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How High-Quality Images Boost Your Branding Efforts

Have you ever visited a website with images that didn't relate to the website or were extremely poor in quality? Your first thought was probably that the site wasn't very professional, and your overall impression may have been extremely negative. Today's mobile devices and PCs have higher screen resolutions than ever before. People expect sharp images and photos that aren't grainy.

Around 77 percent of B2B marketers say branding is a critical aspect of their growth — images are only one part of that branding, but they make a huge impact.

When it comes to branding efforts, the last thing you want your brand associated with is low-quality images. Fans of your brand should immediately expect high-quality, sharp images that draw them into the topic at hand and keep them interested. Your photos need to enhance the overall image of your brand and your professionalism.

Here are six things to keep in mind as you boost the quality of your images and tie them into your branding:

1. Choose Relevant Images

Although stock photo sites abound, these images aren't always specific to your brand. If you want to tie your pictures to your branding, you must come up with guidelines for them so that they're immediately recognizable as part of your company. They should also highlight your products and services rather than showing a random person doing something generic.

Truskin Naturals add splashes of natural images in a way that highlights their skincare products

Truskin Naturals takes it to the next level by adding splashes of natural images in a way that highlights their skincare products. Note the high resolution of the photos and how they look almost as though you're there in person. The three-dimensional effect of the water splashing up is a powerful branding message about the natural ingredients used.

2. Show off Your Brand

As a business owner, you hear so much about not self-promoting or ramming your product down people's throats. However, remember that it's okay to show your product in images and add your logo. Most people follow their favorite businesses on social media, so let people know you're a business — they have to know before they can follow you.

3. Evoke Emotions

One of the best ways of connecting with your customers is via emotion. Figure out what emotion you want users to have when they land on your website and what images best convey that emotion. If you're looking for a feeling of warmth and home, determine what images best depict that emotion. A good measure of the emotion evoked is the one you feel when you first look at the image.

Superior hardwoods uses images that show the superiority of their products.

Superior Hardwoods of Montana has a customer base seeking high-quality products for their homes. Any images of their offers should show off the superiority of their products. The company achieves that goal from the moment someone lands on their homepage. The pictures of a gorgeous log home and rugged interiors featuring beautiful woods evoke a feeling of warmth.

4. Know Your Message

In one study of Facebook, brands that posted about once a week — between one and five times — doubled their engagement rates. Posting regularly to whichever social media platform you choose allows consumers to count on your brand and increases the likelihood that they'll look for your posts.

Make sure you know what message you'd like to convey. Whether you're posting content, showing off an infographic or sharing someone else's post, make sure it matches your brand message. If your message is that you help customers overcome a specific problem, every photo you share on social media needs to align with that message.

5. Be Authentic

Have you ever seen an ad for a piece of real estate that didn't even come close to measuring up to the actual property? Nothing frustrates consumers more than an image that looks far better than the product is. While you do want to highlight your products in the best light, don't make them look like something they aren't.

If your handbag is smaller than the average purse, make sure other elements in the photo highlight its actual size. An unhappy customer is likely to tell others how unhappy they are. They also aren't likely to order from you again if you trick them into thinking your product is something it isn't. Be upfront and honest — even with your photos.

Gerber uses creative backgorunds in their images that shows their products true to scale and size.

Gerber makes sure they aren't dishonest about their products since they make baby food and parents would protest loudly. Note how their images use creative backgrounds but are true to life as far as size and scale. They don't try to make their foods look like something they aren't. Instead, they let the product do the talking.

6. Hire a Professional

This tip is crucial — if there's one thing you should invest in, it's your images. Go ahead and hire a professional photographer who specializes in product shots. Your images will take on a personalized and professional quality that your competitors may lack. Professional-quality photos alone allow you to stand out from the crowd.

Even on a limited budget, you can still find a couple of solutions to hiring out your images for your site and social media. Work with a photographer on a contract basis, only adding new pieces as your budget allows. You could also seek out a student at a local school who's getting ready to graduate and just wants to add to their portfolio. They're likely to work for a fraction of the price of an experienced photographer.

If your budget doesn't even have room for a student, take free online photography courses and invest in the best camera you can afford. Study what other brands create and come up with ideas of your own. Even a small improvement in the quality of your images is a positive boost in the right direction.

Revamp Your Brand Image

If you've used images in the past that don't reflect well on your brand, slowly replace them a little at a time as your budget allows. Set up some basic standards and messaging for images going forward. Invest in the image content for your brand and attract new customers while keeping the old ones. Pictures are indeed worth 1,000 words — or maybe more — so choose the ones you use for your brand carefully.

Lexie 1

Guest Blog Author: Lexie Lu

Lexie Lu is a freelance UX designer and blogger. She keeps up with the latest web design trends and always has some coffee nearby. She writes on Design Roast and can be followed on Twitter @lexieludesigner.

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