November 13, 2020 Websites | Content

The role of imagery and video on corporate websites

By Sophie Körner

People are bombarded with digital content on a daily basis. Through the fog of this endless stream of information, it can be challenging for companies to stand out. Your corporate website can help you be recognised in the crowd, but it needs to be unique and authentic.

As the public face of your company, the brand experience of your website plays an important role in helping you stand out and be remembered. Too many websites follow a formula and end up looking very similar. Imagery and video are a powerful way to deliver a brand experience that accurately reflects who your company is and what it stands for.

Words don't go far enough

Imagine you were looking for a new job. You arrive on a careers page on a corporate website and the company communicates only in words that they “value teamwork”, have an “agile and sustainable work environment” and have a “diverse team” in which “culture, backgrounds and ethnicity are valued”. And that is great, right?

But what makes this company different from the millions of other companies out there with similar values and messages? And as a potential employee, how would you know that these statements truly reflect the culture of this business? Simply speaking, words alone are not enough.

Make your mark

Think of images almost as your brand proof points to audiences. The use of authentic images of real employees alongside copy can instantly add credibility to the messages you're communicating, far more so than if stock imagery is used. Still and moving images help validate your key attributes and characteristics as a business to your visitors.

Interviews with employees describing their work and experiences at your company are a really compelling way of doing this. For example, if you want to attract potential interns by highlighting your company’s success rate in offering full-time employment following internships, video can be a fantastic medium. Adidas have a great career page that does this brilliantly by using video to interview successful interns that are now full-time employees.

Build a bank of imagery and videos

Using company activities as content opportunities and having a publisher mindset is important too. For example, does your office do company breakfasts? Or do you have annual team-building experiences? Use these opportunities to take pictures and make videos showing real moments which are truly representative of the things which distinguish your company from others. These assets can be used and repurposed in a number of different ways over time, including career videos, hero images on the website, b-roll footage for future videos and imagery for social media. See the example below from Spirit Energy. 

Using images and videos in this way is an incredibly simple way to offer a window into your company and support your messages, which helps to enhance the credibility of your website and business.

Create an emotional connection

While building credibility is vital to any business, it could be argued that it is even more challenging to forge an emotional connection with audiences. If a website looks professional and dynamic, is that good enough? How does your website actually make audiences feel?

Thinking back to the Adidas video, the message is clearly communicated in a far more comprehensive way than just saying “Adidas have a high success rate for interns”. The tone of the music (stirring piano keys met with a vibrant techno beat), the emotive language used by the former interns when describing what working for Adidas means to them (freedom, empowered, human experience) and the shots establishing the dynamic work culture all combine to create a concise, memorable and uplifting promotional montage. This is an effective way to tap into the aspirations of potential interns. It is designed to evoke an emotional response and inspire those watching to imagine a bright future for themselves at Adidas with the other interns. It says “Dare to dream to work HERE with US”.

A 2014 study from MIT found that it takes the human brain as little as 13 milliseconds to process a complete image. While text is highly valuable in developing emotion and giving depth to a message, imagery is critical in connecting with and holding the attention of audiences. A 2011 study on user engagement from Skyword showed that visuals increase content views by 94%. In these times of instant messaging and constant news channelled directly to your phone, is it any wonder that visual content is so powerful and overwhelmingly efficient?

Nevertheless, it is vitally important that you avoid uploading a host of images and videos on your website without a clear strategy. In fact, if there’s one take-home message it’s this: never use visual content for the sake of it. If you understand why you have chosen certain images and visuals for your website, there’s a significantly higher chance that they will resonate with your audiences too. Remain honest to your company’s values when making stylistic choices on visuals and, whenever possible, place the focus what makes your business a success: the people. This is what makes your business unique and what makes your website authentic. It will give you the best chance to stand out in the crowd.

Read more tips on how to make your website memorable.

John Anderson

Executive Creative Director (UK)

john.anderson@comprend.com

+44 (0)20 8609 4901

Magnus Frisk

New Business Director & Development

magnus.frisk@comprend.com

+46 73 984 51 45

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