If you were to search online for restaurants, would you look at one with no photo before you looked at the ones with appealing images? Time is precious; consumers want to make the right decision as quickly as possible, without the need to troll through every possible avenue before coming to a decision so it’s important to stand out and this is certainly not exclusive to the catering industry.
Not only can a photograph catch the eye of potential customers, but it also creates a visual association with the product: if you were out shopping and were amused by a greeting card about the unjust annual pumpkin massacre at that hands of seasonal commercialisation, you’re likely to remember that greeting card the next time you hear about something relating to pumpkins, even if you didn’t buy the card. It has also been proven that people retain information for longer when it is paired with an image. According to a report published by the Social Media Examiner, you’re likely to only remember 10% of a piece of information three days after you’re exposed to it, compared to the likelihood of retaining 65% of it the same amount of time later if it’s paired with an image.
It’s commonly suggested that “smiling through the phone” when you call a customer results in the projection of a friendlier tone and can contribute towards a positive portrayal of your business. It’s difficult for written word to smile at a customer, you don’t have full control over the tone in which your customer reads your writing but the proof can be in the supporting picture. A photo of a satisfied customer will do that for you and promote your product.
Photography is being used more and more often to capture moments of all kinds and social media users are regularly updating their newsfeeds with these moments which range anywhere from this morning’s oat and yoghurt concoction to the new floorboards in their loft. Social media is becoming increasingly more effective as a platform for businesses to advertise their product and engage with existing and potential customers, they really will share almost any experience online so you can use this to your advantage.
The advantages of sharing photos online are clear but photos don’t just benefit your online presence. When you see an organisation’s poster or leaflet for their upcoming events, at a glance do you first notice the photos or the text? Images can be an initial distraction from text and therefore, the photos could be what gets someone reading in the first place. If, for example, someone is browsing the noticeboard in a train station while their spouse takes care of the ticket purchasing, they may be exposed to a lot of advertisements for a very limited amount of time so the difference between your choice to use a photo or to not use a photo could be the cost of someone noticing your advertisement.
Not only are there visual advantages of using photos, the act of creating them can be advantageous too. Customer’s like to get involved and feel valued so either taking a photo of them with a product or having them take a photograph of the product can be a fun experience and it highlights that you acknowledge the value of their custom. There’s a theory that there are three predominant learning styles that can assist different people to memorise information in different ways: visual, auditory and kinesthetic so if you’re doing this, you’re ticking all those boxes.
As well as the obvious advantage of photography that is to show your product to your customers, you can also show your staff in their working environment to make your advertising more personal to those who haven’t personally met or spoken to you yet, so whether you are trying to specifically promote your product, make your business more approachable or both, photography is a very powerful tool.
“Photography takes an instant out of time, altering life by holding it still.” – Dorothea Lange