It may sound obvious that it’s very important to use the “right image” for your photos (and in your videos) in marketing. I’m not referring to the obvious issues, such as the need for it to be the right subject matter, focused and not blurry, etc. I’m also not referring to how “good” an image might be. I’m talking about the exact right photograph for what you want to convey about you or your client.
Here are 3 ways it’s critical to use the exact right photo or visual image/video:
- Is there something in the image or background that’s distracting?
While an image or video may be what you want to convey, is there something included that’s distracting? Does it take the viewer or reader away from the item that’s important? If so, you’re not going to make your point as strongly as you’d like because some viewers or readers will wander away mentally.
A good example of this is videos created using your webcam in your “home office.” Believe it or not, people love looking at the surroundings in these scenes and the more complex or cluttered the background, the more distracted they get. If there’s something in the background that’s distracting, people will focus on that rather than on you or the subject you’re presenting, and they may miss message.
This was brought home to me twice recently: once when I was preparing to record a presentation for a virtual conference, and once when I was speaking to a potential new vendor. Both times, I was asked about items that were in the background, behind me in my office. Luckily, in the case of the conference, it was the producer who noticed it so I took care of it before we did the recording. In both cases, I was impressed by how the background was distracting. So be very aware of your surroundings when you do your video presentations.
2) Is it “on brand?”
I see this happen most often in social media, where people want to “fit into” the channel and its membership. After all, it’s important that your image or video is appropriate for the audience, which varies greatly by channel so using something somewhat different for each channel can work well.
However, it’s also important to be true to your brand. If something is not appropriate, given the image that you want to convey of who you are and what you do, then it’s far more important to stay true to your brand than to do something that will be confusing and, in the long run, disappointing to your viewers or clients.
I recently thought about this when I had professional photos taken of myself (it had been over 10 years since I’d had them done, I realized. It was time!). There were quite a few wonderful images to choose from and I finally picked the one – the author image for my new book – that was closest to what I’m conveying as my “brand” for the book.
3) Be true to yourself and your clients/customers with diversity and inclusion
I’ve written recently about being careful that your imagery is diverse and a recent experience, working with an organization that focuses on professionals of color, drove this point home for me.
I was putting together a presentation for them to share with their members. In the interest of time (and budget) we were using with stock photographs throughout the presentation. I had someone working with me on this project and, at first, she had a racially diverse group of photos in the presentation.
But it occurred to me that this was not necessarily appropriate for this organization. For it to be “true” to them, all of the photographs needed to reflect people of color – not just some of them, or a majority of them. We made this change and, although it may sound subtle, it was noticed. In fact, the client commented that it was something they very much appreciated. This is an important example where the exact right images made a difference to the client as well as their constituents.
Are you sure that your images or videos are the right ones for you or your brand? Contact me and let’s talk about it.