Images are powerful in online marketing, so much so that almost 90 percent of marketers report using them in more than half of all content published. Around 40 percent of people say they rely heavily on stock photos, but you can set your brand apart online by using original graphics and photographs.
That’s especially true on social media, where authenticity has become incredibly important if you hope to have any organic reach at all. Instagram, for example, has hinted recently that authenticity is a key consideration in whether its algorithm recommends branded content to users. And uploading the same stock photos everyone else uses doesn’t get the job done.
Not to worry. You don’t have to shell out big bucks on professional photographers every time you want an original graphic or photo for your blog or social post. Save those funds for catalog and gallery shoots, and use the tips below to improve your in-house image game for home improvement marketing.
1. Use Canva templates and tools to create graphics.
Choose an image tool that makes it easy to create graphics for your site and social profiles. Canva is a favorite among individuals and SMBs alike because its drag-and-drop interface helps you make professional-looking images in minutes—without specific design skills.
Set up a free account for access to templates, images, fonts, and other tools. You can also pay for Canva Pro, which currently costs $12.95 a month (or $9.95 a month when you pay for a full year). The Pro version provides access to extra tools and premium content.
2. Put the Adobe Lightroom app to work.
While you probably do want a pro to take pictures of your products for official online listings and catalogs, you can take visually pleasing photos with your smartphone for blog posts and social feeds.
Ensure your photos pop by using the Adobe Lightroom app. You can pay for a full subscription to this service and other Creative Cloud software, but if you’re just taking pictures for your home improvement business Facebook or Instagram page, the free version offers plenty of features. You can use it to add professional filters and change color, lighting, and other image qualities to ensure your photo shows up best.
3. Choose a color scheme and stick with it.
Use your brand color palette to tie all your images together. If you don’t have one, you can create one in Canva by choosing a couple of colors that match well, with at least one neutral and one accent color.
When people see your pictures and graphics, they should know exactly whose content it is. That doesn’t mean every image has to be only those colors. It simply means your colors are present or highlighted in most. You can even use a preset in Lightroom to filter photos so that the right colors pop—just avoid doing that on product photos people might use to make buying decisions.