One of the most overlooked parts of the sales process for manufacturers is the visual component to the purchasing decision. If you’re planning out your marketing content for next year, it’s time to prioritize — and imagery is a great place to start when it comes to boosting your sales.
More About the Episode
The Smarter Building Materials Marketing podcast helps industry professionals find better ways to grow leads, sales and outperform the competition. It’s designed to give insights on how to create a results-driven digital marketing strategy for companies of any size.
Greg Weyman is the Founder and Managing Partner of Market Thrive, and he has a ton of insights (and great statistics) around how manufacturers can use imagery to boost their site traffic and sales — a topic we’re always thrilled to discuss.
The Growing Importance of Online Imagery
Market Thrive is an eCommerce marketing firm that focuses on CGI content and production for their clients. “Content’ includes product images, videos, 360s, installation, instructions, all those things that come with creating digital content in a digital world,” explains Greg, who founded Market Thrive nearly three years ago.
If you’re a long-time listener of the podcast, then you already know how we feel about content. It’s key to converting customers on your website, and high-quality imagery plays a big role. Imagery is also one of the first things that Venveo tests when it comes to our clients’ online presence — it’s a huge priority.
“What we're seeing from brand building is that good content is really probably the number one priority for most marketers,” explains Greg.
And if you’re building your brand with content, all of those elements live on what Greg considers a brand’s “digital shelf.”
“I think that's where this content lives, whether it's images, product content, animations, videos, they have to live on websites. They have to live in social media, email marketing, webinars, you name it. That content is really the touch point, if you will, for how customers learn about your product — but the product story, as well,” explains Greg.
How To Make a Bigger Impact With Images
So how do we know content actually makes a difference? Let’s run through some stats:
- 72% of people making purchasing decisions say photos and videos are the content they most want to see.
- 80% of consumers say they’d be more likely to purchase a product from an online store if its website had more accurate photos and videos.
- 58% of consumers have left a site before purchasing because there weren’t any quality product photos.
In order to attract people to a page, brands need to use imagery that will actually draw them in — especially since they’re less likely to read all of the copy on the rest of the page.
But it’s the kinds of images you use that make the difference. “There's stats that show how important the quality of the product appearing in the imagery looks. And again, that's probably not a new argument. We've always focused heavily on making the products look good in pictures, right? But the idea that people just aren't reading like they used to, there's a statistic that says that 100% of visuals on an Amazon page are viewed,” explains Greg.
Images will get views, but the images you share shouldn’t just showcase product details. They should also highlight how the product can benefit its end user. “So ... think through your own shopping habits and or how you make decisions: It's through our digital interactions, most likely judging pictures and trying to process what's good about the product, based on what's being presented there,” says Greg.
Adding a 3D visualization of your product, in other words, might be more helpful to the viewer than an image with tons of aesthetic appeal. When you show the customer how a product might help them and how they might use it, you’re more likely to connect with them.
Engaging an Audience With Strategy
“I think it's that we're all pressed for time. Most of us are visual learners and/or thinkers when it comes to the idea of making decisions,” explains Greg. Manufacturers can make that decision easier on buyers by supplementing product images with 3D renderings or video.
“I think that's just amplifying what's going on here, which is how do I really drill in and present the product in the most detailed, versatile way that tells the benefits?” Greg suggests.
Traditional photography is still a valuable asset to your site, but using renderings or even crowdsourced images from your followers can boost awareness around your product. “In the building materials space, there's so much time and budget spent on finding a location, installing that product, waiting for a good weather day,” Greg explains, “When in actuality, we're seeing a lot of manufacturers now opening up to this idea of, we don't have to travel anywhere.”
There’s no reason to wait for traditional photos to market a product, in other words. “We can create these environments, different regional areas, make the homes or the structures look any way we want and not wait for the project to land, to go take pictures,” explains Greg, “We can start the marketing ahead of time and get all the kind of work we want to go out and market to.”
Videos will also help demonstrate how your product works, what installation looks like or how your product is manufactured. “There's a lot of, call it that obstacle if you will, from a buyer or a customer, which is what am I in for here? And if you can show easily how quickly something may go together, how quickly you're ready to get started once you receive it, how it installs, all those types of things are part of the purchase now,” says Greg.
Building Your Digital Shelf
If you think of your content and all of those assets (images, video, illustrations, downloads, etc.) as items on your digital shelf, it’s important to have a system of organization for them, as well.
“It's very sort of by topic so that if I'm having a specific concern or issue with one portion of an installation, I can get right to that by topic and get my answer right away. So I think as we think through traditional versus the give it to me now we're over living in, it's taking that previous long form and breaking it up into bite-sized content that addresses specific issues,” says Greg.
As you’re planning out content calendars for 2022, remember to include imagery and videos in your strategy. Greg gave us a few additional tips to help prioritize building your own digital shelf.
Multiple Images of a Product
Whether you showcase different colors of a product or the product in different settings, give your audience some visual variety. “We've seen where you need at least four images of your product,” says Greg. Some brands have seen a 488% conversion when going from five to ten images on a page!
Paint the Whole Picture
Greg emphasizes how important a 360-degree view of your product really is. “They're that much more assured by the purchase because they can look, touch, feel, but there's the whole, you got to the scale and proportion element to it. There's a product claim or a benefit,” says Greg. You should also make sure site visitors can zoom in on images to check out your products in detail.
Add Alt Text and Descriptions
Adding alt text to your images isn’t just good Internet etiquette, it makes images accessible to your site visitors with disabilities. Adding image descriptions will also help you rank higher with Google, especially if you add keywords. “You may be able to add text to an image and explain something that differentiates the product,” adds Greg.
“I think there's all kinds of proof that says better content means better conversion,” says Greg, “So it's this self-fulfilling sort of idea where better content sells more because you're going to win at the search game, you're going to win at visibility. And you're going to win at the online customer experience.”
Want Even More Insight?
There’s so much of your product story that can be told through imagery — and your site visitors want to hear the whole story!
“And in many ways, it goes right back to the intuitive side of it all, of course, because it's always sort of been that way, that great imagery sells products at a higher perceived value,” says Greg. Digital assets like images and videos, “help propel the customer experience in the online space.”
Get more insights and stats on using images — check out Market Thrive’s recent report here.
Get more actionable ideas and strategies when you listen to Venveo’s podcast. All of our episodes are here. You can also listen to Greg discuss Amazon and eCommerce on previous episodes of the Smarter Building Materials Marketing podcast.
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