How Marketers Can Use Photography to Sell Experiences

how marketers can use photography to sell experiences

Do you want to know the secret to successful marketing? We’re talking about marketing that makes people wait in lines for hours to buy your product or try your service. We’re talking about Apple, Nike, and Coca-Cola level marketing. We’re talking about the insider secrets that high-profile brands have used for decades to achieve unheard of levels of success.

The secret? Use your marketing to sell an experience, not a product or service.

Is it really that simple? You bet it is. Corporations, pop stars, and sports teams have been using this strategy for years. Now’s the time for you to catch up and play in the big leagues. Now’s the time for you to learn how marketers can use photography to sell experiences.

Branding 101

branding and photography are a powerful combination

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: your brand isn’t your company. It isn’t the services you offer. It isn’t your logo, font, or colors. It isn’t the ads you run or the marketing you invest in. Your brand isn’t any of these.

Your brand is the emotional connection you form between you and your audience.

So, when it comes to using photography to sell experiences, you need to take a step back and take a holistic look at your overall marketing. Ask yourself the following questions, and answer them honestly (easier said than done, we know):

  • What sets your company apart from your competitors?
  • What is your unique value proposition (UVP)?
  • What are your competitors doing that you don’t want to do?
  • What stories can you tell about your brand?
  • How are you talking to your audience?
  • Is your audience segmented into different personas?
  • Do you have specific and measurable business goals tied to how you’re talking to your audience?
  • Are the ways you’re talking to your audience working, i.e. are you seeing that audience grow, take action(s), and turn into customers?

There are many other marketing questions you can, and should, ask, but these are more than enough to get you started. Remember, using photography to sell experiences starts with a strong brand. A strong brand starts with a strong message. So, what’s yours?

Selling Experiences & Emotions

Now that you have a handle on the basics of strong branding, it’s time to look at what you do with that brand. We’re talking about how marketers can sell experiences (with or without photography).

Step one is to understand that very few people buy something because of the product itself. This is not only true for products, but for services as well. Most people buy because of emotional attachment. In today’s world of social media and constant connection, marketers are increasingly using experiences to trigger those feelings and emotions.

It’s important to take a moment here and note that some of these experiences are digital, and some are classic, real-world experiences. Digital experiences can be content-based, advertising-based, VR-based, AR-based, or some mix the above. Real world experiences consist of everything from events (concerts, parties, etc.) to tailored offerings like photography workshops to help boost camera sales.

using photography to translate emotion into consumer action

This begs the question: how do you create experiences that resonate with your audience? It’s surely easier said than done. Make no mistake, though, you can do it. This is also an event planner’s strong suit.

This is step two of how marketers can use photography to sell experiences.

Start by taking a deep dive into your audience itself. Who are they? Where do they spend time online? Where do they spend time offline? What types of food do they like? Are they married? Do they have families? How much money do they make? How do they spend that money?

Some of these questions will be simple to find out. Facebook, for example, will break down your followers into many of these categories without you lifting a finger. Still, you’ll likely have to do some research and analysis to get a view of your audience’s affinities.

Once you’ve figured out what resonates with your audience, it’s time to create content to connect with them. This is where photography comes into play.

A Picture is Worth…

We’ve all heard the saying that a picture is worth a thousand words. What about an entire photo album, then? What about a series of pictures detailing some aspect of what resonates with your audience? What about using photography to sell experiences?

We’re incredibly passionate about this type of marketing – we are an experiential marketing company, after all. We’re passionate about it for good reason, though. It works! Using photography to sell experiences is a surefire way to connect with your audience and move them through the sales funnel towards a purchase.

a picture is worth a thousand words

There are an almost unlimited number of ways to make use of photography. We’re partial to photo booths, but that’s just us. Sure, an underwater photo booth will make your brand stand out, but so will offering your audience a slow-motion experience they won’t soon forget.

Another important point to consider when using photography to sell experiences is how you’re going to distribute the photographs. Most people will answer this question with two words: social media. While using social is a great start, it’s worthwhile considering what social channels your audience is on. Teenagers aren’t likely to be on LinkedIn, for example, so if you’re selling to teenagers you can remove LinkedIn from your marketing matrix.

For a thorough breakdown of where various demographics spend their time, take a look at the latest research from the Pew Research Center.

The secret is out! You now know how marketers can use photography to sell experiences. It isn’t always an easy task, but with a thorough understanding of your audience, the right photo booth hardware, and a knack for capturing images via photos – you can expect explosive growth.

Want to learn more about how photo booths can contribute to your success? Contact us today to learn more about how we can help!

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