Paid product photography can be overwhelming for some businesses. It is a big step. This post delves into the different ways that content can be created for product-based businesses as well as the pros and cons of each.
WHY HAVING CONTENT IS KEY
As a business, it is so important to have a social media presence, a nice looking website and a tribe or community of cheerleaders who shout your name from the rooftop.
In order to have a social media presence, and a fancy website, you need content.
And content is photos or videos of your products that you can share and use to connect with and build your tribe.
Social Media helps build your tribe > Your tribe use your website to purchase from you.
The foundation of all three of these pillars is: CONTENT.
WHAT IS CONTENT CREATION?
Did you know that there are four main types of content creation?
- User-Generated Content: this is when your customers take photos of your products and post them on social media. This type of content is AWESOME for social proof because if someone loves your product enough to take a photo of it and post it on social media, others tend to trust it more and tend to lean more towards purchasing from your business. This type of content is very organic.
- Content from Collaborations: this is when you reach out to influencers, or micro-influencers and offer to send them your products in exchange for content. Often that content requires the influencer to post on their feed or stories – which means your business gets exposure to the influencer’s audience
- Paid Content from Professional Product Photographers: this is when you hire a professional photographer to take styled photos of your products.
- Self Made Content: this is content that you create all on your own. Behind the scenes, tutorials, reels, things like that. I wrote a blog post about batching this type of content – check it out here.
Today we’re going to talk about the differences between content from collaborations, vs paid product photography.
I’ll preface this by saying, there is no right or wrong choice between collabs and paid product photography: it all depends on what your goals are as a business and choosing what is right for you.
COLLABORATIONS FOR CONTENT CREATION
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS:
- Your products are shared with the influencer’s audience which gets you more reach (aka eyeballs)
- You get social proof: a trusted person of influencer sharing why they like or love your product with their audience
- You get free content in exchange for sending out your product (very minimal cost)
- It can help you make more sales – usually, you give the influencer a promo code that they can use and this helps track the success of the collaboration
WHAT ARE THE NEGATIVES:
- Any photos that the influencer takes are usually styled, photographed and edited in a way that will suit the influencers Instagram feed. That means they may look out of place on your own feed if you were to reuse them.
- Often influencers will use filters to edit their photos which can alter the true colours of your products.
- Influencers don’t always take photos that make your product the hero of the image, often the product ends up being more of a prop rather than the main star
- Sometimes you can send your products out, and in exchange you get nothing – aka some collabs fall through.
- The influencer’s audience might not be your ideal target audience (eg if you sell skincare products and send them to a fitness influencer, their audience is more likely to be interested in fitness rather than skincare and beauty)
- Some influencers won’t send you high-resolution images which means you are stuck reposting their content directly from Instagram which lowers the quality of the images
PAID PRODUCT PHOTOGRAPHY FOR CONTENT CREATION
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS:
- You get high-quality imagery that you can use over and over again
- Photographers will work with you to ensure they capture your brand, vibe and vision
- Imagery is captured by professionals so you can guarantee the quality* (if you do your research)
- Having a batch of professional images means you can be consistent with your content strategy – which will help you become more recognizable
- Photographers have an array of props and backgrounds that you get access to (which would cost you $$ if you tried to DIY)
- Photographers understand how leading lines work and use them to create imagery that tells a story and draws attention to your products
WHAT ARE THE NEGATIVES:
- Depending on your budget it can be a big investment
- If you don’t research your photographer and work with someone who aligns with your brand you might be disappointed (this often happens when you try to find “cheaper alternatives”)
- Turn around times can be a bit longer since a lot of paid product photographers are booked out in advance
HOW TO DECIDE BETWEEN A COLLAB AND PAID PRODUCT PHOTOGRAPHY
Here are a few questions you can ask yourself to help you decide which content creation route is best for you and your business
- What is your budget? if it’s smaller then perhaps a collab might be better
- What are your goals?
- Do you want to create a brand aesthetic, build up an image library, or do you want to spread word of mouth about your product?
I hope you have found this post helpful! Always happy to chat in my DMs on Instagram – so please come on over and say hello!