The images you choose to represent your business conveys not just your brand personality, they also help your audience learn about your business, and whether they want to work with you. Visuals are a compelling way to communicate, which is why your visual branding is an essential element of your marketing strategy. We’re not just talking about your logo or business cards here, but also the photos that you use any where that you have a brand presence – and especially on your website.
Photos used on your website set strong connections and associations for your site visitors. They evoke emotion, support the text, enhance your brand message. They are not just decorative, or at least, they shouldn’t be merely decorative, but rather also serve to convey a message and amplify a point. Think about whether it will help a visitor understand more about who you are and what you do.
Invest in Original Brand Photos for your Website
Remember that your website does more than sell your products, services and your business — it also sells people on the reasons why they should do business with you. Using original, high quality images builds this trust in a way stock photos cannot.
If you have the budget, it’s worth hiring a professional brand photographer to come up with a unique set of photos tailored to your brand. Your images must tell your target audience that you are different and why you are different. For example, by representing your brand through high-end visuals and custom photography, you’re hinting that they should expect a higher level of customer experience, and therefore higher prices too.
What specific images do you need?
Your website needs more than just pretty headshots. Your images should tell your story, and help your ideal clients experience and appreciate the heart of your brand, so they will want to work with you, or buy your products. Whether you are using all custom imagery, or supplementing them with stock photos, these are what you will need in order to build a website that converts:
- header/hero banner images – Using photos as backgrounds can add emotional and visual appeal to website pages, but makes it a challenge for readability, so make sure to have a high contrast in the colours of the text overlaid, or include white space in the background image where the text will be positioned
- who you are/headshots – front facing, with warm smiles
- where you work – your office, store, studio, work environment
- your process – action shots of your process, behind the scenes
- products and services – for your portfolio or shop; styled product shots are also great for banner images; if you are a designer, show your work; if you are a coach, show yourself in action or show the results of your coaching sessions
- nice to have – show your personality & interests, it makes you more relatable
Best practices for choosing Website Images
- Use images that direct attention (e.g. a face turned toward a call to action)
- Above everything else, QUALITY. Use clear, sharp images (but compress for web use)
- Each photo should have a clear purpose, not just decoration
- Show not tell (especially for process and portfolio)
- Choose images that convey emotion in order to elicit emotion
- Convey your culture in your photos to connect to your audience on a deeper level
- Show your process, but portray it in the best light (we don’t need to see literal dirty laundry)
- Brand relevance. Think of color and tone, and how those represent your brand. Stay consistent
- Choose engaging and actionable images
Ultimately, your website images should communicate your message to the right people. Plan them carefully, and with intention.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
* Patricia Alix is a brand and website designer based in Singapore who loves helping creatives and small business owners build an elevated and effective visual branding. You can find out more about Patricia on her website.