Digital & online should be an essential part of the marketing strategy for any food business
If your business deals exclusively online – in eCommerce – you already know this. Hell, even if your business isn’t exclusively online, you probably already know this.
All kinds of food businesses rely on online platforms in some way:
- For restaurants, foot traffic and random walk-ins are a rare occurrence these days. When deciding where to eat, the first port of call is typically Google (‘Korean restaurant in London’) or even voice search (‘Siri, where can I get vegan food in Edinburgh?’), followed closely by review sites like TripAdvisor or Yelp.
- Speaking of TripAdvisor, restaurants live and die by their online reviews. From TripAdvisor and Yelp to bloggers and local directories, online reviews all have an influence on where people choose to eat. Clearly, you can’t control everything said about your business online, but by having on online presence you’re able to counter unfair claims and give potential customers to opportunity to see a more rounded picture of your business.
- And that’s not to mention social media recommendations. Couple search and reviews with ‘I heard about this new Barbecue place on Instagram’ and your online presence can reach far and wide.
- If you sell online (whether that’s your artisan bread, the latest gluten-free energy bar, the next sous-vide style food prep craze, or even just allowing customers to make reservations) an online presence is even more important.
Now, all of these things could magically come to you (fingers crossed, eh?) but a focussed digital marketing strategy (or at least a home online – your own website and social media channels) is a much better bet.
So, where does photography come into this?
The prevalence of online & digital makes it even more important for Food businesses to use high-quality, original food photography.
3 reasons why good food photography is important for food businesses
1. Draw people in
Online, the adage that an image speaks a thousand words is doubly true.
People like the easy option – if you can get all the information you need by looking at a picture, why would you read the article?
All this to say, pictures stand out – in social media feeds and on your website.
Great food photography can draw people into your business’ online home (and even into your bricks-and-mortar store). The hunger that you want people to feel when they see photos of your food has an emotional pull. Use it.
2. Stand out from the crowd
I’m afraid a stock photo just won’t cut it if you’re selling something like food, which relies so heavily on experience.
For example, we all know, roughly, what a burger looks like, and we can all spot a stock image of one from a mile off.
What does your burger look like? What does the specific burger that someone will sit down and eat in your restaurant, receive in your delivery bag or tip out of your box and onto the grill, actually look like?
And more importantly, and how do you want people to feel when they see it?
3. Highlight your best stuff
This goes hand-in-hand with standing out from the crowd as a good reason to use original food photography for your business.
Your food photos should be an extension of your brand voice and style, and you should use them to show off your most impressive dishes and products.
Great, original food photography doesn’t have to cost the earth.
But bad quality photography (or generic-looking stock photography) can damage your brand. It can make you look cheap, and make your food look gross.
Check out my other guides to shooting and editing your food photos for social media and websites:
- Improve the food photos you take on your phone
- Use VSCO to edit food photos on your phone
- How to use light to take better food photos (even in winter)
- The books that’ll take your food photography to the next level
- How to save time by shooting your food photography in batches
- Improve your food photos by editing them in Pixlr