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Opinion

Don’t tell me, show me

Have you ever been on holidays without first checking out the destination? Seen a photo, read a brochure or watched a video? No? Me either. So why do we think our customers will use our product or service without seeing it first?

Having recently holidayed in the azure blue waters of the Aegean sea that laps the rocky coastline dotted with white buildings in Mykonos, this has been fresh on my mind. I poured endlessly over the internet looking at accommodation options for my family and friends wanting a special experience for a family celebration.

The problem? In Mykonos there are so many options to choose from. So how could I choose?

After literally hours invested, over many days, what stood out in my relentless research were the villa options with beautiful photography. And even better a video that gave a tour through the house and grounds. If I was going to invest my hard earned cash, then I wanted to see it and experience it (as best as possible).

Professional photography can double sales

This was an early learning by the online marketplace for homestays,
Airbnb, which found the properties with professional photography were 2.5 times more frequently selected than those with poor photography.

Initially taken by the founders themselves and later by an army of local photographers, the well framed and lit shots attracted an audience, and broke through the hesitation people had with staying at other people’s houses.

So what’s the lesson for your business? Don’t tell me, show me.

In the competitive clutter of today’s digital landscape, it’s not enough to just tell your customers about your product or service with persuasive copy, you also need to show them.

And how? With photos, videos, and even through other customers using your product or service. Here are some tips to try out.

Photography

Images are a heavy-hitting part of your social arsenal. Why? Because they attract attention, they add value to messages by communicating meaning through an image, and they create emotional connection and engagement.

Tips to try:

  • Hire a photographer to style some products of your brand or service in action.
  • Reuse these shots again and again throughout your social media channels.
  • Think about how your photographic themes work together, particularly if you’re using Instagam as a platform. Are you all about people, or all about places? Do you want open photos with lots of white space, or very busy images with patterns and/or people. Do you want photos or just illustrations in a signature style?
  • Encourage your customers to take photos of your product or service in action, and reward their social sharing (with discounts or freebies). And always make share you repost or share their photos, as appropriate.

Video

By 2022 video will account for 82 per cent of online traffic. It’s highly favoured by social media algorithms, and visual content is more than 40 times more likely to get shared.

Tips to Try:

  • Tell the story of your business: Become the TV host or guide for your ideal client and explain concepts, answer frequently asked questions, give them a
  • walk-through of your product or service. Tell them about your Why.
  • A combination of formal video and informal works. If it’s too polished all the time, people may drop off. But if it’s too sloppy, you’re not taken seriously.
  • (Think ‘wobbly selfie stick’ production values.)
  • Document the process of learning, show behind the scenes, introduce the
  • team, show your product in action. Your audience loves seeing behind the
  • curtain, and helps people to connect more meaningfully with your brand
  • Use an app like Magisto, FilmoraGo or Animoto to make awesome videos on
  • your phone and don’t forget to add captions so it can be easily watched with
  • or without sound.

Kirryn Zerna is a speaker, writer and consultant who helps brands battle the beige and create remarkable brand communications.

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