While we’d all love to spend a week in a sunny, faraway locale, for most professionals, spring break is a thing of the past. However, there’s one person on your marketing team you may actually need to send on an exotic vacation: Your photographer.

Selling a lifestyle

For upscale retailers, high-end product photography has become ubiquitous — and with good reason: A whopping 67% of consumers say that the quality of a product image is very important in selecting and purchasing a product.

As statistics and sales continue to point to the value of high-quality visuals, many organizations continue to spend marketing dollars on staging elaborate shoots for their products, complete with elaborate sets, models, and jaw-dropping scenery. This is becoming especially necessary for brands that don’t simply want to sell a product, but an entire lifestyle.

Is it for everyone?

While incorporating lifestyle photography may be an obvious strategy for the Anthropologies, Patagonias, and Nordstroms of the retail world, this level of investment may seem a bit too superfluous for other retailers. And if you’re selling low-cost commodity products, especially in the B2B sector, you may have a point; there’s no upside to enhancing your photography scope or budget for customers who are purchasing no-frills necessities based on cost or quantity.

However, for many other businesses — particularly those B2C companies that rely heavily on catalogs, eCommerce, and social media — pushing marketing photography into the lifestyle realm holds tangible value.

Here are five reasons for adding lifestyle photography to your marketing mix:

  1. It’s memorable. While just 10% of information that is heard gets retained, if a relevant image is paired with the text, 65% of the information can be recalled three days later. And if your customers remember you, they’ll shop with you, too.
  2. It’s multi-functional. Photography enhances every facet of your business, and just one carefully executed photo shoot can feed your entire marketing mix for a season. Share the beautiful, relevant images from your catalog across your website, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter as well, and you’ll see a huge response from your followers in the form of sharing, liking, and purchasing.
  3. It’s relatable. Lifestyle photography adds a human element that simple product pictures can’t recreate. According to research by Google, 64% of women say that seeing product images in context, like a model wearing jeans, positively influences their mobile purchasing decisions. By demonstrating a product in an appealing setting, a customer can imagine herself looking, feeling, and doing something similar.
  4. It’s adaptable. Think outside the box when it comes to your photo shoots, which can be much more than just stationary product shots: Take videos and provide “behind the scenes” information about your models or photo crew. Personal touches like this not only get you more bang for your marketing buck, but they’ll also provide a new avenue for your customers to connect with your brand.
  5. It’s scalable. You can incorporate as much or as little lifestyle photography as your marketing team and your budget see fit. Reduce expenses by mixing product and lifestyle in the right places, reserving the more elaborate pieces for eye-catching spaces like catalog covers.

Photography is one of the greatest ways to support your brand or promote a seasonal theme, so make sure you’re using it to the best of your advantage. Whether that means sending your photographer around the world or into your own back yard, consider putting in the extra effort to bring your products to life. Your customers and your sales team will thank you!