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Authentic photography | A must-have for digital marketing

Authentic photography | A must-have for digital marketing

With Video and dynamic content production being super hot, is photgraphy dead for marketing in China ? In 2020, 53% of the advertisers will focus on self-produced videos and micro-films. So, why genuine and qualitative photography is still a must-have ?

We will explain in this article why investing in photography is a smart choice and will help your digital marketing in China:

  • E-commerce, where photography is key to display your product in a positive manner.
  • Social Media, where platforms like WeChat or Sina Weibo still rely heavily on static visual assets on a daily basis.
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO), where searching images is a common behavior to find inspiration.

Furthermore, we will show how photography impacts the branding and the perception of brands in China.

Photography : a few tips to improve your E-Commerce performances

On e-commerce, user do not have time to load and watch dozens of video to review different products. See here how good pictures will make the difference between a sale or a fail.

Keep the main picture of your product simple with a white background and focus on the main element of differentiation.

E-commerce photography - Simple white background

On Tmall or Tabao, visitors are searching and browsing through images of hundreds of products; before selecting the one to review in detail. As such, the main picture of your product will have a strong impact on the customer decision to click; and discover more about your product. 

Case Study : DJI

Add multiples angles and details of your product

Photography ecommerce - Multiple angles

On your product page of your TMall or JD.com, include pictures of details as well as different angles. Keep in mind to maintain a good picture quality so people can easily zoom in.

You can also add pictures of details so visitors can experience your product as in retail.

Case Study : Kailas

Stage your product in action and show its benefits

E-commerce photography - Product in action

Understanding how the product works and its benefits is a key expectations for Chinese digital buyers. At this stage, a video can add a lot of value and help the Chinese visitors with their decision. However a photography can easily illustrate how the product can be used; and its key benefits for example with a before/after picture set. 

Case Study : Dyson

Review the format and specificities of each e-commerce platforms

E-commerce photography - review platforms TMall Taobao

In China, e-commerce platforms are numerous and evolving very fast. New ones can be launched and become popular in a few month. As such, having a qualitative and genuine photographic library is an asset to adapt quickly to the changing Chinese market.

Before launching your product on a new platform, review the format recommended for each picture. You must also understand the options that are available - like 360° pictures for example.

Case Study : OnRunning - Tmall

Keep consistency across all your products

E-commerce visual consistency

Case Study : Microsoft

In China, with coupons, loyalty programs and strong client servicing, vendors are showing great effort to drive multiple visits and repurchasing from their customers.

Having a strong visual consistency on your shop will help to drive more purchase acts from new and existing customers.

Read here more on how to build your e-commerce presence in China

Photography for Social Media Marketing

Photography: Sharing is caring

In China, users follow brands on social media because they have a special bond and a sense of community with the company’s values. Also, having a KOL (Key Opinion Leader) or a KOC (Key Opinion Consumer) will definitely strengthen the connection between users and brand; allowing them to re-share their favorite images.

Brands can also use Photography to illustrate their values and show what they care about.


On WeChat, the main content is an article which can be 5-6 mobile pages long. With such format, having a rich library of assets to illustrate your article is a must have. Also, animations and dynamic contents like carrousel are very popular. As such, the volume of pictures you are using in a single article is around twelve ! 

Read here how to create engaging and innovative content on WeChat

SEO : How images can improve your website ranking

Pictures browsing in Baidu Images

Using search engines like Baidu or Sohu to browse through pictures to find relevant contents and products is a common practice in China. Even if it’s less impactful than Google, Chinese search engine platforms will display multiple images depending on your search by default.

As such, having eye-catching pictures well referenced in Chinese search engine will help both your websites and e-commerce platforms.

Optimize your images ranking

To optimize your images’ ranking on SEO, there are a few easy tricks : start for example by adding the name of your images in Chinese on the title and on all the connected images on your website.

Also, keep in mind that having a website locally hosted in China with a .cn address and an ICP licence will be key to optimize your website on Chinese search engine.

Read more here on how to start doing SEO in China.

Photography for branding 

To conclude, keep in mind that visual assets are key elements in order to build your brand image and your positioning in China.

Of course, overusing common stocks photos and photoshopping will end up negatively impacting the perception of your brand. Photography is at the heart of your visual identity and a key focus of marketing strategy.

So, to show your customers you are a real, genuine, positive and caring brand, use photography as a key tool of your digital marketing.

Reach out to our team at Next 人 to help you with photo and video shooting to build authentic marketing content that represent your company’s values. 

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