Industrial Marketing isn’t easy. The work you carry out may be specialised and complex, and interested parties can have a widely different understanding of what you do. It’s a challenge to hold people’s interest long enough to teach them what they need to know. Strongly written content is required but do you ever suspect that your audience just skims over your content, rather than deep reading it?
This article is about how you can use industrial photography to deepen your audience’s interest in your content and help them absorb your key industrial marketing messages.
Some of your competitors are probably trying to land the same new work contracts that you’re vying for. That’s why it’s important for your audience to gain a deep understanding of your capabilities and achievements. Otherwise, you’d be relying on the weakness of your competitor’s message.
Strong and well-used photography will pique their interest in the topics that are important to you before they even read the text.
Stop Visitors Scrolling Your Site
With so much information to consume these days, people often don’t intend to read your content in the first place. Instead, they scroll the subheadings looking for the information they expect to find. The problem with that is they’re not going to find the unexpected gold nuggets of content that demonstrate your unique competitive advantage.
But there is a way around that.
For example, let’s say that your competitive advantage is quality, where-as your competitor focuses on cost. Then, of course, you’re marketing content will highlight the quality of work that you do. But is there a way that you can ensure your audience will dig deep to find those details?
What if they came to your content to scan for details about how you keep costs down? Can you turn their thinking around to quality before they even start reading?
Turn Your Strengths Into Their Priorities
Marketing professors Naomi Mandel & Eric Johnson say yes. In their study Constructing Preferences Online, they report on a series of experiments. They used an online retail furniture outlet. They built a homepage with a wallpaper image that covered the entire background of the page.
Then they split tested two separate images on the wallpaper. Half the visitors to the site would see a background image featuring a repetitive pattern of clouds (symbolizing quality & comfort). The other half would see a similar repetitive image, but instead of clouds, they’d see coins (symbolizing price savings). There were no other differences on the page.
What Mandel & Johnson found was that the wallpaper background photographs had a strong effect on the search preferences of the visitors to the site, and also on their final purchase choices. Those who saw the photo of clouds were more likely to search for beds & lounge suites with features that denote quality & comfort. They also bought more expensive furniture.
Where-as visitors to the site who saw the wallpaper photo of coins were more likely to search for furniture that was marked down on price, and they bought less expensive furniture. What was happening?
If visitors to the site hadn’t already decided on the question of quality vs. price, then the subtle background image on the site must have influenced them to filter for quality (clouds), or price (coins), as they searched the site.
Interestingly the researchers later questioned people who purchased furniture, and nobody thought they had been influenced by the images.
How To Benefit From The Research
In a similar way, you can use images throughout your marketing material to draw attention to your competitive advantages before people read the important details contained in the text.
That way when they scroll & scan your content they’ll be more likely to look for the type of details that are your strengths. Then as long as they keep finding what they’re looking for in your text, they’ll go deeper and keep reading.
What Strengths Can You Highlight?
Here are some quick ideas about how to use this information in your marketing. Bear in mind it’s always an advantage to make or commission your own images rather than using stock photography.
Quality: Would you like your visitors to filter for quality? Make photographs highlighting the quality of your work, focusing on fine details or photograph your team with their awards. Don’t use a picture of a stamp that says ‘Quality Approved’.
Speed: If you want visitors to focus on speed. Make a short video visualizing key aspects of your process. Or a time-lapse video showing your process from start to finish. You can also make a motion blur image of your equipment or machines operating. Don’t use a stock photo of a speedometer at top speed.
Innovation: Want your audience to ask themselves if you’re innovative? Photograph your brains trust working on ideas. If your innovations are visual, photograph those, if not then photograph the benefits or outcomes. If all else fails, then photograph your team solving an office problem in an unusual way. But whatever happens, don’t use a stock photo of a light bulb.
Experience: Want your audience to focus on experience? Create images of your many previous achievements. Don’t use an image of a computer keyboard with the word ‘Enter’ replaced by the word ‘Experience‘.
Relationships: Do you want your audience to focus on good working relationships? Photograph your team. Maybe photograph your team members helping clients. But whatever you do, don’t run a stock photo of silhouetted business people shaking hands.
Most of the time people come to your message without a complete set of priorities mapped out. The take-away here is that well-used photography can set the tone for how people consume your industrial marketing messages.
If you’ve laid the groundwork, they’ll be looking out for the priorities that you have already given them. So use photography throughout your message to encourage them towards your competitive strengths.
If you’d like professional help to create photography that emphasizes your strengths, contact us here at Pitch Visuals.