Eye Candy Drives Sales

Photographing a model
Image via Wikipedia

Over the years we have been surprised how many companies seem to treat great photography as an after-thought. How many times have you visited a site where the product and situational photography just doesn’t cut it? You’ve heard that a product or service is amazing, but when you get to the company’s website the photography, or “Eye-Candy”, makes you want to click off the site and on to their competitors.

People will spend more time on getting that great photo of the trinkets and trash they want to sell on Ebay because they know a photo can increase the end result. But when it comes to photographing their own products and/or services they won’t spend any more than they have to to get it done.

Perhaps worst still is the use of stock photography when, for just a little effort, the real thing is easily shot. Stock photographs often lack the ability to connect in a positive way with the viewer, but by spending a few hours on websites like iStockPhoto.com or BigStockPhoto.com you can find some really great stuff. Some websites we have seen made it into an awkward hall of shame, others just send you to sleep and can reflect more poorly on the business than having no photos at all.

We feel the general rule of thumb is that if you are looking for something inexpensive, quick and your web strategy permits, then you can access and use stock imagery. If on the other hand you are willing to spend a little more time and effort and you really want to connect with your audience, then commission a photography session for your business. This requires planning and patience but the results are truly worth it.

So what does this prove? Well, it suggests several other things:

  • They are forgetting the needs of their prospective clients
  • They don’t convey their business as an inspiring place to work
  • They don’t value the web as a lead generator or reputation builder (I wonder how many of these offenders will post a comment below?)

Most of them are forgetting what they’re selling….their brains. They’ve overlooked the first rule of selling online. Show me what I’m buying. Or in this case, show me who I’m buying and what they’re like.  This also begs for the use of video to showcase a products features but that’s for another posting.

Good imagery creates a connection between your website viewers and your organization so it is in your best interest to select the best imagery possible.

It’s no secret – the imagery on your website will be one of the main factors in how a website user will judge and connect to your organization. Imagery often makes or breaks a website so it is in your interest to get the best possible images you can.

Take for example the following scenario…
You have a new support team, and you want to add a picture to your website to give it a “human” element, which of the following would you pick?

While the first picture looks well planned and executed, the first thing you are likely to say to yourself is, “Where have I seen that before?” Well this photo has been downloaded over 100,000 times so it’s likely you have seen it in a number of places. It’s fast to download and it’s cheap but it is very clear that the people pictured are not part of your team and that creates a feeling of detachment for the viewer. The second photo is of people in our team. In fact it’s of people who are likely to help you if you ever have a question. It’s been professionally shot, it appears genuine and best of all it’s actually a photo of people in our organization, doing real things.

Our Po!nt: Take the time to make sure that the images you use on your website reflect your products, your company and more importantly the voice of your brand.  We would like to know about your struggles finding the right “eye candy” so we can make some suggestions.


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