Marketing with Photos | What small business can learn from Domino’s Pizza & Monster Energy

Marketing with Photos
Domino’s delivered 400 million pizzas last year. Monster Energy is the Number 1 energy drink by volume in the U.S. What can a small business owner learn from these mammoth companies? Plenty, including how marketing with photos can be used to promote your business. Regardless of the size of your staff or the industry you are in, you can take advantage of photos and photo opportunities to market your company online.

6 creative ideas for marketing with photos

Here are 6 creative ways to use photos to promote your products or services online:

  1. Run a contest.  Ask customers to submit photos featuring your products or services. Offer a prize or discount for entries.  Domino’s Pizza created a special URL to promote a photo contest in 2010 called ShowUsYour LLC, Twitpic, KarenEman
  2. Create an account on Flickr for your business.  Upload photos that build anticipation for an upcoming event or new product line. I use my Flickr account to showcase community and nature photos I have taken as editor of the North Oaks News as well as to promote my company.
  3. Feature one photo on each page of your website to add visual interest. While too many photos can be distracting, one large image can have a lasting impact on visitors. Additional photos may be placed in a less dominate location lower on the page. Photo gallery pages are an obvious exception to the one-photo rule.
  4. Send photos via Twitter. Using TwitPic, you can share photos from your PC or camera phone via Twitter in real time. TwitPic also provides stats on how many people have viewed your photo, and you can add the TwitPic widget (above right) to your website for additional exposure for your photos.
  5. Upload photos to Facebook. Create albums based on themes. The Monster Energy Facebook page has more than 70 company-created albums and encourages customers to post their own photos.  The result?  More than 5,000 photos uploaded by Monster Energy customers. Examples Facebook albums small businesses could create include:
    • Holiday Gift ideas
    • Why customers love us
    • How we make (product)
    • Before and After
    • On the road
  6. A quick, fun way to promote your small business or organization using photos is Smilebox. This website offers a free (or relatively inexpensive if you choose to upgrade) way to create a short video display of 8-15 photos. Below is the Smilebox I created in just a few minutes using a free account to promote Reciprocate LLC.

Click on the play button above to view the Reciprocate LLC Smilebox creation.

5 small business “photo op” ideas

Opportunities for using photos to promote a small business abound. Keep a camera or camera phone handy as you go about your day. Make a conscious effort to take 5 photos each day for one week.  By the end of the week, you’ll have created a photo gallery to choose from and you will have also created a mindset to look for and create photo opportunities.

Here are some possible photo opportunities to get you started:

  1. Products or services
  2. Company-sponsored events
  3. Employee meetings, client successes, awards, and celebrations – especially if you can feature your product, service, or company logo somewhere in the photo
  4. Company representatives and/or your product at trade shows, speaking engagements, and events.  Stage photos in front of banners and signs which promote the event or in front of recognizable location signs.
  5. Before and after photos — this can translate into almost any industry but works especially well for organizers, home improvement companies, and decorators.  Think outside the box. Even accountants can show a “before” photo of a mountainous pile of receipts and an “after” photo of a clean desk, featuring their company logo displayed on the monitor along with a happy customer.

Use your imagination. Get creative! Unless you are in the professional photography industry, don’t worry so much about getting the perfect shot with perfect lighting. Some applications (like TwitPic) atually lend themselves to impromptu camera phone images. Have fun but do keep your company image and marketing goals in mind. I encourage you to share links to your favorite use of company photos in the comments section below.