As a marketer, you might have an idea about, what a “professional photo” should look like. Since you’re so used to looking at picture perfect (stock) photos, you might even describe these as “good quality photos”, but it’s time for a serious WAKE UP CALL!
Redefine your idea about “the good photo”
The so called “good” and “professional” photos simply don’t perform anymore. They don’t create the results that you’re looking for, and there is tons of research out there to prove it. Some of the evidence we will cover in this article.
In 2020, people are fed up with picture perfect looking people, couples and scenarios like this one:
What we crave instead are REAL PEOPLE. People like you and I.
Where as the first photo looks like something from a gift catalogue (they don’t work by the way), the second one from JumpStory give a much stronger feeling of trust and empathy. Two feelings that connect us as human beings, and remember: B2B and B2C brands are humans dealing with humans!
What kind of photos and videos should I choose in 2020?
What does it mean to you that a photo or a video is professional? And what do we mean, when we as marketers talk about “photo quality” or “authenticity”?
Interestingly enough, we seem to have gotten the idea that authenticity is just a matter or a photo looking not too photoshopped, but it’s much more complex than that!
Like this one – a very popular photo from the website Unsplash.com. Do you think that is look good and professional?
My guess should be YES, but the bad news is that photos like these simply don’t work, when it comes to generating trust and sales. Why? Find the answer below …
We’re in the age of Authentic Marketing
You might have read about it, but what does it actually mean, when leading marketers from around the globe emphasize the importance of authenticity in marketing? And what does that mean for our choice of photos, videos and illustrations for our campaigns and storytelling?
Does it mean that you have to take all of the photos yourself for them to be authentic? NO!
Does it mean that the images and videos have to have a low resolution or look like amateur-shots? NO!
It simply means that we want to see photos of REAL people; REAL places; REAL experiences.
Photos tell a story, so if you want to tell the story of a wonderful holiday, use a photo that tells the story in a real rather than staged way. E.g. like this one from JumpStory:
When you compare the two “travel photos” above, you might argue that the first one looks “professional” and “great”, where as the second one looks less professional.
Well, if this is the case, it’s your bias and your “stock photography past” that is talking rather than facts and research.
Why you should not hate stock photos, but the old stock photo industry
There is a reason, why stock photos are not as popular, as they used to be. The reason? They look like stock photos! “Stock in the past” we’ve named it at JumpStory.
To join the age of Authentic Marketing you need to forget about the old and picture-perfect-looking stock platforms and find up-to-date and authentic alternatives like JumpStory, where the photos actually look and feel real.
Let me give you another example – this time not photos about holidays, but about love.
So how would you illustrate love, if you were writing a blog post about it and needed a “great” picture? Which of these two photos would you choose:
You might think that the photo on the right “looks more professional”, but it also looks like yet another boring image with picture perfect people, where as the one on the left actually represents something from real life. People like you and I.
Authenticity in marketing matters more than ever before
Just read this great article from Forbes Magazine about the topic. Or have a look at this infographic from the agency Bonfire Marketing, who have studied marketing & authenticity in detail and done a ton of surveys about it:
People prefer authenticity above all, and it converts straight onto your bottom line results as a marketer:
So if you want to be an authentic company, don’t try to be something you’re not, but instead recognize what you are, what you do best, and what your customers value most about you.
Communicate that in everything you do – not least in your choice of photos, videos and illustrations!
As marketing expert Amanda Houck puts it:
“The only voice that’s heard in media today is an authentic one.”
Think twice before you use a picture
Whether you own a new established company or a more experienced one, it’s very important to have professional looking pictures, illustrations and videos on your website. But it can be a jungle out there finding the right ones at a reasonable price. In addition to that many website owners don’t think about the legislation and copyright rules, which prevails on the internet.
In the end it can be a very costly affair if the pictures and videos is taken from a random site – like Google and other search engines, who always have a primary source and owner to the visualised content. So, you must be careful out there and don’t fall into the easy choices. Professional images for websites aren’t free, but there are plenty of legal and productive subscription solutions out there.
How do I find professional images to my website?
It’s always a good idea to think this before even considering downloading content: is this legal and where is the actual picture, photo and video coming from? Can I use it for my website, and will the quality be good enough?
With these questions in mind you are already one step ahead in the process of finding legal and professional pictures. But if you are wondering how to find a legal and safe source to all your visual content, let me introduce you to this solution. At JumpStory you can subscribe for a reasonable price each month and get access to more than 25 million authentic looking pictures, videos, icons and vectors.
It’s completely up to you how many images you download and use for your website. The subscription will include a professional photo editor and several other benefits. These benefits include the possibility of removing background automatically and prediction of performance. So, what are you waiting for? There’s also the possibility of having a web bureau do it all for you.
The “Netflix” for images
With a big and professional database of images it has never been easier to find the right picture instantly, and furthermore it can be beneficial if you’re looking for a new website. Many web bureaus can use JumpStory as a complementary tool, when they’re designing and tailoring the website for you – and that’s a huge advantage for both you and them. If you need further information about web bureau-solutions, you can read more here.