Social networks are designed for users to connect by sharing thoughts, links, photos, videos and more. For inventors trying to promote their product using social media, high-quality product photography is crucial.
Users will scroll right past your post if your photos aren’t eye-catching. If the quality is poor, they’ll question the quality of the product. If the branding is off, they may be confused about who is behind it. If they see repetitive photos, they’ll overlook your post.
With 1 billion monthly active users on Instagram—arguably the most visually focused social network—and more than 2 billion on Facebook, it’s becoming increasingly important to ensure that every photo you post on any social network highlights your invention in the best way. Five tips and tricks as you take photos and post them to your social network:
Hire a professional
Unless you’re a professional photographer, you should hire someone to take photos of your invention. Don’t rely on your iPhone or consumer-grade camera and take them yourself. Chances are high you’ll end up with poor-quality photos that won’t highlight your product in the way they should.
On a related note, it’s important that all product photography is shot with great lighting. Not only does poor lighting fail to show off your product as well as it could, it also may reflect poorly on your brand in the eye of the viewer. If the photo isn’t pleasing aesthetically, it could translate into negative feelings about your product, your brand and your mission.
Photos must fit your brand
Before you begin taking photos of your invention, make sure you have a solid understanding of your brand. Who is your ideal customer? How does your invention fill a need for that customer? What feelings and emotions resonate with that person? What personality should your brand take on to meet ideal customers where they are?
For example, if your product is geared toward minimalists, you may want to keep your photos simple with primarily black and white or neutral colors. If your product is for kids, you may consider using a variety of bright colors. Whatever aesthetic you choose, stick with it in all of your photos—even in different photo shoots. Your goal should be to ensure that when someone familiar with your brand sees your photo, he or she knows it belongs to you.
Add some variety
Although it’s important to keep all product photography on your brand, that doesn’t mean all of your photos should look the same. You don’t want or need 100 photos of the same shot from several different angles. Mix up your images with different models, settings, backgrounds, props and more. Your goal with your images for social media should be to have your feed be varied but cohesive. Work with your photographer to come up with many different concepts that highlight your invention or product.
Additionally, make sure you are posting a variety of photos to your social channels. You may have two or three favorite photos of your invention, but don’t post them over and over again; that will only bore your followers and may cause them to check out mentally and stop paying attention to the content you produce—or worse, unfollow your brand altogether.
Furthermore, take several different types of photos. You’ll need shots that solely focus on the product, usually with a solid colored background. These are especially helpful for an online store but also have a place on social media. You’ll also need lifestyle photos that show your product in use, though, which brings me to our next point…
Highlight your invention’s features, use cases and benefits
Your product photos are your chance to tell your social media followers why they need your invention. Don’t waste this opportunity! As you and your photographer stage photos, look for opportunities to photograph features, demonstrate use cases and highlight benefits. Don’t just make your product look beautiful; make your social followers see how your invention can enhance their lives. Make sure you show your product in context as well.
For example, if your invention is an outdoor product, have your photographer take photos of it being used while camping, while hiking, at a lake or river, and in other scenic outdoor settings. You don’t want your ideal customer to have to work hard to picture using your invention; he or she should naturally be able to imagine using it.
If it’s a kitchen product, take photos of it being used in a kitchen, create a spread of the invention along with food and other kitchen tools and take a photo of it from above, or show a chef using it. Regardless of the type of product, make sure you highlight where and how it will be used.
Keep a square ratio in mind
Each major social network has its own preferred image size and aspect ratio. Unfortunately, these tend to change often, and social networks redesign their feeds. If you don’t have the budget to take new photos often, try to take a variety of landscape and portrait photos that can be cropped into squares for Instagram but also look great when they aren’t cropped.
Additionally, make sure you have a mixture of close-ups and photos that are further away. This should ensure that you have photos that you can use for all of your social networks and that you’ll be able to use in multiple instances.
If you follow the tips outlined here, you’ll be well on your way to a beautiful, cohesive social profile that highlights your invention in its best light and encourages your social media followers to engage with your account and purchase your product.