Here’s What You Should Know About Using Online Photo Galleries with Your Business

Photo gallery

Online photo galleries have been around for a very long time. At first, it was all about the consumer. Digital cameras were a hit. And people went from taking 24 photos at a time to thousands, often in one outing. It was a matter of limits. Film had strict limits. But with digital, you could take as many shots as you liked.

This was a boon to businesses because photography has always been an essential part of how some businesses told their stories. They needed a way of storing and processing hundreds, even thousands of photos at a time.

Photographers have always needed a place to offload, edit, and archive photos. They also needed a place to showcase and sell photos. From there, photos could be categorized, ranked, and turned into other products such as shirts, mugs, and other consumables.

Since the consumer offerings came first to meet a consumer need, professionals tried to make the new online photo galleries work for them. But it wasn’t long before photo professionals identified the limitations in the consumer offerings and started demanding something even better. Services like SmugMug were born to meet those more professional demands.

When SmugMug recently acquired Flickr, many were uncertain about how to feel. But photo professionals cheered. Here is some of what professionals know about online photo galleries that other businesses are just now learning:

Social Is Good

Online photo galleries are social networks at the core. They may have started out as a solution for storing all those digital photos. But they also turned out to be excellent outlets for sharing photos. Arguably, sharing is the most important part of the photo-taking process.

People will share photo galleries on a gallery site in ways they wouldn’t if the photos were captive on your business site. No one goes to Ford’s corporate site for pictures of Mustangs. But they would not only visit, but share a gallery of classic Mustangs on Rout 66. Finding ways to make your corporate photos social is always a win.

Photos Are Marketing

Companies are finally realizing that photos are an integral part of their marketing strategy. They are even learning how to use consumer-facing social networks to boost sales. For years, sellers on services like Craigslist and eBay have known that a good photo gallery can make the difference between getting the desired price quickly and not getting it at all.

One of the things we know is that photos create emotional bonds. It is one thing to hear about a coworker’s new baby, and quite another to see pictures of her.

The same thing is true with products. If all you do is describe a product, you might take up a small amount of headspace. But the moment you post a picture, you start occupying space in the heart, emotional center, or whatever you want to call it. People can start picturing how that item will look in their home. They can imagine wearing it.

The thing you want to be sure to do is use high-quality photos for your galleries. This leads to large images that can effect the performance of your site. This is yet another benefit of using a professional photo gallery site. When people have the option to see full-sized image quality, there is an opportunity for a full-sized sales impression.

Microsites Make Mega Sense

A microsite is a smaller more focused site that stands alone from a company’s main site, and has it’s own branding. One of the reasons a company might use a microsite is to try new things that will not harm the main brand if they fail. It also gives a way for a company to reach out to a new demographic not reached by its current brand.

Online photo galleries are great for microsites because their can promote trending products. Pictures can be swapped out frequently. And the site can take on new themes every few days making it that much more social and sharable.

Some wonder if the trend toward businesses utilizing online galleries is a good thing. But that is the wrong question. It is a thing that is happening right now. The better question is how better to use them to enhance your social, marketing, and microsite efforts.

About Mohit Tater

Mohit is the co-founder and editor of Entrepreneurship Life, a place where entrepreneurs, start-ups, and business owners can find wide ranging information, advice, resources, and tools for starting, running, and growing their businesses.

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