your website, you can improve your search ranking for targeted keywords. In the same breath, it’s important that your visuals don’t drag down your site’s load speed. Make sure your video and images are compressed or optimized for desktop and mobile viewing for optimal user experience and SEO benefits. 

Additionally, using clear and descriptive alt text for your images helps search engines understand the content and context of your visuals, further boosting your SEO efforts. Remember, high-quality photos with relevant keywords in the alt text are more likely to appear in image search results, driving even more traffic to your website. Just make sure you aren’t using the same image and alt text more than once. 

Make your marketing materials stand out with high-quality photos of your product or service.

The power of high-quality visuals isn’t limited to a screen. Professional photographs and videos can enhance the effectiveness of all your marketing materials, from brochures and flyers to presentations and email campaigns. Especially when you are trying to pitch your product or service, it is crucial to have photos that showcase what your business is about. Put your best face forward! 

Is a Professional Photographer Right for Your Business?

While the importance of high-quality visuals is undeniable, the question arises: should you invest in professional photography and videography, or can you achieve good results with your own two hands? The technology coded into our smartphones has become so advanced, many great photos do not even require a professional camera. Still, high-quality visuals are more about who is behind the camera. PGN Agency has a creative team of photographers, videographers, and social media managers that create high-performing content for a living. Combining creativity, strategy, and technology, our team can bring your brand to life with our multimedia services! 

Here’s where a professional photographer can make a huge difference:

  1. Expertise: Professional photographers have the knowledge and skills to use lighting, composition, and editing techniques effectively. They can create visually stunning images that showcase your products or services in the best possible light.

PGN Agency recently celebrated 40 years of business as Metro Detroit’s premier ad agency. Our bread and butter is photography and videography for restaurants, with a portfolio of food photography that includes names such as Green Lantern Pizza, Jets Pizza, La Collina Ristorante, and the Chamberlain Hospitality Group in Grosse Pointe. 

  1. Equipment: Professional photographers use high-quality cameras and editing software that can produce significantly better results than what you can achieve with a smartphone.
  2. Experience: Professionals understand the specific demands and requirements of marketing and advertising and can create visuals that will be optimized for the job. 

Get Started Creating Beautiful Content

Whether you choose to create your business’ content yourself or hire a professional like those of us here at PGN Agency, here are some tips for creating high-quality photography and videography for your small business:

  1. Planning is Key: Identify your marketing goals and target audience. What message are you trying to convey? Who are you trying to reach? Planning helps you tailor your visuals to achieve the desired impact.
  2. Focus on Your Product or Service: Use strong visuals to showcase the best aspects of your products or services. Show the product in action, show before and after photos of your services, and have fun with it! 
  3. Invest in Good Lighting and Props: Proper lighting is essential for creating professional-looking visuals. Natural light is often the best option, but you can also use lighting equipment like flashes and lightboxes to achieve the desired effect. If you’re going to be making content on your own, you’ll want to purchase a tripod for your efforts. If you don’t have space ideal for shooting photo and video, find alternative locations that will make your content shine. 
  4. Pay Attention to Composition: Basic composition principles, like the rule of thirds, can help you create visually appealing images and videos.
  5. Maintain Brand Consistency: Ensure your visuals reflect your brand’s color palette, fonts, and overall “vibe”. 

When push comes to shove, stock photography may be used in your marketing material. There are instances where stock photography can be used tastefully! If creating your own content sounds like a large undertaking, no worries! With the help of a branding and marketing agency like PGN, your content can reign king on customers’ feeds! Contact us today to learn more about our services!