The importance of Photography to a brand experience

25th Jul

It is no secret we live in a digital age. And boy do we love a photo.
– There are 20 billion photos on Instagram.
– 300 million photos are uploaded to Facebook every day.
– About ten percent of the photos ever taken have been taken in the past 12 months.
– And it’s estimated that mankind has taken… wait for it… a whopping 3.8 trillion photos to date.


In a recent study by Havas Worldwide titled ‘marketing to the selfie generation’,

It was estimated, as of July 2014, 145 million photos had been posted on Instagram with the #selfie. As of April 2015, less than 10 months later, that number has nearly doubled, currently standing at over 257 million.

That’s pretty much the population of Brazil and the UK, combined.

What do we take from this? People like taking photos of themselves. A lot.

The Havas study also states:

“In the digital sphere, brands should be helping young people by:
Offering shareable content.. (and) creating experiences they can talk about”

So what does this mean to brands looking to tap into this so called ‘selfie generation’?

Brands have an active audience of young customers actively seek content to share, and experiences to brag about. Manage to tick these two boxes as a brand and you’re already well on your way to giving the consumers what they need.

This now raises some questions:
– How do we make sure that these experiences are share worthy?
– What is shareable content?
– How do we encourage our consumers to share our branded message with their audience?

Afterall, you can’t force someone to share your branded content, can you

Let’s remove the stick from the scenario and introduce a carrot. Incentivise.
– Want to win £5,000 worth of John Lewis tech? Tweet your photo with #JLTechLounge.
– Want to win backstage passes to Latitude? Instagram your image with #My108 to be in with a chance to win.
– £1,000 worth of Harrods vouchers float your boat? Photo with the most likes on Facebook wins.

Incentivise your consumer in this way and not only do you get a higher level of social interactions, you get consumers fighting over each other to promote your branded content online, in the hope they win the prize this not only generates interest but increases exposure post-event.

Create exciting and/or different content

Creating the experience and managing to capture ‘shareworthy’ content is easier said than done. I often tell our clients, there is no point spending hundreds of thousands of your event budget on an experience if the final content captured is unimpressive, or simply bad. You then put yourself in a tricky conversation with your client when they are asking why the share numbers weren’t as high as you’d promised and the content of a poor quality.

Ask yourself the question - What kind of image would it take for you to spontaneously share your image / video / content at an event? Fun, different, cool, striking. These are all words that spring to mind. So, work back from this. Make your content fun, different, cool and striking and you almost guarantee shares. Often brands tend to prioritise the experience over the final image or content. But what gets shared after the event? What creates attention (or not as the case may be) long after the guests go home? It’s the digital content that lives on. The rest is just a memory. Of course, this content allows people to remember their time at the event, but the quality of the content will have a direct tie back to the consumers memory of the event itself. Have an amazing brand experience but creating terrible content? Guess what, no ones going to share it.

Give the consumer a memorable experience, linked into to some unique, shareable content. Allow them to show off, actively encourage them to brag. Incentivize shares with prizes. Put them infront of tech that surprises and delights them. Encourage the conversation to live on way past the event itself. I’m often amazed at how much effort goes in to an event in the build up and on the day itself, to see nothing done with the content when the event finishes. Remind people of their experience with you, showcase your favourite photos, invite guests to vote for their favourites. Incetivise these votes with VIP experiences and money can’t buy experiences and you not only have an impressed consumer, you have a loyal brand ambassador.