Great images are an important part of your digital content planning. Readers now expect to see good quality, relevant and engaging images on websites, in blogs and on social media posts, so to grab their attention, you need to make sure that your images promote your brand and are professional and eye-catching. Employing a photographer can be expensive, but there are lots of ways to build up a photo library that’s affordable. Virtual assistant tips like the ones in this article can help you to save money and improve your image bank.
Make your smartphone work for you
Most of the images you use for social media and online content can be taken with a good quality smartphone. Cameras on these devices are very good, and with a few simple hints and tips on how to frame, take and crop your pictures, you can build up a great set of images that are unique to your business, which is a great way to add some pizzazz to managing your content marketing. You can also start to create a style that’s definitely yours, so that people scrolling through your LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram or Facebook feeds recognise your content.
Think about setup
Whether you’re taking photos indoors or outdoors, it pays to take your time setting up the shot. As any virtual assistant service will tell you, the way to great photos is to keep it simple:
- Make sure you don’t have stray items or people in the background.
- Notice where any shadows fall from natural or artificial light and eliminate them if you can.
- Use the gridline option on your smartphone camera to apply the ‘rule of thirds’ – so your focal point isn’t in the centre of the picture.
- Remove any tags, dirt, creases – anything that will distract from the focal point of your picture.
Take the picture first; crop later
To maintain good picture quality, always crop the original picture rather than zooming in when you take it. Zooming in will reduce the quality of your picture. Take several versions of your picture – from different angles and at different heights or perspectives, so that you have plenty to choose from when you come to editing. You can also use your camera’s filter options – or the options available on your social media channel – to change the focus or atmosphere of your photo.
Make a link to your branding
The bonus of taking or arranging your own imagery is that you can make sure it reflects your personal or business branding. One of the benefits of virtual assistant experience is knowing what works for different types of businesses – some benefit from regularly featuring people and activities, whilst others need more outdoor pictures than indoor, and others need pictures that have space for words – particularly useful for dedicated social cards.
An easy way to make a link to your branding is to include your brand colours somewhere in the image. Don’t go overboard – subtle is always best – but a flash of colour in a pencil, a flower, a piece of clothing, a car – whatever is relevant to you – will help people to immediately link the image to your brand.
Invest in a tripod
You can get tripods for smartphones very affordably online – and it’s a piece of kit that could transform your photography. First, it allows you to set up your photograph and know that the phone is stable; second, it allows you to take a timed photo, so you can be in the frame if you want to be. And finally, it comes in really handy if you decide to move onto recording videos for your social media channels or website. A virtual social media assistant can help you to practice and use great video content that really lifts your marketing approach.
These simple, affordable virtual assistant tips are designed to help you get out there and improve the images you use for digital marketing – and to make sure that those photos are unique, relevant and useful to you and your customers. If you’re short on time and need help with image creation, feel free to call us on 0800 994 9016 or use our contact form in the menu above.