To start: There is no replacement for professional photography. Proper equipment, lighting, and makeup or food styling (when needed) can help produce content with clear intent and finely-tuned messaging in mind. That doesn’t stop millions of users, businesses and “influencers” from pulling out their phones to document what’s happening in front of them, every single day.
Our phones now come equipped with professional-grade lenses and software for photo and video editing, all beautifully presented in gorgeous commercials, shot on the very product they’re trying to sell us.
Notice the disclaimers of, “Additional hardware and software used.” It was also likely produced by professionals with a budget larger than most businesses’ yearly marketing spend in locales inaccessible to most of us. But, points were made — we now wield the portable tools that have the capability to produce professional-grade content if we know how to use them wisely.
In order to make the most out of your phone for photo and video, start with understanding the capabilities (and limitations) of your device. For instance, if you want to shoot video of a snorkeling expedition, make sure your phone is waterproof. That may be the Phone-Content-for-Dummies way of illustrating a point, but knowing how your phone will perform in low-light situations and extreme temperatures — and planning appropriately for these inevitables — can mean the difference between capturing great content and leaving with one fewer, expensive device than you had before.
The iPhone 11 Pro is Apple’s first device to feature a Night Mode that allows it to operate in low-light settings, similar to Google’s Pixel 3 Night Sight. To pose another hypothetical, let’s say you run a haunted house and Halloween is right around the corner. Posting photos of your haunted house in broad daylight to social media is antithetical to the business you are marketing. On the other end of the electromagnetic spectrum, overly dark photos that make it difficult to discern any detail of the terrors and monsters that await your visitors won’t do justice to all of that hard work.
With such power available at our fingertips, grainy or pixelated marketing materials are no longer an option. Our phones are just as advanced as most digital cameras and offer access to a marketplace of applications which allow highly stylized editing and direct publishing to social media.
In order to make content that stands out and maximizes the utilization of our pocket-sized marketing machines, follow these steps:
- Understand the capabilities and limitations of your device.
- Define the intent of your messaging.
- Capture content that relays that message.
- Develop a unique visual style, either in the way you format your photography or with a distinct visual filter(s) on all of your content.
- Explore applications that can help streamline this process.
- Be consistent.
Nothing derails effective marketing more than inconsistent intent. If you want to create engaging content that’s worth all of the effort, follow these steps and stick to a regiment that works for you and rewards your followers.