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When to Use Photography vs. Video in Your Marketing

In this day and age, photography and videography have almost completely merged into one industry. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean photography and video are always interchangeable. In fact, the two have distinct uses when it comes to marketing campaigns.

So the question remains: when is it appropriate for you to use a video instead of photography? When is photography better than video? And most importantly, how do you know?

What is the difference between photography and videography?

To start with photography, it is a visual medium. It’s really good for capturing images and scenes to illustrate a story or concept. If your business needs still photos of the inside of your office, say for an article about what makes your workplace so great, photography is perfect. You can also use photography to take pictures of products and event table settings. Photography is also ideal for professional portraits.

A photograph is a single captured image. It can feature people, products, places, or animals and can be extremely versatile in terms of subject matter. They’re still, no movement or audio, and can be heavily edited.

A video is a story told in motion with audio. A video can show how a product works or what it looks like in action, whereas photography is still and you would need multiple photos to capture motion. Videos contain audio that enhances the experience of the media, providing information and/or entertainment to the viewer. Video is great for showing off a business’ personality, too! These can feature testimonials, information about the business and employees, or more.

When it comes to photography and video’s uses in marketing, photography tends to be used when the goal is promoting services or products, while video is frequently meant to emphasize or enhance a company’s story.

Both are known to evoke an emotional response from viewers, so the real decision is in where you’re marketing your business as well as how you want to present it.

Why would I want to use one over the other?

Both photography and video are required for marketing purposes because the two bring different things to the table. Not every marketing project requires photography or video, but it does enhance the experience and bring in more potential customers. It’s worth making sure your marketing includes visual media.

In general, you should try using a mixture of both types of media. It will bring you the best advantage. However, knowing when the best times and places to use each is the biggest hurdle to jump over when planning your marketing strategy.

Photography should be used in marketing because it has the ability to deliver an emotional impact through composition, light, subject matter, and perspective. Photography can directly connect with your customers on an emotional level because it’s communicating with their subconscious mind. It’s a powerful medium that has been successful in marketing for many years. Photography can be used in marketing when you want to capture a single moment, while video can be used when you want to show something at work.

Video takes photography one step further by using audio. Video allows the viewer (potential customer) to connect with your product on an auditory level in addition to visual, which makes it even easier for them to emotionally bond with your business because more of their senses are working together.

Video is most effective when you want to show your business in action. When photography can’t capture what you’re trying to communicate, video will pick it up and run with it because of the audio that comes with. It actively shows a sequence of events or actions taking place rather than just capturing a single moment.

So which should you be using for your marketing efforts? Let’s find out!

Physical Marketing

Marketing media that you can hold in your hand isn’t going to be able to play a video. Flyers, brochures, printed magazines, and posters will all have photography or graphics. This creates opportunities to use photography to connect with your customer on a deeper, more intimate level. Because there’s nothing else going on besides photography and writing, the person reading it needs something powerful to connect them with your brand.

Sometimes graphics and clip art are used on physical marketing media, but it’s usually not the best option. Photographs, as we stated before, inspire a more emotional reaction by their viewers. Photographs can feature other humans, animals, plants, landscapes, or products. It’s important to remember that photography is capturing a moment in time, but you can create photography for marketing purposes by staging a photo shoot of some sort.

Online Marketing

Here’s where we really need to question what we should be asking for marketing campaigns: photographs or videos?

We’d say that depends on where online you’re going to be posting your marketing information. Between social media, email marketing, website marketing, and advertisements, there’s a lot to figure out about what works where.

Let’s start with the most basic of online marketing, social media. On all major social sites photography is allowed and in some cases, required for you to share your content. However, there are video-sharing platforms like YouTube and TikTok that are meant for video content only. When you’re creating a photography project for marketing, save it for your social media accounts and take advantage of photography’s visual appeal that makes it perfect for social media.

That’s not to say photography isn’t allowed on video-sharing platforms. Many creators mix photography in to their videos via slide shows or effects. It makes for a fun and interesting mixture. Other than that, there’s no reason to use photography on a video-sharing platform… unless it’s photography of the video you want to share, or a slideshow of photographs.

Posting marketing material on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter isn’t as cut-and-dry, though. Instagram, for instance, has an option to upload video and photography in your feed. On most sites you’re going to be sharing a healthy mixture of the two. Photographs and graphics are easy to consume, but are easily passed by while scrolling through a feed. Videos, on the other hand, grab the attention of the viewer.

It’s important to tag whatever media you’re posting so that people seeking them out specifically can find them easily. If photography is your focus, use hashtags like #photography and #gallery to get more eyes on your material. If you’d rather promote video, make sure to use hashtags like #video or #videoshow.

With email marketing, photographs are the most popular. Email marketing is frequently used as a way to promote and inform, and photography fits perfectly with those two categories. On the other hand, email newsletters are often sent via HTML which means you can share video or photography within them as well. However, it can be more challenging to use photography on filtered emails.

If you want your photography project to stand out, make sure the images are high resolution and professional-looking. You’ll probably have more success with video here because of its ability to show motion.

Marketing your website requires photography and style. Most sites that allow photography allow the option to upload videos as well, but we still recommend using photography both for aesthetic reasons and because it’s easier to show off what you’re selling.

That’s not to say that your website shouldn’t have video. You should have videos on your website! They just need to be strategically placed so as not to overwhelm your site visitors and provide the right information in the right places. Product review videos should be on the product pages themselves, whereas a video detailing your company should be found either on the main page or in the “About Us” section.

Once you have your photography or videos, make sure you optimize them for marketing. You may want to consider video-specific SEO techniques like uploading a transcript of the video to make it easier to read and understand for search engines as well as make it easier for people who can’t turn on or even use the audio aspect of a video.

Television and Movies

Commercials have been a staple in viewing programs on TV. Most of them are made of videos to match the media that you’re currently engaging in. Sometimes, though, commercials will use a rare still image in order to make a statement. In contrast, the still photo grabs the viewers’ eyes when they’re expecting to see movement.

If you’ve been to the theater in the past decade, you’ll notice that ads play while you wait for the movie to begin. They’re usually a mixture of both slideshows of still images and videos that advertise local businesses or new movies to be released soon.

Basically, if you’re going to advertise where videos are the main media, creating videos is how you want to advertise.

When to Use Photography vs. Video in Your Marketing Side profile of RED camera

How Can I Create Videos and Photographs to use in my marketing?

It can be both simple and complicated to create photographs and videos that are worthy of advertising. And that’s what C&I Studios [link: ] is here to help you with- content creation of all kinds.

If you want photography, it’s as simple as hiring a photographer. If you’re not looking to invest in photography, try taking your own photos with a camera that allows for photography options or using your phone. For photography, you’ll really want a nice camera with interchangeable lenses. This gives the photographer room to grow and allows them to change cameras over time as new models come out and prices drop. A tripod will be needed in most instances to keep shots steady and if you really want excellent photography, you’ll need a model release form as well.  Of course your output will not be near the level of quality you will get when you hire a professional, so keep that in mind.

If you’re wanting video footage from multiple angles then it would be best to hire a video production service that can help capture the moment and capture the footage needed for marketing.

It’s not wise to use your camera phone to create all of your content. While camera phones are much higher quality than they were five years ago, they’re still not quite the same quality you will find with a professional camera.

If you need photography and video, it’s a good idea to look into companies that do both photography and videography, like C&I Studios. Our photography and video services work together to create seamless marketing campaigns that show how professional your company is while telling the story you want to convey to potential customers.

You can see all of the services we provide companies like yours here. We don’t just “do marketing”, we create and put forth ideas and tell your stories. Creativity is our business!

We’ve worked with many different companies, such as Coca-Cola, Hautehouse, and many others to create professional photography and videography that they can use in their marketing efforts. Contact us today to find out more about photography and video production and how we can help you create the images needed to take your marketing campaigns to the next level.

We can’t wait to hear from you and get started in creating amazing marketing campaigns together!

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