Image is everything: getting it right online

Franck Jehanne, co-founder of visual content marketing agency Kalory, wrote an article for WatchPro about the importance of brands and retailers getting their online image right.

For years the watch industry questioned the relevance of social media. Having now accepted its importance, the real considerations are about the content that needs to be produced to make the best impact.

We are drowning under a constant flow of information and becoming extremely selective. We devote much less time to reading – still and moving images are playing a much larger role in our lives. Tablets and smartphones have made them easier to share and use to generate engagement. Photography and video are becoming key elements of marketing strategies. We are not talking about snapping a few pictures here and there but building strong and focused visual content marketing strategies.

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The reach is much wider than just social media. PR comes to mind as well, but a well-planned visual strategy will also help a business develop its website and blog and build up its Google ranking by making images a full part of its search engine optimisation (SEO) strategy.

SEO specialists have already been using blogs extensively to create website traffic. The focus, so far, has been posting interesting, unique, well-written content. The good news is that Google also speaks the visual language of photography.

The power of Google images has been underestimated as a means of grabbing customer attention and growing awareness. There is truly a real opportunity there for brands and retailers who are willing to implement a strong and consistent visual marketing strategy.

LOOKS MATTER
The first point of contact of a client is very often on the web yet businesses rarely check what is appearing in the top of a search related to their brand in Google Image.

Creating efficient visual content requires planning and some careful analysis, including image format and size; when to use and reuse; importance of tagging and using key words for SEO and develop online traffic.

For standalone shops and small businesses with limited budgets, the priority should be establishing your business as a leader and explaining its value and products. Your website needs to be projecting the right image, with quality photography featuring the shop front and interior, such as the Vacheron Constantin image below, a great portrait of the team to make your business personable, some reportage style images showing skills such as after sales services and business values. Attention to tagging and key words to build SEO and traffic is essential. This set of photographs will be a major element of your business identity.

The second step is communicating and creating engagement with prospects and clients through posting the right visual content on social media platforms. If you are a retailer, it makes sense to use the photographs provided by watch brands if you have authorisation and can’t afford to produce quality professional images. A picture showing an unattractive wrist wearing a scratched watch, which has not been professionally retouched, could be counter productive.

When it comes to events and animations, professional photography should be your first choice. If your budget is limited, at least get the pictures you take professionally post-produced.

Brands that manage to produce visual qualitative content on a regular basis will win the SEO and social media battles and will grow stronger on our high streets.

Franck Jehanne is co-founder of the visual content marketing agency.

This article originally appeared in the August 2013 issue of WatchPro.

To read a digital version of the magazine in full online, click here.
 

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