The famous saying that a picture is worth a thousand words means that pictures provide a way to get a point across quickly and easily. Use them in your marketing to get attention and gain credibility.
The Internet is a visual medium. Posting pictures of yourself and your staff lets web visitors see the real people behind the company. Pictures of your office, store, factory, and other facilities promote credibility. And customers expect to see pictures of your products.
Want people to click on a link in an e-mail or on your web site? Use a photo. It never fails to get attention and arouse curiosity.
Including photographs with press releases may increase the chances of your news being used by the media. Make the pictures visually interesting. Instead of the standard “grin-and-grab” photo, showing two people shaking hands while smiling into the camera, send an action shot. For a new product launch show the product being used. To announce a charitable donation, show someone from your company interacting with people helped by the charity.
You can get links to your web site when you post your photos on http://www.flickr.com/.
Make the equivalent of a movie trailer for your business with muvee autoProducer. Simply load photos or video into the software, add a music track, choose a style (such as Cinema, Classic Sepia or Rock Video), and the software creates a movie you can put on your Web site or burn to DVD. Get a free trial version at http://www.muvee.com/.
Have you had your picture taken with a famous person? Put the photo on your web site or print it in your customer newsletter. Get it framed and hang it on the wall of your store or office.
When hiring a photographer, make sure you have all rights to the photos. In the absence of a work for hire agreement, the photographer owns the photographs even though you paid him to take them. See http://copylaw.com/forms/Workhire.html for a sample work for hire agreement.
For some purposes, such as web sites, brochures and advertisements, stock images may be appropriate. These are photographs you license from a stock agency, or as part of a clip art collection. Stock images are inexpensive, so they may be a good choice for some projects; however, you will not have the exclusive right to these photos. That means you may see them turn up in other places. One publisher was unhappy to discover that the artistic image she licensed for the cover of a literary novel was later used in ads for a feminine hygiene product. Two sources of stock photos are http://www.istockphoto.com/ and http://www.clipart.com/. Do not copy images you find on the web. Most are covered by copyright, and they can not be used without permission.
Pictures are a powerful communication tool. Use them to make your marketing more effective.