It is a basic tenet of digital marketing that using the right photos on your website will trigger positive mental images that support your brand image and set the scene for the visit to your site.
The difficult part is choosing "the right photos" that fulfill their role as marketing content—because all of the content on your website should support and promote your brand image. You need to know what effect you are trying to create with your graphic design. Are you looking for contradictory effects from your website background images, for example?
Companies often want their website images to convey a sense of the brand as both professional, yet personal; impressive, yet approachable; high quality, yet good value for money. That's a difficult task for any one photo to achieve!
An experienced AD knows how to find the right photos quickly and efficiently – and how to avoid the usual pitfalls and “stock photo stiltedness” that can harm the visual appeal of your website.
Ideally, the visual impact of your website images should make visitors feel included, intrigued and encouraged to enter and take a closer look. Conversely, poorly chosen photos will send the wrong kind of signal to visitors, who will leave before finding what they were looking for in the first place. Never underestimate the power of images as marketing content.
Creating the right kind of brand image mustn't be left to chance. So, where do you look for the right kind of photos, whether as website background images, brand visualization or the visual elements of your product portfolio?
To make things easier for you, we have listed the most common ways of procuring images for a website (and other kinds of marketing material as well). For each alternative, we have listed the upsides and downsides that you should consider when selecting your preferred method.
Alternative 1: Make use of existing company photo material
Provided that the photos your company already has are of good quality (well-lit and with a high-enough resolution), the mood of the photos can be tweaked in numerous ways using photo editing techniques. Adjusting the tone, saturation and contrast or cropping the image can work wonders! That is, if you know what you're doing and have a clear graphic design for how the result will fit into the big picture of your brand image.
- The photos are easily available at no extra cost.
- You can get photo material on a variety of topics (depending on your company’s photo policy).
- It is a great, low-threshold solution for—especially if it is for concept creation and internal company material.
- The selection of photos may be haphazard and not suitable for all purposes.
- You may have trouble finding the photos if they are stored on different hard drives and in personal folders.
- Copyright issues are sometimes unclear.
- The photos are not always in keeping with your company’s current brand image guidelines.
- The photos may be old and outdated.
- If you intend to use the photos in a multilingual content creation context, cultural considerations and localization may become an issue.
Alternative 2: Use stock photos
There a numerous stock photo banks with a staggering amount of photos stored in them. And still you occasionally come across two competing companies using the same photo! Picking the perfect photo takes patience, intuition and a good eye. An experienced AD knows how to find the right photos quickly and efficiently – and how to avoid the usual pitfalls and “stock photo stiltedness” that can harm the visual appeal of your website.
- You will find a broad range of photos on a variety of themes.
- In most cases, you will find just the right photo and have it at your disposal right away.
- The stock photo banks have effective search engines, allowing you to expand your search to photos that will appeal to your target audience.
- You can find additional suitable photos for new marketing content without too much trouble.
- Looking for photos is time-consuming, as there are many sources and often thousands of photographs to choose from.
- The photos are not personalized, and you may find that some other company has used the same photo on their website or in their marketing material.
- Conditions such as time limits or limited use of copyrighted material may complicate using the photos.
- Stock photos may be surprisingly expensive to use.
- The quality may vary, and sometimes the requested photo is not available in a high resolution.
- Compiling a consistent photo selection can take a lot of work.
Alternative 3: Organize a photoshoot
If you want to have truly professional, yet personal, photos for your website, then a photoshoot is one of the best ways to get them.
Organizing and directing a shoot for totally new photos for your website is no minor task. You need to handle dozens of details, and it takes practice to learn how to convey your brand image to the photographer, stylist and models who will bring your graphic design to life.
- Because you can control all those small details, the photo shoot gives you just the photos you want.
- The photos are unique, and you won't come across them anywhere else.
- The photos are in keeping with your company’s brand guidelines.
- The photos are of good quality and sometimes even immediately available for use.
- Post-processing of the photos, usually included in the deal, guarantees that the images have exactly the desired feel.
- A photoshoot can be really expensive.
- Organizing a shoot takes a lot of time and effort (models, professional photographers, location(s), travel, makeup, photo permits, copyrights, etc.).
- As the party commissioning the photoshoot, you are ultimately responsible for the shot list and for making sure that all the photos needed for the website have been covered.
- You will need to arrange a new shoot to make up for any missing photos.
A professional graphic designer (art director) and a company specializing in marketing content can help you with all of the alternatives mentioned above.
Whether it's designing and producing website background images and photos, animations, infographics, videos, or other content marketing material, our experienced designers work with some of the biggest companies in the Nordics.
Our multilingual expertise means that we also understand the importance of creating visuals that are easily and cost-efficiently localized for different markets and territories.
Visit our service pages to find out more about our graphic designers and read how great design can boost your brand in any language!