In an earlier blog I discussed creating your author brand, now it’s time to put that brand to action and apply it to your photography. As you know, branding is much more than just a logo, colors, and fonts, it also includes the photos you post on social media, use on your website, or print on promotional materials.
What is brand photography?
Brand photography is a collection of professional images that represent you as an author visually, and fit with your visual identity through their use of colors, tone, props, sets and more. These can include photos of you, your book, your writing space and other things that make you unique. To make you and your book look their best, you’ll want a range of consistent, well-crafted photos that properly represent your voice across all of your marketing materials.
Brand photography sets your first impression
People form a first impression in just 50 milliseconds, so everything you share has to wow and do it fast! Good quality, consistent, professional brand photography is going to help capture potential readers in a flash as they’ll see that you appreciate attention to detail, high quality content, consistency, and great aesthetics.
Brand photography increases engagement
We all know by now that visual content goes a long way and has a much better engagement than text-only content, and if you’re not convinced yet, here are some cold, hard facts for ya. 65% of marketing execs say photos, videos, illustrations, and infographics are key to communicating your brand story; Facebook posts from brands that included images earned 87 percent of all engagements; tweets with images receive 150% more retweets than tweets without images; articles with an image once every 75-100 words received double the social media shares as articles with fewer images; Facebook posts with images see 2.3X more engagement than those without images. (Hubspot) You need images and more importantly, you need good quality, on-brand images.
Consistency is key!
You might have your logo, colors, and fonts down, but if your photography doesn’t match, you’re in trouble. Having all of your visual elements work together cohesively is vital in maintaining brand consistency. Brands that are consistently presented are 3 to 4 times more likely to experience brand visibility and 90% of consumers expect their experience to be consistent across all channels and devices used to interact with brands.
Now you may be able to find some good stock images that kind of work but chances are they aren’t quite on-brand. Stock imagery is good when you’re first starting out, and I still use them, but it should be the goal to have your own, unique and perfectly on-brand photos to use instead. When using stock images I recommend filtering your search to ‘undiscovered content.’ That way you are using images that have barely or never been downloaded and are more than likely to avoid using a photo another author has attached to their website or social media.
Where you can use brand photography
I get that maybe you’re wondering where you could possibly use all of these photos and you’ll totally want to get your money worth if you’re investing in a photographer, so here’s a few ideas for how you can use these images once you have them:
• As your social media profile photos, especially if you’re a team of one, or your brand is really personal, like being an author.
• For Instagram photos
• In your Instagram stories
• To show who you are on your about page
• In blog posts
• As the graphics for your paid ads
• To show your process
• As the sign-off of your email newsletter alongside your name
The options are endless!
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