Today, there is a dizzying array of vehicle types, models, and trim levels available. Technology advances at a relentless pace, and every manufacturer incorporates these changes in their own unique way. It is easy for someone who hasn’t explored the auto market for a few years to be lost as to what is standard, what counts as extra features, and which of those features are worth the cost. And even those who keep up with the latest developments want to explore how exactly they come to life.
Car review portals are often vital to help consumers make sense of their options—and they are at their best when illustrated with editorial car photos. These photos help the reader better understand written reviews, give reviewer opinions extra weight, and often increase the readability of reviews. As such, car review portals that thoughtfully present plentiful editorial car photos have a significant advantage in engaging their audience.
THE POWER CAR PHOTOS
If someone who bought a basic trim level vehicle in 2014 decides to trade it in now, chances are they are unfamiliar with many of today’s most critical automotive features. A prime example of this is infotainment centers. The feature that most resembled today’s infotainment centers in 2014 was often the navigation screen on some higher-level trims. But as of 2018, the National Highway Transportation Safety Agency mandates that every new car—regardless of trim level—must be equipped with a backup camera. As a result, every new car effectively has an infotainment center of one sort or another in the center console.
The infotainment center is central to the experience of driving and owning a car. In fact, it is the access point to a plethora of critical features that contribute to both safety and comfort, including navigation, sound, cellular communications, and lane assist. As a consequence, reviewers tend to discuss infotainment systems extensively, but many readers may not fully grasp these discussions based on the written word alone.
Illustrating car reviews with high-quality car photos that clearly display the center console and its screen allows customers to understand the reviewer praise of the control layout—or their complaints. The same applies to vehicle seating, cargo space, ergonomics, and even performance. And the need for illustrations is likely to grow as the nature of cars continues to change.
KEEPING UP WITH A TRANSFORMING INDUSTRY
One of the biggest changes in the automotive industry is the advent of practical electric cars. Following in the footsteps of Tesla, these vehicles tend to have spartan interiors, with almost all controls handled through a large central touchscreen. As electric cars become more common and the technology being implemented in cars of all types becomes more advanced, these types of revolutionary changes in design and styling are likely going to also become more common across the industry. Meanwhile, leather seats are being replaced with synthetic leatherettes in many vehicle models. Car exteriors are losing more and more of their grills, as modern engines do not need the amount of airflow those in the past did. These changes underline the need for car review portals to extensively use editorial car photos to highlight the latest developments and help car buyers determine what suits their needs and preferences.
PLACING CAR PHOTOS IN CAR REVIEWS FOR VISIBILITY AND CLARITY
Most car review websites already recognize the importance of thoughtful picture galleries for front page, feature reviews. However, the same can’t be said for the more functional car review landing pages, which tend to consist of only a profile or front three-quarter views of a vehicle. If a true gallery is available, the pictures tend to be unsorted, inconsistent, and fail to contain critical shots.
To truly harness the potential of editorial car photos, car review portals should take the time to choose images that show the features that have attracted the most positive and negative attention and position them in a clearly visible location in car reviews. This will make it easier for the reader to understand the opinions offered in the car review, guide them as they make up their own mind, and generally improve the value of the portal. To optimize their impact, these photos should be of the highest quality and feature consistent lighting and angles to facilitate comparisons between models. True-to-life colors are also essential to ensure accuracy.
WHY AUTOMOTIVE STOCK PHOTOS ARE THE BEST EDITORIAL CAR PHOTOS
Quality interior and exterior pictures that show every angle of a vehicle undeniably make for more useful and attractive reviews. However, review portals don’t have to produce these images themselves. By partnering with an automotive stock photo library, review portals can access the comprehensive range of editorial car photos needed to create compelling automotive reviews. The right database can be an invaluable asset to not only enhance the reader experience, but expand the reach of reviews.