The marketing world has most certainly changed more in the past few years than it did in the previous few decades – with multiple components to consider in modern marketing, covering all types of media, what do you consider the most important factors when it comes to creating a marketing strategy?

At Care Studio, we’d put original photography down as one of the top critical considerations and that’s what we’re focusing on here.

There is a time and a place for stock imagery, which if you’ve done even the smallest amount of marketing in your time, you’ll be familiar with.  Stock imagery for care businesses becomes problematic though, when there is an over-reliance on it as the main source of pictures for a business.  The reasons for this are many, but here are the big three:

  1. There are not enough photographs to go around – There is a very limited pool of stock photos for care homes and we see the same actors appear time and time again.  It may not matter to many people as it saves money, it means not having to bother getting consent forms signed and it means that the quality f the photos is pretty much guaranteed to be of a certain standard.  But imagine your competitor down the road has used the same image.  Not only does it now lose its appeal, but when that competitor receives a poor CQC rating, what does that do for your standing?  A lot of the buying public don’t know about stock libraries and so could easily be forgiven for thinking that your company is linked to your poor-performing competitor.
  2. There are even fewer actors to go around – We have a top ten in the office of stock photography actors who appear the most photographs!  Sometimes they will be a resident, sometimes they will be a patient in a hospital, playing tennis, or even a member of staff.  This is one we see a lot – sometimes even on the same website of a care home.  It goes without saying why this is not a good look for your care home.
  3. The Actors and situations are rarely believable – Actors hired for stock photography often follow a certain formula.  They will likely be pristinely turned out, have excessively whitened teeth and perfectly tanned skin – in short, not like the average care home resident in the UK who, like our population, come in all sorts of shapes, sizes, colours and the rest..  It is good practice in any business but particularly when your brand is involved with people and their dearest loved ones, that you show the reality of life.  Showing the differences between people and how people live connects people to your brand.  When they see themselves or a loved one who looks like them or their loved one, they will immediately feel connected.  When they see a stock image of a perfected view of a person, they won’t – it’s simple. Look at the strides the beauty industry has made in recent years on this front.  It was only very recently that the fashion world’s portrayal – particularly of women –  was one dimensional to say the least.

Reasons To Invest In Authentic, Original Photography For Your Care Home

Whether it is of residents and their families, staff, or events and activities at your care home, taking the time and investing properly in a portfolio of images will reap its own rewards in the long term.  Yes there will be issues.  People pass away and staff and managers will leave – not always in the ideal fashion – and so you need to be ready to deal with these situations. We would recommend one photoshoot a year to showcase what is happening in your care home right now. On average, a shoot costs around 0.04% of annual revenue.  It helps to encourage enquiries, showcase your home’s unique personality and ultimately, fill empty beds.

Key Benefits To Using Original Photography For Your Care Home

  • Showing real staff humanises your brand and lets you inject your own character and personality
  • It offers real, authentic insight into your business and makes your brand more trustworthy
  • Original photography is much more eye-catching than stock imagery
  • Original photography offers incredibly good value for money when you compare marketing results with stock imagery
  • Photography has the power to carry your online content forward and make your campaigns recognisable.

There’s a time and a place for stock imagery – it’s ideal if you need to get up and running quickly but only as ‘placeholder’ content. If you have a new-build care home business, for example, that doesn’t yet lend itself to be the subject of an expensive photo shoot.  Using stock imagery on a long-term basis, however, will have a negative impact on your marketing.

Is A Photoshoot The Right Thing For Your Business?
If your website and other marketing collateral is littered with stock imagery then quite simply, the answer is yes. If your business doesn’t stand out from your competitors, if your personality doesn’t shine through and if you’re not getting the kind of enquiries you would like and need, professional photography can most certainly make a difference.