Featuring Photos and Slides on Your Business Website - dummies

Featuring Photos and Slides on Your Business Website

By Jan Zimmerman

Photos and slide shows are excellent ways to showcase your products, services, activities, and expertise. Although photos can be posted on your own business website or blog, photo- and slide-sharing sites allow other people to comment on them, forward them to others, and find out more about your company.

Use the search function on any of these image-sharing sites to see how many, if any, of your competitors use them. The presence of many competitors is a strong hint that your business needs to be there, too. The absence of competition is ambiguous: It can give you a temporary advantage or indicate that this effort isn’t worth it. Being first isn’t always the best idea.

You can achieve multiple marketing goals by following this advice for using image-sharing sites:

  • Cast a wider net for prospective customers. Some prospects prefer looking at pictures to reading words! It’s all part of finding new prospects where they are. Display images of your company, products, or services, accompanied by informative descriptions, to attract customers’ attention.

  • Entice viewers with samples of your products. For example, see Bleeding Heart Bakery. Whether you’re selling scarves or hookahs, candles or cupcakes, you can use image-sharing to lure visitors with representative products.

  • Display photos of completed projects. Photos sites work exceedingly well for architects, builders, construction companies, and home painters as well as for interior, landscape, product, and packaging design companies and any other business with highly visual work results. This advice is excellent for service companies such as Wojcik Lawn Care & Landscaping or McClain’s Painting Service.

  • Build awareness of creative work. In perhaps the most obvious application for photo-sharing, creative folks can display their portfolios to a broad audience. Because these sites make it easy to upload, catalog, and remove images, many artists use image-sharing sites as a free alternative to modifying websites. See ceramic artist Marylou Newdigate for an example.

  • Enhance branding and site traffic. By using your logo, tags, web address, and links on profile pages on these services, you can build name recognition.

  • Improve search engine optimization. Photo- and slide-sharing sites can be helpful to your search engine optimization strategy. Every site may be a bit different. I talk more about SEO in the later section “Optimizing images for SEO.”

  • Supplement your website or social media pages with additional photos. For example, you might display thumbnails on your website or one image from a set or a slide sequence of photos, with supplemental photos on a photo-sharing site.

  • Advertise to photographers. Photo-sharing sites are a wonderful way to offer goods and services to photographers, such as cameras, lenses, photo-editing software, lighting equipment, workshops, studio space, or travel packages for photo safaris.

  • Improve customer service. Upload images that are limited to use by specific customers or invitees, perhaps marking them private for limited visibility. You can post pictures of works in progress, images of prospective sites or buildings, or photographs of optional product features. This feature is particularly useful when photos interest a smaller audience than the one served by your website.

  • Collaborate on content. Shutterfly has the special Share Sites feature to help people easily collaborate on the creation of photo albums, whether private or public. For example, the American Youth Soccer Organization uses Shutterfly for online registration, to share pictures and videos, manage schedules, access volunteer assignments, and do even more.

  • Build community participation and buzz. In a novel interactive application, Marvel Comics created a Flickr group for movie lovers to post photos of themselves with statues of the Incredible Hulk that had been placed in movie theater lobbies to promote the film.

  • Establish your expertise with presentations and slide shows. Slide shows and PowerPoint presentations are extremely valuable tools in the B2B world. To increase your visibility and reputation as an expert, post your presentations from webinars, speeches, product demonstrations, and technical support directions on sites such as Slideshare.