Category Marketing

Timeless Visuals: 3 Strategies for Lasting Impact

Firefighter Mowing Grass
Everyday Heroes © Brian Fitzgerald

Evergreen visual content consists of images, videos, and graphics that remain relevant and engaging for years. Unlike content tied to trends or current events, evergreen visuals focus on timeless themes, making them a valuable, long-lasting asset for your brand. Here are three tips that can help with your content plan, along with examples.

Focus on universal themes and emotions
Create visual content that speaks to your audience’s core emotions and experiences. Rather than designing an infographic about a fleeting social media challenge, create one highlighting the importance of work-life balance.

Scenario: A health and wellness brand creates a visually striking video series that explores mindfulness techniques and stress reduction, instead of focusing on a short-lived fitness fad. This series will continue to resonate with audiences, helping the brand maintain a long-lasting connection with its followers.

Female child with doctor
Your Turn! @Brian Fitzgerald

Invest in high-quality visuals
Great visuals stand the test of time, reflecting your brand’s commitment to excellence. For example, a property management company can showcase the lifestyle of their properties through professional images that highlight key features and capture the experience of actually living in their spaces. These captivating images will continue to impress potential clients and show the company to be one who cares about making the lives of residents better.

Scenario: A tech company produces a well-designed, informative infographic that simplifies complex data and conveys the benefits of their software solutions. This kind of useful visual piece will continue to educate and engage audiences, even as the industry evolves.

Optimize visual content for searchability
Ensure your evergreen visuals remain discoverable by incorporating SEO best practices. When uploading images to your blog, use descriptive filenames and alt text that accurately represent the content. Additionally, make use of structured data to help search engines better understand and display your visuals in search results.

Scenario: A travel agency creates an extensive collection of stunning destination photos, each with a relevant keyword-rich filename and alt text. As a result, the agency’s website gains increased visibility in search results, drawing in potential clients and showcasing the company’s expertise in the travel industry.

New England Beach Path
Ferry Beach, Maine © Brian Fitzgerald

By focusing in these three areas, you can create evergreen visual content that captivates, strengthens your brand’s presence, and endures over time.

Interested in creating evergreen visual content that will have a lasting impact? Let us know!

Hiring a Drone Photographer? Consider This First

Casco Bay Tugboat
The tug Peggy Winslow passes Spring Point Ledge Light near Southern Maine Community College. © Brian Fitzgerald

In the ever-changing world of drone photography, regulations and requirements are constantly updated. The FAA’s remote ID rule, set to take effect in September 2023, mandates that most drones in US airspace possess remote identification capabilities for safety and compliance. Drone pilots can meet these requirements by operating a drone with built-in broadcast capability, using an add-on remote ID broadcast module, or flying non-compliant aircraft exclusively at FAA-recognized identification areas (FRIAs)

As drone operators adapt to these changes, it’s crucial to ensure your chosen drone pilot can legally operate commercial flights. But that’s just the beginning. Here are five essential points to consider when hiring a drone photographer:

FAA Part 107 Certification: Ensure the drone pilot holds a current FAA Part 107 Certification, proving their knowledge of airspace regulations and safety procedures.
Insurance Coverage: Accidents happen. Make sure the photographer is insured to protect both parties.
Experience and Portfolio: Assess the photographer’s experience in your project type and review their portfolio to evaluate their style and proficiency.
Equipment and Capabilities: Inquire about the drone, camera, and stabilization systems used to determine their ability to deliver the desired quality.
Safety and Compliance Procedures: A responsible photographer will obtain necessary waivers, follow local regulations, and prioritize safe operation, including having a safety plan and visual observers when needed.

Address these five points to minimize risks and find a drone photographer who expertly navigates both the skies and the rules that govern them.

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Looking to incorporate aerial video or stills into your content marketing? We’d love to help!

Capturing Spontaneity: Photographing First Lady Jill Biden’s Visit

 

Jill Biden
© Brian Fitzgerald

 

As a longtime newspaper photojournalist, I’ve covered my fair share of visiting dignitaries, from President George Bush (’44) to U.S. Senators and others. But, as I learned the hard way on assignment for the Arizona State University school paper, the State Press, showing up late means the Secret Service won’t let you in, even if you ask really nicely.

So, when I was recently assigned to cover First Lady Jill Biden’s brief visit to Southern Maine Community College for the Maine Community College System, I made sure to arrive early. These events are highly scripted, with an advance team marking out where the media will stand, cordoned off well away from the First Lady. Each photo opportunity has been planned, with impactful visuals virtually guaranteed — as long as you show up on time — from the positions of the people to the carefully-placed American flags.

But, just because the stage is set doesn’t mean there isn’t room for spontaneity. As a photographer, my job was to capture the story and mood of the event, even within the constraints in place. I positioned myself strategically, changed compositions, and varied my lens choice to anticipate and capture those unscripted moments.

The result was a set of images that told a genuine story, full of spontaneous moments that spoke to the human emotions and connections present at the event. As a former newspaper photographer, I’m grateful for the laboratory that experience provided me that still allows me to capture moments even in highly-controlled settings.

© Brian Fitzgerald
© Brian Fitzgerald
© Brian Fitzgerald
© Brian Fitzgerald

 

Master your Content Calendar in 5 Steps

 

 

Welder outdoors
©Brian Fitzgerald

Ready to level up your content game?  Craft a killer content calendar to keep your audience hooked.  Streamline content creation, ensure a steady flow of engaging material, and support your brand’s marketing objectives with these five steps.

  1. Set Goals, Win Big: Nail down your content goals from the get-go. Targeting brand awareness, social media engagement, or website traffic? Your objectives guide your content, and professional photography and videos will make it pop.
  2. Themes and Topics, Front and Center: Jot down themes and topics that resonate with your audience. Align them with your brand, industry, and target interests (yes, we can help with that!). A bit of preparation guarantees a stream of impactful photo and video projects.
  3. Variety is Key.  Mix it up:  Combine evergreen, timely, and promotional content. Showcase your brand’s different facets and keep your audience coming back for more.
  4. Schedule Like a Pro: Map out your content release schedule. Consider the best days, times, and platforms for each post.  Advance planning means you have time for targeted photography and video shoots, ensuring high-quality visual assets to accompany your content. Three planning tools we’ve used here at Fitzgerald Photo—good for individuals and for teams—include Trello, Asana and Google Workspace (formerly G Suite).
  5. Adapt and Thrive: There’s no ‘set it and forget it’.  Review and update your editorial calendar regularly.  Analyze past content, tweak your approach, and plan for new projects. A dynamic calendar helps you stay aligned with your marketing goals while generating demand for the things you do and the ‘stuff’ you sell.

Follow these five steps to create an unbeatable content calendar. Your audience will be captivated, and your well-crafted and thought-out visuals will get the attention your brand deserves.

 

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Show off your brand personality

 

Port Property
How can brands show off their unique personalities?  One way is by showcasing the people who together make the company special. Over the past few years, I’ve been working with Port Property and the creative team at Longfellow Communications to capture personality portraits of their employees.

As an operator of rental and commercial properties in Maine and North Carolina, Port Property’s staff interacts with their clients on a daily basis. They are, essentially, the company brand. When Port Property decided to rebrand a few years ago, they opted for two styles of staff portraits: one, a more traditional headshot portrait and the other that aimed to capture the personality of each person in a unique way. They asked each person to bring some physical item signifiying their answer to the question, “Home is…..”.  Everyone on the team—accountants, property managers and the maintenance crew—took part.

The result is far from the typical corporate portrait. Instead, it reveals real people, with real lives, and gives the company a dynamic and fun vibe.

I had a lot of fun doing this ongoing project and think it’s a simple but impactful way to impart a human touch to a company brand.

Port Property
© Brian Fitzgerald

 

© Brian Fitzgerald

 

© Brian Fitzgerald

 

Visual trends of 2023: Reality and virtual reality

Linda Holtslander
©Brian Fitzgerald

It seems like 2023 has just started, and already visual arts world is evolving at a blistering pace. Whether through impactful imagery or storytelling video, content marketers have to work hard to stay ahead of the curve.

At a time of low institutional trust and with the rise of ai tools, authenticity is critical when it comes to visual content. According to a report from Adweek, audiences now crave genuine and relatable imagery that reflects real-life experiences rather than highly curated and polished content.  Photographer Annie Leibovitz famously said, “A thing that you see in my pictures is that I was not afraid to fall in love with these people.” This quote epitomizes the importance of capturing raw emotions and connections in today’s visual content.  

Another significant trend is the growing demand for immersive experiences. In a recent article from Forbes, virtual and augmented reality technologies are increasingly being used to create visually engaging content. Content marketers should focus on incorporating these cutting-edge technologies into their visual strategy to stay ahead of the curve and provide memorable and immersive experiences for their audiences.

Sustainability is also trending with the visual arts, with both photographers and videographers incorporating eco-friendly practices into their work. This trend reflects a growing global awareness of environmental issues and the desire to create visual content that respects the planet. Content marketers can leverage this trend by showcasing brands’ sustainable efforts through visually compelling narratives and engaging storytelling techniques.

Lastly, the trend of minimalism and simplicity, also referred to as ‘antibranding‘ is growing.   As consumers are bombarded with content daily, the power of striking, minimalistic visuals has become even more apparent. By focusing on clear, concise messaging with strong visuals, content marketers can make a lasting impression on their target audience.

Content marketers should keep a close eye on these visual trends of 2023 to ensure their photography and video content remains relevant and appealing. By embracing authenticity, leveraging immersive technologies, promoting sustainability, and capitalizing on minimalism, they will be better positioned to capture their audience’s attention and drive meaningful engagement.

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Get Real: It’s about people, not brands

Industrial Recycling Worker

The biggest trend in 2022 seems to be the embrace of artificial intelligence (A.I.) tools like ChatGPT, Jasper and MidJourney by content marketers. In an age of deepfake videos and faked resumes, trust is the only thing in short supply.

That’s why authenticity matters more than ever when it comes to social media and content marketing. Winning brands take a people-first approach and who create meaningful connections with their customers and audiences.

What does authenticity mean? It means creating content that reflects your values and tells a story about your brand that resonates, cultivates relationships and fosters loyalty. It means creating visual content that features your real customers, team or audience, rather than opting for stock imagery. After all, people follow people, not brands. Authenticity entails communicating your brand values and cultivating your brand’s unique voice.  It also may include user-generated content and collaboration with influencers who can help you tell your story in authentic ways. Here are a few ways brands might choose to be more authentic and transparent:

  • Lift the curtain: Show what it looks like behind the brand: your process, your culture, your successes and, sometimes, your misses.
  • Tell stories about real people and the impact they and you have had on the world.
  • Use short-form video to cut through the noise and provide answers to customer questions, provide useful information or to educate and inform.
  • Leverage user generated content (but only if allowed, and always give credit).

In a time when people are extremely wary of marketing that is ‘business as usual’, the trend is towards authenticity, engagement and connection. If you want to create impactful, authentic content that will connect with your clients, we’d love to help.

Image libraries keep social media content flowing

 

Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center.  © Brian Fitzgerald

If you’re a marketer and have responsibility for your brand’s image, having enough good content can be an issue.

It’s not just the amount of content, but the variety:  blogs, articles, white papers, graphics, images, video.   Coming up with consistent, on-point social content is a huge lift and often a thankless task.

You might put out slick, professionally-produced content.  Or, you might be utilizing smartphone images and video produced on the fly by your team and/or your clients and users.    

Both types of custom content can have a place in your social media strategy.  

I’m often asked to create image and video libraries for companies who need a large amount of content with a consistent look and message.   Supplemented often by content produced by their own marketing team, the result is an ongoing stream of sharable content.  Voila—Instant Content Superheroes.   

With a little planning,  these targeted shoots can be efficient, cost-effective and done in a very strategic way to capitalize on different seasons of the year or business cycle.  

Having a balance of polished, high-value content as well as social media-focused content will keep your audience engaged and will help you be successful at actually maininting the consistency needed to grow your audience.

Have questions about how to make this happen for you and your business? We build custom plans for our client partners and would be glad to discuss whether we’d be a good fit for yours.

 

Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center

 

Let your backgrounds tell the story

Portland, Maine Bartender
Andrew Volk, co-owner of Portland, Maine’s Hunt & Alpine Club © Brian Fitzgerald

 

When it comes to portraits: choosing the proper background environment is as important (and sometimes, more so) than the subject themselves.

Your backgrounds give clues, both subtle and overt, and add contextual information that gives portraits mood and depth. They help to tell a more complete story about your subject. In short, a well-executed background can do some heavy lifting when it comes to conveying information and emotion.

Think about your background environments as deeply as you do your primary subjects. Give that background your attention—with purposeful lighting, frame composition and styling—and let it do the hard work of storytelling for you.

Taking it to the next level with commercial drones

Commercial Drone View
Kennebec Valley Community College

Fitzgerald Photo is an FAA-certified commercial drone operator

According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), there are almost 900,000 unmanned aerial vehicles, drones, registered in the United States. For reference, in 2018—just four years ago—there were 110,000 drones registered domestically. Globally the total drone market is expected to grow from $8.15 billion to $47.38 billion by 2029, as reported by Fortune Business Insights.

Businesses small and large are taking increasing advantage of drones, for real estate, construction, inspection and other purposes.

Starting in 2021, Fitzgerald Photo added full aerial capability for both stills and video coverage. We’re FAA-licensedand fully insured for any commercial projects. The ability to have mobile, aerial cameras has been a game-changer for many of our clients, who can now get professional-level imagery of their locations and operations from a unique perspective. Having views that show scale and context easily also makes it easier to tell the stories we create with stills and motion.

Drones can operate year-round, though their use is affected by weather conditions. In New England spring and summer is a great time of year to create timeless, evergreen aerial imagery for your company or brand.

Contact us for more information about how commercial drones can benefit your brand.

 

© Brian Fitzgerald