Here’s the bottom line when it comes to your website, social media, or other digital marketing: A simple photo of your product, service, or location can provide more information to a visitor than paragraphs of text.
Visual imagery is one of the best ways to make a good first impression with your website and one of the best ways to communicate at a crazy fast pace. That’s why your Instagram & Facebook newsfeeds are flooded with video posts and image posts rather than text posts.
Good imagery is one of your greatest assets. People are 85% more likely to purchase a product after viewing a video or photos. Not only that, people form a first impression in just 50 milliseconds.
So, with this in mind, here’s how to upgrade your digital marketing with great photos. BUT FIRST…
Please stop using Stock Imagery.
Yeah, I know, it’s easier, less time consuming, they look great, and in some cases, stock imagery is your only option. But, unless you have no other option, please. Stop.
The problem? These people don’t work at your business. That product isn’t yours. And it’s deceptive to use stock photography of people’s faces or products and attempt to pass those people or products off as your own.
A new hamburger restaurant opens up in your city. You see their billboards. You see their ads on park benches and buses. You even visit their website. And every time you see a promotion for this new hamburger spot (let’s call it Joe’s), you see the same promotional image: a bright photo showcasing a juicy hamburger patty on a golden brioche bun.
So one morning you decide to finally check out Joe’s in person. You get in your car. You drive to the restaurant. You sit down and order the Joe’s special: a juicy patty on a golden brioche bun.
But then you encounter a problem.
As the server hands you your food, instead of being greeted by the juicy hamburger you expect, you find a flimsy, overcooked patty on a dry sesame seed bun.
You look at the server in disbelief and say, “This doesn’t look anything like the burger in your ads.”
The server promptly replies, “The burger in our ads? Oh yeah, that’s not our burger. That’s just a picture we found on the Internet.”
Etsy is the largest online market for handmade items. Millions of shoppers use Etsy every single day. The platform continues to grow.
And according to Etsy, when it comes to shoppers making a purchase, the single biggest factor is…care to venture a guess?
Shipping cost? Nope.
Reviews? Shockingly, no.
In Etsy’s customer research, shoppers have told them that product photos are the most important factor in deciding to buy, even more important than the shipping cost, customer reviews, or even the price of the item itself.
The single most important photo you can ever take.
Multiple research papers have been published on the value of human photos within website design.
- Researchers from the University of Bradford found that initial trust was boosted on websites that have photos of human faces.
- University College London found that adding happy photos of people to websites with low-trust increased perceived truthworthiness.
- Canadian researchers found that websites with photos of human faces were more positively received by users than websites with photos lacking human faces or websites lacking photos of humans whatsoever.
Moving beyond scientific research, real-world A/B testing has made similar findings:
Medalia Art sells paintings online. To test visitor engagement, Medalia replaced images of paintings with photos of the artists themselves.
The results? When replacing images of painting with photos of artists, Medalia saw an increase in conversion rate of more than 95%.
Similarly, Georgia Institute of Technology & Yahoo Labs researchers looked at 1.1 million photos on Instagram & found that pictures with human faces are 38% more likely to receive likes & 32% more likely to attract comments than pictures with no faces.
Finally, Highrise (now known as Basecamp) saw their homepage conversion rate increase by 102.5% by simply swapping out long-form text for a smiling photo of a human.
In their own words: “Big photos of smiling customers work.”
What does this all mean for you?
The absolute best photos you can take & add to your website design are photos of people smiling.
Photos of smiling faces boost conversions, earn trust, and are the perfect representation of your company and clients.
Beautiful images of real people, and real products (not stock) is what makes the real difference.