Online Marketing Imagery: What Big Brands Know that Small Brands Don’t

Big brands have big budgets, which makes activating a strategy and carving out a unique position in the online marketplace a simpler task than for small brands, which have to keep tabs on all expenditures and press for ROI.  One crucial element of building a brand online no matter the size? Imagery. A brand’s photography is essential for its activation, as it allows a company to differentiate itself from competitors, connect with its consumers and build brand equity.

Since small brands often operate in a cluttered industry, filled with large numbers of local and national competitors, these companies should take special care when selecting or creating their online imagery, to ensure they stand apart in the marketplace. Before compiling Web site images, small businesses need to examine their competitors’ online marketing materials to determine what they’re using, consult with custom imagery practitioners if budget allows, and ensure the images they choose reflect their brand positioning.

In specific, when selecting or creating online imagery, small brands should:

Use emotion to their advantage

Aside from helping consumers identify a brand, images also evoke an emotional response, which is much more difficult to cultivate in the online world. What leading powerhouse companies understand and small brands must learn is that every time a consumer has an experience with a product or service, there is an opportunity to build an emotional connection. No matter the industry or business, small brands need to determine how they want people to feel about their brand and select or create images for their Web sites that drive that emotion.

Zero in on the audience

Another important factor when deciding on imagery is to understand the target audience. In general, growing brands should pay special attention to images if they are speaking to an age- or ethnicity-specific market. Small companies need to employ images for their online marketing efforts that connect with specific audiences in a relevant manner.  

Ensure unique images

Due to the perceived accessibility of stock photography, many small brands purchase stock imagery for their Web sites without researching what brands have previously used the same image. The use and re-use of these photos in various campaigns and types of collateral hampers differentiation among competition. It is important for small brands to ensure their online images are unique via custom production or very thorough research.  

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