When you’re building a business website, you want it to stand out (in a good way). This means choosing a user-friendly layout and an appealing design. And if you know a thing or two about digital marketing, then you know how important visual content is.
Adding photos and video content to your website is critical. But you don’t want to put just any imagery on your web pages. It needs to be high quality and should accurately represent your product or service — especially when you have 67% of online shoppers rating high-quality product images as “very important” for making a purchasing decision.
So if you’re pondering using stock photos or think it’s unnecessary to add video to your website, then it’s time to pump the brakes and read up before you move forward.
Why Images Are Important on a Website
Businesses use stock photos liberally because they’re easy to access, and in many cases, they’re free (or cheap) to use. You, too, may have used stock images within your blog posts and throughout your website. It’s a feasible option when you need to quickly get a site or page up and running. Or if you don’t have the budget to obtain original photos.
But is it the right move for your website design? Here’s a look at some of the reasons why you should start using original visual content for your website.
Showcase Your Authenticity
It’s to the point where it’s common to use stock photos, user-generated content (memes and other visuals created by social media users), and other unoriginal visuals. But is it accepted by your target audience?
Stock photos tend to come off as cheesy and inauthentic, so it’s critical to find images that appear to be original. For example, if you need photos of a salesperson, then opt for one where they’re looking at a screen talking vs. looking at the camera smiling.
The next best thing is to create your own library of content. Taking the time to shoot photos and videos that feature your office, employees, products, and other business assets better showcases your brand’s personality.
Be the Only One Using Them
Anyone can visit a stock photo website and download an image. This is the beauty of using them. But it’s a double-edged sword. On one end, you’re getting access to thousands of images. On the other end, so are millions of other people.
Although rare, there are instances where brands end up using the same or similar stock photos. Take, for example, the incident with Gateway and Dell. In 2004, the two computer companies used a photo of the same college girl for their “Back to School” promotional materials (what are the odds?).
It’s mishaps like these that you want to avoid. Having anything that even remotely resembles a competitor’s work or branding isn’t ideal. The goal is to rise to the surface in a sea of websites, which is easier to do with original photography.
Tell Your Company Story
It’s difficult to showcase your brand story using a series of unrelated stock photos. Yet, you’ll find 40% of marketers still using them. But before jumping aboard this trend, get this — 40% of marketers also say original photos helped them reach their marketing goals.
By using original images, you can capture your story better because it’s conveying your vision — not someone else’s interpretation of a scene or idea. It will also help your website resonate with your target audience. It’s easier to capture an emotion or a certain feel you want to portray when creating your own visuals.
And if you opt for visual storytelling using video, you’ll find the content is even more personable and easy to connect with. You can choose to feature the founder and the startup story or capture customer testimonials and case studies.
Trends in Multimedia Website Design
Visuals grab attention and connect with your audience. So is it any surprise that more websites are adding multimedia into their website design?
Here’s a look at some of the multimedia trends we’re seeing in website design today.
3D Product Imagery
E-commerce websites know the importance of having high-quality images of their products. Good photography captures fine details and entices consumers to buy. To do this, online sellers are upping their product pages with 3D imagery, allowing users to see an item at all angles.
Some users are looking for information before purchasing a product or service. To accommodate this group, website owners are incorporating informative visuals such as charts and infographics. This makes it easier to share and understand data.
Embedded Video Footage
It seems that everyone loves video. In the U.S., 85% of internet users are watching video content every month. And 52% of marketers say video helps them build trust with prospective customers. So to capitalize on the power and popularity of video, more website owners are embedding them throughout their site.
But what’s in these videos? It depends on where they’re embedded (blog, home page, product page, landing page). Videos may contain interviews, testimonials, product demos and anything else that helps buyers through the sales journey.
Tips for Adding Original Photos and Videos to Your Site
Having original multimedia content on your website is a good idea. But how do you incorporate photos or add videos to a website the right way? Here are several best practices to keep in mind:
- Get your team involved (consider taking photos and video of your staff and office).
- Add a video of the founder’s story to the About Us page.
- Show your products in action. Have a person using the product vs. only having a shot of the product alone.
- Use quality equipment (and lighting) for your photos and video footage.
- Enhance storytelling with visuals.
- Use visuals to show (not tell) data and information.
- Work with professionals. If you lack the skill, time, or tools, then hire experts.
The Bottom Line
Your website design is supposed to reflect your business and everything it represents. You can achieve this when you’re in control of the visual assets created for your website.
Today’s consumers are looking for great experiences with authentic businesses. You can meet both expectations by using real photos and telling stories through video.
If you lack the time or confidence to produce your own original content, we can help. Orpheus offers web design, photography, and videography services. We can provide you with professional footage and still shots, along with post-editing. This way, you have your own visual assets ready for publishing.
You can use our services for headshots, portraits, products, interior photos, case study videos, and corporate intro videos. So if you need to create videos for your website or produce quality photos, then reach out to our experts today!