We’re living in an era where you’ll find a camera in nearly everybody’s pocket, and sharing snaps on vastly-growing social media networks such as Facebook and Instagram is hugely popular, particularly among young adults. Nevertheless, a lot of people get involved in some way or another; whether it’s holidays pictures, snaps of your dog, what you’ve made for tea… or more pictures of your dog. Some people conjure up images purely for the ‘Gram’. Honestly. It’s true. Even 90s boy, Craig David has picked up on the trend, but that’s a different matter entirely.
As humans, we’re visual beings, and imagery has the power to evoke emotion. Used appropriately, and your target audience will begin to feel a connection with your campaigns. Effective concepts, well-written copy and strong images all have a big part to play in marketing your brand.
It’s well worth including imagery costs within your annual marketing budget. This money can be used to hire a professional photographer for a day or two, by purchasing a good set of quality stock images or you could always ask a lovely graphic designer (a-hem!) to ‘fake it’ with mock-ups.
What are mock-ups? We use them all the time. If you haven’t already, check out the portfolio section on our website. While we use photography to show off some of our work – the rest is done with mock-ups. We use Adobe Photoshop to superimpose the homepage of a client’s website onto the screen of a Mac or mobile phone, and we’ll showcase the Your Village Life magazine in all its glory as a spurious ‘flatlay’.
More often than not, mock-ups are used as prototypes, which can work as a great alternative to product photography. While this statement may result in a few eyerolls from professional photographers, the end result looks fab, and eradicates lens-glare, and hours of Photoshopping!
We recently worked with a local company called One Soul to help them market their new CBD oil range. Firstly, they needed a redraw of their logo, as their existing one was a low-res JPEG. With a newly drawn vector version, it now means they can apply it to t-shirts, large banners, billboards, vehicles… basically anything they want!
We then moved onto packaging. It needed to be eye-catching, vibrant and versatile; due to more than one flavour of CBD oil being available. I think we did a great job, and the client was extremely pleased with the results.
Then came the packshots. Do we hire a photographer? Shall we pick up the camera ourselves? Who is doing the Photoshopping? Consistency was key, and our client was on a budget. Two very important factors, and we needed to be realistic with our client’s expectations. Therefore we decided on mock-ups; it meant that each image could be produced quickly, thus more efficiently, and if I’m being honest, they look better than photographs!
We’re not the first to do it, and we definitely won’t be the last. You’ll see them in day-to-day life; at bus stops, on billboards or even while doing the online shop. Big companies such as Whitley Neill and Cadbury’s are doing it. How do I know that? Because it involves gin and chocolate of course.
If you’re a designer, there are plenty of free mock-ups out there. If you’re well equipped in using Photoshop, then you’ll be well on your way to building your own portfolio, or even helping out some of your own clients. Need a designer? Then you know where we are. If you have products to market, or need images of this particular quality and standard, then don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Other ways of obtaining good imagery is by purchasing them through websites such as Shutterstock, iStock and Adobe Stock. Ideal for soletraders, mobile businesses or those with nothing to photograph! The trouble with these sites however, is sifting through the cheesy garbage, and compiling a set that looks realistic and in-keeping with your tone of voice and company values. Something we can certainly help with.
Delve, a consultancy agency is a great example of stock images being used well. Sarah and Nicola, the two consultants who head up Delve, came to Root Fifty Two as a new business two years ago. With no image library, we worked together to research a good set of stock images, appropriate to their business, which were then used in the design and development of their website.
As a vibrant and fresh-thinking business, with a ‘people-first’ collaborative approach, their tone of voice needed to reflect their ethos, and refrain from being too stiff and corporate. Bombard your customers with too much fakery, and you’ll dampen your brand’s reputation. 80% of consumers said that authenticity of content is the most influential factor in their decision to become a follower of a brand, so it’s important to get the balance just right.
Stock sites still proving to be too cringe-worthy for you?
Then let me share a great little find with you all – Unsplash; a beautiful website of FREE, high quality photographs, taken by talented, and very generous photographers. No watermarks. No hassle. No sign-ups. Just good, honest photography, which are not overshadowed by typical cheesy snapshots.
Alternatively, if you’ve got cash in the pot, hire a photographer and get exactly what you want. Professional photographers will generally charge a half day or full day rate, but we can also help to plan and art direct your shoot, should you need it. We work with many great local photographers, who have given some of our clients a real boost. Whether it’s headshots, action shots, pack shots, we can recommend the right photographer for you.
Here is a collage of some of the great images we’ve had the pleasure to be involved with:
If your brand is in need of a kick, get in touch with us today, to see how we can help the aesthetics and overall drive of your business. We can assist with all aspects of marketing, such as logo, branding, web development, print and so much more.