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How to make your social media photos stand out from the crowd when selling products

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By Laura Santillana, Lead Creative at Bottle, a Digital PR agency based in Oxfordshire 

It’s impossible to scroll through social media these days without being shown images advertising brands or products. In order for brands tosell onsocial media, their visual content in the feed needs to create two important things -differentiation and brand recognition. Here’s five tips on how to capture social content that sells:

Scroll-stopping differentiation

Research some examples of what other brands in the same category are doing, cluster them together, and when you add your picture in, make sure it visually stands out from the rest. This creates a moment of the unexpected which is not only memorable for the viewer, but also stops them scrolling for long enough to be interested in what is being sold.

Tell a story

Surprise and delight the audience by creating a visual narrative.Even in the simplest images, it’s important to think about what story is being told visually. It’s possible to control the narrative through composition, with different elements in the foreground and background leading the eye around the shot. It can also be done by capturing movement. Think about everything in the photo, and how the viewer will see this. If you’re using a recognised influencer to help advertise your product, ensure they can be clearly seen through the image, and they fit into the environment of the photo, and what it’s trying to say.

Dynamic shots

An easy way to help convey a narrative in an image is through dynamic shots. Capturing images with movement freezes a moment of time and forces the viewer to think about what could be happening before and after the picture was taken. A couple practical ways to do this include showing products being used or asking models to move around rather than sitting stationary. In photography, bright, natural lighting and a fast shutter speed are going to help make this possible. Make sure the product is the main event in the photo, so the audience don’t have to question what’s being sold.

Brand codes

Brand codes are the branding elements that create brand recognition even before a logo is yet to appear. These elements change from brand to brand but can be a wide range of devices including colour, typography, graphics, shapes, characters, textures or patterns. Don’t get carried away though, it’s important to decide on one or two elements and work them into imagery in different and interesting ways. The more the viewer sees your brand codes in their feed, the more they’ll recognise and trust your brand now and in the future.

Keep it simple

Finally, be confident enough in your brand to capture simple and bold imagery. Make sure that the product or service you want to sell is on top in terms of visual hierarchy and take away any other element that doesn’t add to the story you want to tell. Practically, you can try using a shallow depth of field in photography to keep visual focus on your main subject while blurring non-essential details in the foreground or background. With users now having such short attention spans in the over-saturated world of social media, an uncomplicated visual gives a viewer space to rest visually. Leaving the audience wanting more is a good thing in this case, and gives them a reason to leave their feed and go explore more of your brand.

With many social media platforms being so visual, it’s important to carefully consider how every image you post is going to push through the crowdand you need be sure on what it is saying about your brand. Through scroll-stopping differentiation, storytelling through dynamic shots, implementing brand codes and keeping it simple, you’re well on your way to capturing content that creates sales.