Most small businesses have heard by now that the visual web has entrenched the globe, and that consumers prefer the efficiency of scrolling through images rather than reading walls of text. Big surprise, right? So, many professionals have responded by hopping onto Instagram and the like, and have even been smart enough to push their photos from their photo apps to their social networks, to show how personable they are.
But then what? Yes, professionals should be commenting on other users’ photographs and building a general sense of community, but there are so many more possibilities with smartphone photography than just Instagram and liking. Have you considered adding your photos to your blog and making them interactive? Have you considered that you can get better at smartphone photography and that apps exist to help, and that apps exist that allow you to immediately share photos with friends around you? Have you considered broadcasting live to Facebook, or perhaps using your existing photos to create a collage?
Smartphone photography isn’t just about funky filters, nor is it about sharing pictures of your cat on Facebook (although let’s face it, that’s awesome). No, you’re a legitimate business person that is looking for ways to stand out, and the tools to do just that are right under your nose. Consumers want images over text, so why not give them a polished version and keep the interacting with your brand?
1. Make your website memorable with moving images. You might cringe at the thought of incorporating an animated GIF with your site, but this doesn’t have to be cheesy. Cinemagr.am is an iPhone app that creates stunning cinemagraphs on your smartphone that can be used on your website or blog that are subtle (visit agbeat.com/business-marketing/make-your-website- memorable-with-subtle-moving-images to see examples of classy and subtle GIFs).
2. Edit photos beautifully. Fotor is a free Web-based photo editor influenced by Windows 8 and Instagram that edits your photos in nearly any way imaginable. Upload your photos to the Fotor website and start editing using basic features you’d find in Photoshop or a similar program, or apply one of 56 unique filters – brighten colors, use a frame to emphasize the best part of your photo, add text and even use overlays to make your photo more dynamic. You can also download the Fotor app for your iPhone or Android at a low cost, making it even more accessible.
3. Create a collage. PicMonkey’s drag and drop collage feature is drop-dead simple, and can be used when you want to create interesting marketing materials, such as flyers and brochures, or just to add a bit of oomph to your website or blog.
4. Invest in apps that help improve your smartphone photography. Fast Burst Camera for Android, and Fast Camera for iPhone, are both apps that improve the quality of mobile phone pictures even more by enabling users to capture high resolution action shots. As soon as the app is opened, users are able to quickly capture multiple shots at speeds fast enough to catch the tiniest change in a full range of motion.
5. Flock automatically shares your photos among friends you are with. Photo sharing apps have long existed, but with the Flock iOS app, there are no extra steps or hassles to pull all of the photos together. Take photos just like you normally do with any camera app, and the app automatically knows, based on your location, who of your friends also use Flock, and pulls all of your pictures together into one album as you opt in. This avoids any random strangers being added to the album, and it saves the step of asking everyone to share pictures.
6. Make your website sticky with interactive photo-tagging. Stipple lets you add info right onto the photo: add bed/bathrooms, features of the home, neighborhood info, education and lifestyle stats, and boom, you have a fully interactive neighborhood summary in one photo and the consumer never has to leave that page. Take it a step further and add the average house values, integrate with PicketReport.com, and even a call to action, and you’re one step closer to amazing site interaction.
Copyright 2013 Agent Genius, reprinted with permission