Pet Product Photography That Excites: 5 Secrets Marketers Need to Know
You have an amazing pet brand or product that you believe in, but any brand that scales can’t physically have someone in the room every time someone encounters your product… how do you stand out and grab attention? There’s a reason they say a picture is worth 1,000 words…
Here are five key pieces of the marketing and messaging puzzle to keep in mind when you’re planning your next commercial photo shoot.
1. LIFESTYLE PHOTOS SELL THE DREAM
No one buys a product because it looks good on white. Don’t get me wrong, those shots are important so customers know exactly what they are buying but those shots are not what excites and engages them. It’s not what gets them to the product page or what makes them hit the BUY NOW button.
Lifestyle photos should be like real life but better; aspirational but not too far out of reach. Think about if your brand’s photography represented your customers’ dreams first and your product second. How might that look? What kind of engagement and following would you gain?
2. KNOW YOUR CUSTOMERS
The first key to successful marketing is knowing your customers so you can speak loud and clear to them. Who are they? What do they love to do? What excites them? Where are their favorite places to go? How do they travel? What do they aspire to be or do? Good. Now let’s take those things and build a campaign that will show them with one glance how your product or service will enrich their lives with their pets.
Easier said than done, I know, but brainstorm. Put ideas down on paper or post-it notes. Think about them, rearrange them, and loop your photographer in along with your creative team during the planning process. One small thought can turn into an amazing campaign with the right team behind it.
3. DOG BREED SELECTION
The dogs you select to be in your photos can say a lot about your brand. Are you willing to take a stand with typically-controversial breeds or are you going to stick to the breeds less steeped in drama? There’s no right or wrong answer. Pittie fans will love you forever if you use one in a campaign but some people will get turned off by it.
Then there’s rescue dogs, mixed breeds, and purebreds. Using only purebreds could alienate people who are all about adopt-don’t-shop but using only mixed breeds could make purebred pet parents feel left out. Think carefully about what your brand represents and the types of dogs you want to feature in your marketing.
4. UNSCRIPTED MOMENTS ARE GOLD
I’m a huge fan of putting my subjects in the right place at the right time, asking for a simple behavior like “hook the leash on the collar” and then seeing what happens. Mom and dog will often have a special look or moment of excitement. Or perhaps I’ll make a funny sound to elicit a look and then pure magic happens.
You see, natural reactions are what sell.
And don’t think you have to be super-serious about your image selections, either. The goofy shots with funny faces, little tongue bleps, mlems, and all that lingo (what does it all mean?) do amazingly well on social media. They’re what get engagement, laughs, tags, shares, and what are wildly memorable.
It’s not just the silly photos that sell, though. The natural moments that will represent your brand the best are the ones that make viewers truly feel something deep inside when they look at your imagery.
5. IT’S ALL IN THE DETAILS
The little details are so, so important in everything we do, so why would photos be any different? Whether we’re talking about a closeup detail shot of the brand new clasp on your collars, dad’s hand giving his dog a good scritch, or even the location and lighting, the details matter. They can create truly memorable images of moments that will connect deeply with your audience.
Don’t be afraid to ask your photographer for some close-ups along with the more pulled-back shots they’ll already be capturing for you. Detail photos are fantastic for callout bubbles on ads, website graphics, and social media. They can show the texture of fabric, an updated hook on a leash, special stitching, or how easy it is to open your treat toy.
On your next brand photo shoot, try not to get too stuck in the mundane and with what you think is expected. Get creative, think about new ideas, locations, and all the little things that could be captured in a way that’s different from what your competitors are doing.