They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so selecting the right photographs to represent your business in your marketing materials can make a world of difference!
Why should a business use photographs in their marketing materials?
Photographs capture attention and add interest. Pictures, especially those of people and animals, add emotional appeal. Pictures can help you Brand your company. Incorporating distinct images in your materials you can stand out from the crowd and create interesting, memorable materials.
What are the things to consider when selecting images for your marketing materials?
Concept: Select pictures that tell a story. Pictures that have emotional appeal will be most attractive to prospective clients. The pictures should work to connect your customers with your products. Good examples would be Gucci ads, perfume ads, Victoria’s Secret catalog. Office Max had the rubber band man, and Geico had the caveman. The images draw you in, create an impression and connect you with the products or service. You want the pictures to speak your message to your audience.
Continuity: Select pictures that go together. Pictures should have the same mood and color scheme. If you are creating a campaign, then select images that correspond to your campaign.
Consistency: Using the same pictures throughout all of your marketing materials will create brand recognition.
Copyright: It is important to make sure you have the right to use the pictures you select for your web site and printed materials. While it is easy to do an image search on Google and find images, it is not legal or ethical to take and use the images without permission. There are many web sites out there that offer Stock Photography which you can purchase and use for business purposes. The cost for stock photos will vary, and ranges in price from free to hundreds of dollars per photo. If you hire a photographer, make sure that they give you the rights to reproduce the images that they took in your materials. By default the photographer owns the rights to the pictures they take
Resolution: It is important to make sure your pictures are high enough quality for your purposes. Keep in mind that requirements for web and print are very different. We often have clients ask us to use images from their web site for their other materials, but this won’t always work. For a web site your images only need to be 72 dpi and RGB color format. This is because computer screens display only 72 to 100 dots per inch. However for print, the pictures need to be much higher resolution in order for them to print clearly. For print materials, images should be at least 300 dpi and in CMYK color format. Therefore, while you will most likely be able to use an image from your print-ready brochure on your web site, it is unlikely that an image from your web site will be high enough quality for your brochure. Also be aware that the RGB colors you see on your screen will not necessarily match the CMYK colors that print from a printer.
How can you use pictures to set your business apart from the rest?
Come up with a creative campaign and select pictures that work with it. Instead of using stock photos, which are generic and used by many people, hire a photographer to work with you to photograph your products and or take specific photos for your campaign. There is a world of difference between amateur and professional photographs. How do you want to represent your company?