The answer to the question poised in the title is, simply, a lot. However, product photos play a slightly different role depending on where they appear. When it comes to social media marketing, product photographs can make or break a social media ad. Very often, they can mean the difference between a user stopping to have a look or just scrolling on past – set to forget all about it in T-minus 5 seconds!
Yet, even within social media marketing, the importance of product photos varies. Engaged Media, a company specializing in social media marketing strategy, say that you need to pay a bit of attention to the social media platform you are advertising on as this can make a difference to how you go about creating and disseminating product photographs. Nevertheless, they are always important, and it could even be argued that the social media platforms that are the most “image friendly” have been recognized as the best ones on which to advertise anything.
Take Instagram for example. They started out as a place for trendy young people with smartphone cameras to document their lives, but it has today developed an economic importance that is worth billions. People buy and sell things on Instagram all the time, and it’s the app’s unique visual emphasis that has made it such a good platform on which to do this.
A Word on Photo Editing
But of course, creating an online ad, with a photograph included, involves a few more considerations than simply picking a platform and posting. You need to create not only beautiful images, but ones that stand out as well. The reason for this is a matter of numbers – there are billions of people on Facebook, and millions of people on the other major social media platforms. Nobody running a business is any longer in the dark about the utility of social media marketing. Accordingly, you will not just have the usual competition vying for your market niche – you’ll have a LOT of the competition.
So, getting the right product images is essential. And taking the photograph is just the first step. In order to proceed, you’re going to need to present it properly and, to do that yourself, some photo editing tools are essential. But what ones are you going to use? There are many out there, from the famous Photoshop to the free Canva, and from VSCO to Snapseed Mobile. Each of these offer different photo editing capabilities, which is just as well considering there are different photo requirements depending on where you are posting them. There are also different photography requirements depending on what the product is. You really do just need to explore the options and see what works best for you and your product.
Do It Yourself?
Should you do it yourself? The great quality cameras built into many of our smartphones would seem to suggest that you can. After all, this can save a lot of money, right?
In a sense this is true, but you need to be aware of what is required before you can be sure you don’t need to enlist the help of a professional. As it happens, a professional does a lot more than simply use a good camera; they need to arrange staging for the product, lighting, and they need to have an eye for angles. Some insider market knowledge about which type of photographs work best for different products won’t hurt either.
In short, product photography is essential to be taken seriously and to stand out. And with the rise of the online marketplace, it is more important than ever before.