If you’ve been organizing races, or even marketing for any length of time, you probably know how powerful images can be. You’ve taken photos of someone who is on their last breath crossing the finish line. You’ve seen the smiles of a family who is cycling together. Maybe, you’ve even run with a group of crazies who all glow in the dark. No matter what that magic moment is, you can relive it just by looking at that special race photo.
What I’m getting down to is this: an image is a potent thing.
You already know that your website is an important marketing tool. But have you ever really stopped to look at the images you choose to put on it? Are they just your favorite photos from past races? Maybe they’re royalty-free images you were able to dig up from the Internet. Regardless of where you got them, you need to take the time to choose your images wisely. Not only are they a directly reflection of your brand, but they create a first impression of your event that may last a long time.
So here are some important guidelines for choosing the right images for your website (and any other collateral you distribute).
- Show race photos of your audience
- – if you want octogenarians to come to your race, you’d better make sure you have that age group represented. Showing too many twenty-somethings might be a turn-off to that age group if you’re trying to attract them.
- Showing running for a running race is not always good
– Sure, you need to represent the event with some action shots, but if you’re trying to create a race event that involves families, you might get a bigger bang for your buck by just showing kids jumping in the bounce house you rented for post-race activities.
- Examine your race photos carefully
– It’s so easy to rush when you’re trying to get that site up fast for registration, but posting a crowd photo where someone is flashing an obscene gesture can easily dismantle your “wholesome” reputation.
- Show all aspects of your event
– If there’s a pre-race concert or a random red paint attack by zombies at mile one, give participants a sneak peek. Make sure ALL of your participants are having fun in the photos.
- Show the setting
– People, especially travelers from out of town, want to romanticize about the location they’re visiting. If there are eclectic buildings, mountain backdrops or seaside views, show them and you’ll watch your registrations go up.
In the end, you’re selling more than an event. It’s an experience. So make sure to “get your good side.