All together now: “Content is goooooood. Visual content is gooooooder.” Great got it.
Lots of content is essential for B2B marketing efforts (we kind of all knew that even before it was cool to know that, didn’t we?). And I’m willing to concede that in a post-literate world full of distracted Gen Y’s, we need to resort to pictures to get our point across.
But guess what? All pictures are not good. Some pictures are really, really not good. And in the B2B space, you need to think before you post images on your website, blog, Facebook page, Pinterest boards and Google+ spots. If you have any of these things on any of those places, now is a really good time to do the right thing and get rid of them:
1. Your building
Please don’t make us look at a photo of your building. Almost anyone can rent a unit in a suburban industrial park. You aren’t that special. If you run a home-based business, this applies to you too.
Obvious Exception: You are a construction company and you built that building.
Why would anyone who is buying industrial carpets or server racks want to look at a bad photo of your kid? They’re not as cute as you think they are (sorry, but that’s universally true) and they aren’t helping you sell anything, so their mere presence in your content could be undermining your ability to send them to college, which means they will continue to hang about your company getting in the way and still not selling anything.
Obvious exceptions: Your CEO is a child. You sell things having to do with children.
Exception to the exceptions: If you must have a child in your content, hire a child model, at least they remember to wipe their noses.
3. Your Staff:
Maybe you do have cute kids, but it’s a safe bet your accounting team is pretty scary, as are the guys in the warehouse and that analyst who grows wheat on his windowsill. Heck, most of their co-workers don’t want to see them so why would your customers and prospects want to see them? Meet our team! No thank you.
Obvious exceptions: Can’t think of any.
4. Your mission statement:
We’ve been over this, people. The mission statement is for your inside voice. Besides, it probably isn’t very good (most aren’t) so let’s not take aim at our other foot by putting it up in public. Or worse still, making it ugly and then putting it up in public.
Obvious Exceptions: There aren’t any. Just don’t do it.
5. Any headshot taken with a webcam or a mobile phone or by your mother:
There’s a reason photographers charge money for executive head shots. The reason is that it actually takes a bit of skill to get it right. If you simply must put photos of people on your site (see number 3 above) then fork over some money for something decent.
6. Dogs and Cats:
In what possible universe is having an animal image going to help you? It does not make you seem friendlier; it does not make you seem like a cool company; it doesn’t even make people feel good. All it does is tell your customers that you would rather screw around with photos of your pet than offer meaningful information about, say, your products!
Obvious Exceptions: You sell pet or animal things, but even then, use a stock photo or pay for a professional to take product shots.
7. Any Awards Ceremony:
You’ve won an award? How lovely! Congratulations. You should absolutely let the whole world know. Awards are great for credibility, awareness and all that good stuff. But for the love of God, don’t make us look at your employee shaking hands in a dimly lit banquet hall with someone else while holding up a plaque nobody can read and smiling awkwardly. Please. Please. Please.
Obvious Exceptions: Nobel Prize ceremonies and (maybe) and Oscar.
8. Your Lousy Holiday Greeting:
I believe I’ve made my position clear on the subject of terrible holiday greetings. But as perplexing as it is to me why anyone would create rubbish holiday greetings for people from whom they hope to extract more money, it is even stranger that they would post them on their blog or You Tube for everyone to see.
9. Your Staff Party:
I can’t believe I need to ask this, but here goes: how is a shot of your logistics manager doing a keg stand going to help you build credibility and sell stuff? No staff party pictures. Ever. Period. Even if there’s cake.
Obvious Exceptions: None.