Small business owners wear many hats – from admin and balancing the books to HR and customer support, some business owners can end up doing the work of ten people. Keeping the day-to-day business running is only part of the job. With so many customers looking to engage with brands on social media, businesses also need to ensure their social channels are full of creative, compelling content in order to continue to stay connected with their audience, writes Rob Ranoa, Founder and Owner, Hypop.
In fact, according to a Hello Social report, 35 per cent of Australian consumers use social media to either research products or engage with brands directly, with one third who will look at an online retailer’s social media channel prior to making a purchase. Social channels aren’t just fluff – they are a serious marketing tool that, when done well, can result in new customers and sales.
So for small business owners without photography skills and no budget for outsourcing, how can you create eyepopping content for your social channels without having to outsource?
Try these tips and tricks for DIY content
We all know that good quality photos are key on social media. But good quality images don’t necessarily require a lot of effort, expensive cameras, or professional photographers. Oftentimes, for the purposes of updating your social feed – and even for food or product shots for your website – your smartphone will suffice. With the right backdrops, lighting, and key tips and tricks, you’ll soon be creating images like a pro.
Five DIY tips for smartphone photography
1. Clean your lens
Phones get filthy! So if you’re taking professional content for your business on your smartphone, you need to make sure your lens is clean. The cleaner the lens, the sharper the image, do don’t skip over this basic but very important step
Lighting is the secret to any good photo, but the kind of light you choose will depend on your business. Some may prefer to use natural lighting from the sun, although this does limit you to certain times of the day. A ring light will be useful in most settings, and sometimes – particularly for product shots – you may need a little light box studio. However, it’s important to pick one type of lighting and stick with it so your entire feed or website has a consistent feel
If you look at some of the most popular Instagram feeds, whether it’s influencers or brands, you’ll notice that their images look similar. They stick to a specific colour pallet and have their own unique style, so whether it’s people or products or landscape shots, all the images work well together. When you’re ready to start creating your content – whether for your social feeds or website – it’s important to have a consistent aesthetic that stays true to your brands
4. Props and styling
Once you’ve worked out your aesthetic, it’s worth investing in some props and backdrops for styling. Whether it’s backdrops for selfies or coloured mats for flat lays, a few simple, inexpensive props will really make your photos pop and make them more engaging
5. Play with camera angles
Using different camera angles can help create the illusion of depth or height, ultimately making your images more interesting to look at. Try shooting from directly above an object, or from below or off to the side to create some really eye-catching, interesting images to spice up your feed
Building an image bank
We all know that time is the one thing business owners don’t have. So if you’re setting aside time to take photos, you want to make that time as efficient and productive as possible. With one product already styled and ready to go, create multiple different images by simply swapping out some of the props to create different looks. Think about adding Autumn leaves or flowers to tie in with seasonal changes, or adding Easter eggs or Christmas decorations to build a folder of festive images ahead of time.
If you’re using coloured backdrops to create a certain aesthetic for your feed, just focus on using one or two backdrops each time you shoot, changing them up each session so you begin to build up a big image bank with a variety of colours to give you months of fresh new content to work with.
Getting started is the hardest part
As with a lot of new things, the hardest thing about creating your own content is simply getting started. Once you’ve organised your set up and you’ve had a play with the lighting, creating new content can be a really enjoyable aspect of running the business. And by adding fresh images to your website and updating your social feed, you’re likely to start reaching new customers and hopefully increasing conversions.
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