As well as being a complex and sophisticated art form, professional photography also holds great commercial value – offering a steady and reliable stream of income for those with the skill, experience and aspirations to break into the world of commercial photography.
Certainly, modern content marketing wouldn’t look the way it does today without the high-quality photographic imagery that graces so many website banners, blog posts, social media campaigns, marketing emails and virtually any other conceivable content format.
If you’re considering lending your photography skills to businesses as a tool for engaging online users through visual content, you’re in the right place.
Telling a relatable story that resonates with users provides the backbone for every content marketing campaign. Whether for an emerging e-commerce business hoping to visually illustrate the features and benefits of their flagship product or a B2B enterprise keen to showcase their services in glorious high resolution, photography brings these narratives to life.
Users can physically see products or services in use and, even more importantly, see how access to these products or services can solve the problems they have that brought them to their current state of browsing.
Content for consumption
Digestibility is a key criterium for digital content, not least due to dwindling user attention spans. As businesses look to seize their ever-narrower windows of opportunity when it comes to engaging users online, the consensus as to what makes for engaging content is becoming more and more clear – particularly with regards to blog, social media and email content.
A strong visual element, paired with short, easily digestible sections, makes content consumption quick and easy – and without support from relevant, high-quality photography, this would rarely be achievable. Imagery that illustrates the information shared and points made allows written content to be processed more effectively – avoiding the dreaded wall-of-text phenomenon and guiding users all the way through to the content’s intended conclusion.
As we’ve said, there are a great many stories to tell in the world of content marketing – but regardless of the plot arc, these stories tend to share a common theme: aspiration. One of the most powerful, primal motivations for a user to pay for a product or service is their aspiration to achieve a certain lifestyle or status. Thankfully, through the use of high-quality in-situ photography, brands can tie their product to these desires.
For example, imagery of a product designed to save the customer time and energy on an otherwise arduous day-to-day task which appears to illustrate exactly that could be just the thing to seal the deal for shoppers initially on the fence. Likewise, engaging photography for a networking group that depicts members making connections, swapping business cards and expanding their social circle may very well be the visual stimulant a prospective client needs to convert.
Brand identity in focus
High-quality imagery speaks to a high-quality brand – and as expertise, authority and trustworthiness become ever more weighty concepts within the SEO sphere, any imagery that can be used to enhance brand perception is a safe investment for any business. As a photographer, you have the power to frame a brand in as flattering a light as possible, and this constitutes serious content marketing currency.
From enlightening images of a company’s team and office to high-resolution product photography showcasing a business’s range in vivid colour, your camera’s lens is a portal to the brand – with any imperfections airbrushes so as to put the business’s best face forward across all advertising channels.
The key to mastering commercial photography as an arm of content marketing is to understand the immense power of this visual medium. Your photography offers a window into the inner workings of a brand and its range of products or services – and by getting to grips with the vital role imagery has to play in engaging, motivating and empowering users, you can come to understand the commercial value of your own art form.
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Author Bio: Jon Leighton is the Director of Land Digital, a full-service digital agency providing made-to-measure marketing, design and development solutions to help businesses in the UK to solve their commercial problems.