Let your company media library tell the story of your business.
One of the things that social media and digital image capture has done is to make images ever more accessible to a wider and much more discerning audience. It’s a fallacy to believe that digital has killed photography – far from it – more people take more images and are more image literate than ever before. People, and customers, now expect to see great creative images of you and your business and so a quick headshot in the car park of the breakfast network venue isn’t going to stand up any longer. Or more importantly to you – STAND OUT. YouTube and Facebook have introduced the concept of grab shots and footage, perhaps of a lesser quality, as long as that content needed to be shot in that way. As all of these channels open up to you as marketing opportunities – start to think about how you tell the whole story of your business in editorial images.
And so your image mix will ultimately consist of top quality professional PR, product and advertising shots and video, funky logos, graphics and vectors complimented by instinctive grabs of events, fun and news or even customer generated content. The only time this eclectic mix looks “wrong” is when you misjudge the balance for a particular media. For example, on the company website, all the imagery should conform to the web development brief, quality and theme you set out with. This is the window into your business for potential customers who don’t yet know very much about you – providing poor quality, ill conceived (creatively)and poor quality images = disaster at the first hurdle!
But, your Facebook, Tumblr and Pinterest sites will be completely different (but draw on the same library so there is no more work involved for you). On Facebook you’ll want much more of a two way conversation ideally created with clever images and a snappy caption rather than paragraphs of text. On image orientated sites like Tumblr and Pinterest you’ll want the images and video to be interesting and good enough for people to share and re-blog – you want to give them away! Never heard of these sites? Take a look as they are starting to fly now as news and editorial begin to adopt them widely, and on YouTube you’ll want your channel to be interesting, quirky and funny to attract views. All of these things have the potential to drive traffic to each other and, critically, to your website and contact page. Many image sharing portals permit post scheduling and automatic cross posting to your other platforms either within the site or via software like Hoot Suite so the workload is minimised.
You (or your marketing) need ready access to the library to because tweets and posts just look more interesting with an image or video and it needs to be second nature to post an image so start to think in terms of image and snappy caption rather than text and accompanying picture. I manage my own image library as well as image libraries for companies and organisations (either as a service or additional off site back up) and you would be surprised at how much storage is required for full resolution images. An essential tool at this level, which is often neglected in your own image collection (even if you have them all in the same place!) is key wording, ip protection and just being able to find an image among all the rest of your stuff.
Key wording: digital images can have data and information (called meta data) embedded in them but key wording is meant to be searchable by Google, search engines generally and you. It’s why a Google search for a picture of Elvis retrieves thousands of pictures of the “King” alongside various German Shepherds, goldfish and pianos! No reason at all then then why your website, company name, email and phone number aren’t included?
IP Protection: if the image depicts something that is your intellectual property, a unique design or logo for instance, this should be included in the key wording and other data. The copyright (but no other rights) for the image always resides with the image creator i.e. the artist or the photographer even if it depicts ip material belonging to you and so you need to ensure that there is a level of protection embedded within the image.
Searching: All of the above, together with a few other crucial bits of information, will help you find a particular image amongst all your stuff – you just run a search on something you know is in the keywords e.g. “factory, external”. News images all work on the IPTC (International Press Telecommunications Council - www.iptc.org ) convention, which standardises this information for users and you’ll find all of their requirements already built into the meta data sheets in digital cameras or editing software. It gives news users key information such as captions, any model releases obtained times/dates/ shot and image descriptions – very useful if you want to give your images away to editorial.
Accessibility is a crucial part of searching and if you buy in marketing services your images need to be shared, available and searchable. If you use, or are moving over to cloud and away from servers Google Drive and Office 365 still allow you to keep a folder of images available to anyone with the relevant permissions.
David is available to demonstrate and talk about these issues to interested parties and groups.
David Broadbent is a professional photographer with over 30 years of editorial experience now represented worldwide by the Alamy picture agency. As well as fully equipped location work, David also runs Summerhouse Studio, an informal small studio ideal for stills and video of people PR and products, from his home in the Forest of Dean. To see more of David’s work visit www.davidbroadbent.com or his folios on LinkedIn, Tumblr, Pinterest, Twitter and Facebook. Or to actually talk to another human call him on 07771 664973.
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