Using Photos and Videos to Market Your Business: How to Create Brand Awareness and Generate Revenue

Are you using photography and videography to market your business?  If you aren’t, you are neglecting a powerful tool!

Why is visual media so powerful?  It’s simply the way we’re wired. Studies have shown that our brains can process and respond to an image an incredible 60,000 times faster than a written message!

Mid photo shoot at the Sea Otter Classic in Monterey, California with photographer  Wil Matthews.

Mid photo shoot at the Sea Otter Classic in Monterey, California with photographer Wil Matthews.

5 Ways to Use Photographs and Videos to Create Brand Awareness and Generate Revenue

There are many ways you can use photos and videos for your business. Here’s our top 5:

 

  1. Product Photography

    High quality pictures of your products on your website can draw more attention and interest from your customers than any amount of text will ever do.

    Need product shots today? Check out our girl Alexis, who also runs ProPixStudios or Darin Joye.

     

  2. Social Media

    Whether you’re posting to Facebook, Pinterest, Linked In or a photography-focused platform like Instagram, the higher the image quality and content, the more attention it will receive.

    We can’t thank Jen Gold Photo enough for teaching us how to use a camera, and not just in the auto focus mode, along with the power of using great imagery, even in your brand’s Instagram feed!

     

  3. YouTube

    Every day, people watch over 1 billion hours of video on YouTube.  With nearly 2 billion registered users worldwide, YouTube is a platform you cannot afford to ignore if you’re running a business.

     

  4. Email Marketing

    Most people check their email 15x per day, and this makes it one of the highest converting marketing tools you can use. Having great images or that perfect teaser video in your email can increase click through rates!

     

  5. Advertising or Display Ads

    Using a beautifully crafted image or video will increase both interest and engagement with your ad. 


Just adding pictures and video to your marketing efforts won’t automatically bring customers to your door; the quality of your content matters.  If you aren’t an accomplished photographer or copy writer, hiring a professional could make all the difference.

Need help finding the right one? Send up a smoke signal and we’ll come running to get you set up with a great photographer or copy writer!

Staging for a Mother’s Day photoshoot with photographer  Darin Joye  at Mister Brown’s Barbershop.

Staging for a Mother’s Day photoshoot with photographer Darin Joye at Mister Brown’s Barbershop.

Still Not Convinced that Good Visual Media is Extremely Important for Your Business?

It would be difficult to quantify the impact that high quality photos and video can have on your business.  Here’s even more reason you should invest in photography and video:

 

  • A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words

    You’re probably familiar with this proverb , but it’s holds true.  Anyone who has ever read a set of Ikea instructions understands that pictures can be better than words at expressing complex topics.  Don’t get me started on how long it took to put that bookcase together…

    Don't just tell your customers about the products you sell, show them. Static photos of your products are great, but how about a video demonstration that shows your product in action?


    What about one of your ambassadors actually using the product? Below TASCO Tribe Ambassador Shawn Spry does just that with TASCO’s Pink Bike Bits Double Digits Gloves on his YouTube channel Horns High Mountain Biking:

  • Professional Photos Show the Real You

The interwebs has made it incredibly easy to find great-looking stock photography that costs little or nothing to use.  Why should you spend money on custom professional photographs?

Stock photos can be helpful to create content and ads, we love using Adobe Stock and Canva for this, but in the end they are not as effective as photos of a client’s product that are taken by a professional.

In addition, when people see only stock photos on your website or populating your Instagram feed, it makes your website look just like every other site.  If you want your customers to trust that your business is authentic, start by using professional photos of your location, you and your team members and your products.

New clients Jeff Huckleberry and Craig Gaulzetti of  Summer Cycles  in Del Mar, California during a photo shoot.

New clients Jeff Huckleberry and Craig Gaulzetti of Summer Cycles in Del Mar, California during a photo shoot.

  • Your Images Make an Impression

    Yes, we hear ya, professional photography is expensive. And if you read product reviews, you may get the impression that your smart phone camera is just as good as any DSLR camera on the market.  

    While smartphones can take great-looking pictures in some circumstances, the most important part of a camera is the person holding it.  In addition, the relationships we’ve built between customers and clients’ products are often because of the time we’ve invested in hiring a professional photographer to shoot the images we’ll be using in campaigns.

    Furthermore, when we work with athletes on a shoot, having a professional on-site, setting up the shots, can often help strengthen the bond between the athlete and the outdoor brand we are shooting for.

Wil is a remarkable photographer, and working with him during the Seven Cycles KellCat photo shoot was an absolute blast! He brought such a great vision to the shoot, which paired well with his positive energy and ability to put me at ease in front of the camera. What’s most striking about Wil is his passion for capturing candid, genuine moments on camera, and this passion shines through in his final products. If ever given the chance, I’d work with him again in a heartbeat!
— Kelly Catale, professional XC and CX racer
Pro rider  Kelly Catale  during our  Seven Cycles  photo shoot at the Sea Otter Classic with photographer  Wil Matthews  and  Jake Orness .

Pro rider Kelly Catale during our Seven Cycles photo shoot at the Sea Otter Classic with photographer Wil Matthews and Jake Orness.

  • Images Are Essential for Search

If you want people to find your services or products, it is important to make your website attractive to  search engines like Google, Bing or Yahoo. This process is called search engine optimization or SEO.

SEO is basically helping you to get free, natural and organic traffic from search results. So your images, including the file description, and the Alt tag, are an important part of SEO.  In addition, websites with optimized images will rank higher in search results. And finally, these photos draw your potential customer in, encouraging them to engage and read more.

In the end, the right images greatly improve your SEO and your chances of making a sale. Want more info on SEO? Read our blog post on San Diego Startup Week and SEO!

  • Visual Media Is Multifaceted

You may have heard the phrase "content is King".  While most people are speaking of text when they use this phrase, photos and videos are a powerful, versatile type of content.


In the online realm, your photos make your website more attractive and engaging.  In addition, photos highlight your brand on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter.  If your website features a blog, the right photos are essential here as well.

Besides digital, photos are also an important part of printed promotional materials like media kits, brochures and flyers. A one-time investment in professional photography can give you evergreen imagery that you can use throughout the year.

 

At Top Rope Media, we’ve created dozens of media kits for both brands and athletes, including one for skier, surfer and mountain biker Jeremy P. McGhee. Check out some of our projects here, and if you need a media kit for the next Outdoor Retailer or Eurobike show, send up a smoke signal and we’d be happy to help!

Jeremy P. McGhee  catching waves at Cardiff Reef with photographer  John Afshari.

Jeremy P. McGhee catching waves at Cardiff Reef with photographer John Afshari.

Hiring a Professional Photographer or Videographer for Your Business

Now we know you didn’t come here for just a good read, you want action! So unless you’ve worked with a professional photographer or videographer in the past, your search will probably start on the internet, or asking your network for a recommendation.  


However, how do you know if the person they recommend is really is right for your project? Here are some attributes to look for:

  1. They Take the Photos You Like

    Every professional photographer should have a portfolio of previous work.  Take a look at the portfolio. If you don’t like what you see, move on to the next photographer.

     

  2. References Check Out

    Just because an individual is accomplished artistically, it doesn't mean that he or she is right for your brand.  Just as with any other professional you might hire, you should always check out his references before you commit to the project.

     

  3. The Chemistry is There

You’ll need to work closely with your photographer or video crew to get your project done.  In addition, you will have to communicate your expectations clearly, so it’s important to have a photographer or videographer you work well with, and one that understands the overall goal of the project.

Action photographer  Erin Hogue  shot this image of pro snowboarder  Charles Reid  that won her the X Games ZOOM photo contest!

Action photographer Erin Hogue shot this image of pro snowboarder Charles Reid that won her the X Games ZOOM photo contest!

What Price Is Fair?

Budgeting for professional photography is something you need to consider as part of your annual marketing budget.  The price will depend on many factors such as the style and location of your shoot, shot list, and how much post-production work is required.  

After an email or two, we pick up the phone and discuss the project with our chosen photographer or videographer. We review our goal and objectives set by the brand we’re working with, but then shut up and listen to the suggestions from the photographer or videographer.  Often they will have a better idea of how to get the shots we’re looking for.

We expect to pay anywhere from $500 - $1,000 to cover the day rate of our photographer. If you’re bringing in more than one, or a 2 person video crew, you may need to double that budget. Lastly, if you want to shoot in a remote location, or a gorgeous destination, like the Amalfi Coast featured in our cover photograph by Kat Reynolds, be prepared to cover transportation and accommodations, and often provide a per diem for your camera crew!

Shooting on location in Positano, Italy with lifestyle and adventure photographer  Kat Reynolds .

Shooting on location in Positano, Italy with lifestyle and adventure photographer Kat Reynolds.

Below are a few photographers we’ve worked with and the disciplines they cover. There are literally hundreds of photographers in the SoCal area, so do your homework and remember, think of this as the start of a long-term relationship!

 

Action Sports and Lifestyle Photographers and Videographers:


Summary

So no matter what industry you’re in, visual media can be an extremely valuable tool for your business.  Photos and video can express complex ideas and concepts that text never could. 

Finding and hiring a professional photographer may seem like an unnecessary expense, but in the end can have a positive, long-term impact on your business. I hope this guide gives you some new ideas for your next photo or video project!

To learn more about what we do on the regular, follow Top Rope Media's adventures on InstagramFacebook or Twitter.

Until next time, happy photographing! 

- Meredith McConvill