If you’re setting up a website or online store, then you might be wondering how you can be as successful as possible. How can you get your market to trust your brand and buy your product?
Image credit: Burst
There are, of course, all sorts of different factors that go into creating a successful brand and one that creates an emotional connection with your brand and market.
One answer is in photography. It’s a brilliant — and relatively easy — way to get people connect with your business.
Check out our post below to find out how and why photos help you to do this, and how you can use these methods yourself.
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Photos show your brand values
Your values as a brand make up your brand identity; they define your business. You share your brand values and identity with your customers to attract them initially, as well as to build long-lasting, meaningful relationship to retain them as loyal customers.
As an online business, you need to have a unique and clear identity that your market can identify with.
Customers are far more willing to trust, like and admire your brand if you share similar values — such as the importance of family, or sense of adventure, or love of sports. A huge 64% of customers say that shared values are the main reason they trust a brand and build a relationship with them.
Photos give you a chance to share your personal brand values with your audience and create these relationships. You can include these on your website, in email campaigns or social media to share your values. Nike’s instagram feed is a pretty cool example of using photos or videos to convey brand values.
Image credit: Instagram
The message is clear (and reiterated in their bio): ‘if you have a body, you are an athlete’. Nike is inclusive, inspiring and motivational, taking pride in posting photos showing a variety of athletes with different bodies and levels of ability.
As you can see, the right photos can show an alignment with your audience. Shared values are extremely positive for your brand, and can create brand advocates as well as a community.
You can use photos for visual storytelling
In this digital age, consumers are regularly swamped with spammy sales messages, or aggressive pitches. But they don’t need to accept this any more: there are plenty of “nice” brands out there that want to make authentic, emotional connections with their customers.
This is why storytelling is important in marketing. It allows brands to reach out to customers, show their authenticity, and engage on a personal level.
Using photos (and other visual media like video) to tell your brand stories is called visual storytelling marketing, and it’s super effective. It captures your audience’s attention, and creates a resonating message and emotional connection.
There are all sorts of different stories you can tell using photos:
- Tell the stories of the people behind your company: you, or your team/any staff. This humanises your brand, and shows your customers that you aren’t just faceless machines. This is particularly important if you’re a big corporation or an ecommerce store with no customer-facing teams.
- Tell the stories of your customers or people you have helped: Your customers love to see the success or happiness stories of other customers. This
- Tell “behind the scenes” or secret stories: Customers enjoy seeing how things work, what goes into a product, or how to make their own version
TOMS do a great job of storytelling through their photos. Just check out the photo below from their Instagram profile:
Image credit: Instagram
For TOMS, it’s not just about selling shoes — it’s about stories, people, values, making a change. They use photos to illustrate their stories and show the inspirational brand behind the product.
Photos add an element of excitement and interest to your copy
Any website designer will tell you that’s important to break up your text with images. You’re never going to build an emotional connection with your market if they’re instantly bored by your website.
High quality, relevant photos — paired with a strong page layout — are the first step towards reeling your audience in and creating a lasting connection.
Photos can easily illustrate your point and capture the viewer’s interest quickly. And the beauty is that you can feature a wide range of images — ones of your team, your product, customer stories… You can even source some free images from reputable stock image websites — test out different search terms and reach for metaphors instead of the obvious.
Immersive photos are extremely successful in capturing the viewer’s interest. This work particularly well if you’re a travel website or brand. Check out Lonely Planet’s pages for inspiration:
Image credit: Lonely Planet
Lonely Planet are experts at selling locations, travel guides and tours in a way that’s fun and inclusive. They create connections between their brand and people, and a big part of that success on their websites is down to their stunning photos and images.
That photo of Machu Picchu is not only awe-inspiring, but it makes you want to explore. It plonks you down at the top of the mountain that, with the help of Lonely Planet, doesn’t seem too far away after all.
Promote trust with truth-telling photos
One of the most important factors in creating a long-lasting emotional connection with your customers is trust.
Putting up photos of your products on your site, social or emails is a great way of promoting trust. Your customers need to believe in you and your product, and for this, honesty really is the best policy.
There are a few rules you need to remember when taking photos of products:
- Use a good camera: it doesn’t need to be the latest Canon, but make sure it’ll take a decent photo. You can even use your smartphone, if you’ve got a newer model with a high-quality lens
- Take focused, high-quality photos: blurry photos will do more damage than non photos
- Ensure the lighting is good: this could be natural or artificial light depending on how you want to portray your brand and the emotions you want to convey
If you’re including reviews or testimonials, you can also include photos of those giving reviews — maybe even using your product. If you have big influencers or celebrities endorsing your product, all the better. Beats have done an epic job of using photos of celebrity endorsers for their products:
A well-placed photo of a credible reviewer speaks volumes more than you writing that your product is great. Your potential consumers can visually connect with existing consumers, and see how they have benefited from your product.
As you can see, you can easily use photos to help people create an emotional connection with your brand. Visual imagery like this is so versatile; photos can be used to capture the imagination, convey values, tell stories and promote trusting relationships.
What did you think of our post? Are there any awesome examples of photo usage that you can think of? Let us know in the comments below.
Kayleigh Alexandra is a content writer for Micro Startups — a site dedicated to giving through growth hacking. Visit the blog for your latest dose of startup, entrepreneur, and charity insights from top experts around the globe. Follow us on Twitter @getmicrostarted.