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By Clare Goggin Sivits On July 4, 2022

How to: Use High-Quality Photography to Elevate Your Brand

Consumers want to see what your distillery has to offer. Literally. Visuals and images catch an eye a lot more frequently than simple copy on their own. In fact, studies have shown that when a photo accompanies a message, readers remember 65 percent of the information (compared to just 10 percent with text only). It’s a good reason to hire talented photographers to capture your products.

A bartender holds a lemon peel garnish above a martini glass as she prepares a cocktail at the bar with a bottle of craft spirits sitting next to it.

When you show potential customers your spirits with high-quality photography, you’re far more likely to convince them to buy. They may not be able to taste a photo but a beautiful photo provides visual evidence of the quality of the product. It lures them in. That’s why it’s wise to find ways to incorporate original and high-quality images into every level of your overall spirits marketing. Excellent brand photography also builds trust. Set down that iPad you’ve been taking photos with, and reach more customers with high-quality photography.

Social Media Marketing

Images have become integral to social media marketing. Anyone spending time scrolling through their feed on Instagram will stop to take a closer look at a unique and executed photo. Attracting attention on social media will drive more traffic to your brand.

A bottle of craft spirits stands on a gray bar top next to a cocktail in a martini glass held by someone standing next to it.

When it comes to photography developed for social media purposes, it’s important to stand out. Finding fresh ways to display what makes your distillery and your spirits one-of-a-kind will help communicate that message to a new audience. This could mean that a photo features your spirits alongside the unique ingredients used. Or perhaps a photo is shot from a unique angle to showcase the spirit.

However you decide to present your products or brand in a photo, definitely incorporate those photos into regular social media posts. Accompany the photos with captions that can further explain what a viewer is looking at and offer a call-to-action. You might invite a user to click on a link for more information or visit your online store.

Website Design

When a potential customer arrives at your homepage, you want them to immediately recognize the quality of your spirits. The best way to do that is to showcase high-quality photos of your spirits and distillery as soon as the page loads.

As a visitor digs further into your website, they should find more images displaying products and details of your tasting room or location. Every new blog post published on the site should include a photo that complements the story. Product pages require visual evidence of your whiskeys, gins, vodkas, or other spirits. And introduce your audience to the people behind the spirits, including your distillers, using photos and brief bios.

When adding photos to a website, you’ll need to carefully consider pixels and file sizes to ensure the pages still load quickly. Many times visitors will quickly exit a website if the images do not load immediately. Work with the website manager to confirm that the images in use fit the requirements of your site.

Public Relations and Press Releases

When it comes to pitching a story to a journalist, a high-quality photo can make all the difference, and publications will often ask for photos from the brand. Even just including more than one photo option in a press release could increase your chances of getting pick up. Publications, such as Saveur, prefer to publish content that can feature photos as high-quality as their content.

Four people sit around a table and hold out cocktails in a toast.

Articles — both in print and online — require visuals to accompany a writer’s words. Print publications especially need high-quality photos that will translate well to a page. Even if an article only appears online, it will still need an eye-catching banner image. A press release or story pitch that can provide that benefits from that additional edge.

Online Store and Online Retailers

More than likely, your online store has become an extension of your website — especially over the last two years. And it may be one of the most important places to use photography. If you consider that a person visiting your online store may never have tried — or had the chance to try — your spirits, a photo could be the best way to convince them to invest in a bottle.

Outside of your own online store, any online retailers carrying your spirits will need updated photos for the same reason. Provide those images to your retailers either directly or through distributors. One effective way to do this is to create a portal that gives both distributors and retailers direct access to those high-quality photos. This could be simply a Dropbox or Google Drive file.

Advertising

If you’re paying for a placement online, in print, or elsewhere, you want to make that ad as effective as possible. A high-quality photo goes a long way in achieving that goal.

As with earned media in print, a high-quality photo will be needed for a print ad that might appear in a publication such as Imbibe or Chilled. It’s important to work with a publication to ensure that the photo will appear flawlessly on a page and look as though it fits in with the rest of the content.

Two people laugh while cocktails from cocktail glasses as a bottle of craft spirits is visible in the forefront.

When it comes to ads online, either via social media or display ads elsewhere, images are still an important element. In order to draw clicks, an ad needs to first invite attention from visitors. An appealing image will go a long way to engaging new consumers.

On-Premise Marketing

Not only do you want to provide attractive posters, flyers, and other on-premise assets to retailers but the same items could be effective in your tasting room. Images on table toppers, and other materials used in bars help spread awareness of your brand and spirits. Meanwhile, in your own tasting room, images printed on menus or flyers should provide a captivating perspective of your spirits and products.

There are many ways to utilize high-quality photography to elevate your brand. Above all, professional and thoughtful photography builds trust in your brand.

Clare Goggin Sivits

As a marketer with a strong writing background, Clare Goggin Sivits has worked in the beer, spirits, and wine industries for nearly a decade. She oversaw digital marketing for a small wine startup as well as a craft brewery and distillery with a nationwide footprint. A Florida ex-pat, Clare now lives in Portland, Oregon, and continues to write about craft beverage marketing and the industry as a whole.

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