I recently attended a workshop at the Microsoft NERD Center. This, by itself, is not notable. In fact, it might be an understatement to say that Kendall Press spends a fair amount of time over at the NERD, Microsoft’s New England Research and Development Center. Not only does the facility host countless events throughout the year, they are also located right across the street from us and are a consistently great neighbor to our community.
What was notable about this particular workshop was that it was being facilitated by Kendall Press’ own Chief Marketing Officer, Keith Spiro. In partnership with HandsOn Tech Boston, this free workshop covered photography and visual imagery strategies for nonprofits in the Greater Boston area.
While the presentation focused on using imagery to add value specifically to nonprofit fundraising and marketing campaigns, I think that much of the information shared is applicable to any organization, including small businesses, startups and entrepreneurs. That’s why today, I’m going to share some key takeaways from this workshop that are worth considering for your business, regardless of your nonprofit or for-profit status.
1. On stock photos
Stock photos are cheap to acquire. That’s one reason why a company might choose to use them. However, you ultimately get what you pay for. Stock photography often detracts from your organization because it lacks authenticity. It also has the potential to negatively impact your credibility in the eyes of clients and supporters.
If your budget does not allow for hiring a professional photographer, take advantage of the rising quality of cell phone cameras (capable of producing web quality images) and falling prices on serviceable digital cameras to capture real images that represent your company, its activities, and its impact. People want to know who you and your company are and photography helps humanize your efforts by adding an extra degree of validity.
2. On effective messaging
We’ve all heard the saying “A picture is worth a thousand words,” and for good reason. An effective marketing campaign tells a unique story, one that connects your company with your audience and offers a sense of relationship. Strong campaigns also serve to establish trust, which customers often need to identify before choosing to do business with your company. Pictures and text complement each other in these efforts, as text adds context to photos and photos add emotion to text. Combining the two can also help keep any message clean and simple by striking a balance between imagery and words.
3. On marketing materials
Photos can be utilized in every aspect of your marketing initiatives and incorporated into a variety of mediums. Because today’s world is visual, print and digital campaigns alike benefit from including quality visual images that include a call to action that people can take immediately.
Consider how images impact top of mind status when used in mediums like postcards and social media. Postcards offer two opportunities to use impactful images, front and back. These images can be aimed at enhancing brand exposure or making an offer to potential customers. Alternately, digital marketing and its focus on spreading the word through social networks allows your company to engage customers in the moment. More than 500 million pictures are uploaded and shared everyday, and people share photos that incorporate elements that speak to them personally.
Jason, for the team at Kendall Press