Enhancing Veterinary Education Marketing with Professional Photography

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Graham Baker Photography

CPD Provider - Central CPD for Veterinary Education

Enhancing Veterinary Education Marketing with Professional Photography: A Client case study with Central CPD. A veterinary CPD provider (Continuous Professional Development) based in London.

Case Study

In today’s digital age, effective marketing relies heavily on captivating visuals to convey a message and engage the audience. I caught up with Felicity, the head of marketing at Central CPD, a leading Veterinary education provider, who was looking to revamp its visual content strategy.

Central CPD, a leading veterinary education provider, offers a wide range of in-person and online Continuing Professional Development (CPD) courses for veterinarians, vet nurses, vet care assistants, and the entire veterinary practice team. They also have a treasure trove of over two and a half thousand online on-demand videos covering an extensive range of Small Animal Practice topics.

In my post project discussion with Felicity, their head of marketing, we delved into the purpose of transforming Central CPD’s marketing through the power of professional photography.

Vet ultrasound classroom training for dogs - Veterinary CPD Provider - Central CPD

Recognising the Need

Taking over as the head of marketing for Central CPD in January, it was clear that while they had an existing library of images, it wasn’t particularly up-to-date and didn’t have the breadth of angles or options needed to progress their marketing on social media and new brochures.

“In essence, we needed to update our image library & fill the gaps to be more effective in our marketing.”

Vet ultrasound practical training for dogs - Veterinary CPD Provider - Central CPD - Graham Baker Photography - Commercial Photographer

The Quest for Visual Content

Central CPD’s marketing objectives encompassed showcasing their diverse courses, including surgical sessions, lecture sessions, dentistry, orthopaedics, and more.

Central CPD also rents out its venues to external companies, necessitating a collection of fresh images to offer prospective clients an accurate portrayal of what to expect. The 360-degree photos were considered particularly beneficial for this purpose.

Vet soft tissue surgery and orthopaedics practical training - Commercial Photography London

Sources of Imagery

Previously, Central CPD had relied on several image sources: Stock photos and photos taken by staff during courses using their smartphones, as well as images captured by a videographer who films the classes. However, the constraints of filming prevented them from capturing the more dedicated photos they needed.

They recognised the need for dedicated professional photos to complement the existing library and cover a broader spectrum of high-quality content.

Why Professional Photography Over Stock Imagery?

“While we have utilised stock photos to some extent, it’s impossible to get all the photography we need, and while there’s obviously a huge range of images on services like Shutterstock, stock photography can’t cater for every single scenario.”

“In particular for the teaching photos, what we do is quite unique to our training, so generic stock images were limited.”

“Also, our venues and food are really important to us. People always comment on how good the lunches are!

Stock libraries, though extensive, often fail to represent unique aspects and distinctiveness of a business brand, especially in this case when concerning the niche field of veterinary education.

Unless it’s a famous publicly accessible location, you can’t exactly find stock photos for a private venue, either. They need to be taken specifically for the place.

Veterinary dentistry practical training - Commercial Photography London

Selecting the Right Photographer

“It was never really a question of us doing it ourselves. My phone photos wouldn’t really do it justice! We’re not photographers, and we don’t have the time or equipment to create the quality professional photography we needed for our marketing.”

“We sought quotes from local (London) photographers, prioritising proximity to our London venues to manage travel expenses, as the project required multiple visits.”

“You were the only photographer who actually gave me a call and talked through the brief. This was really important for something like this. You took the time to understand what we wanted. You asked relevant questions, giving me the confidence that you understood the brief and had the right experience.”

“You gave some examples of your previous brand photography work, which was vital as we were looking for a photographer who was used to working in an environment where it wasn’t all set and staged, and you would have to work around people on the courses going about their day.”

“Oh yes, there were also the cadavers too! Not everyone would be comfortable taking photos of deceased animals while students practised surgical procedures on them! I’m glad to say you were very professional about the whole thing!”

Central CPD’s courses are fluid and spontaneous; I had to be ready to adapt to the unpredictable nature of the teaching sessions (especially where live animals were present). I couldn’t interrupt a live demonstration, especially as these were real students in an authentic learning environment.

Effective communication is vital. It’s not just about responding to an initial enquiry and providing a quote; A photographer must delve deep into the project’s nuances, asking pertinent questions and sharing relevant past experiences. This collaborative approach instils confidence in the client that I understand the brief and possess the necessary expertise to carry it out.

Stock libraries, though extensive, often fail to represent unique aspects and distinctiveness of a business brand, especially in this case when concerning the niche field of veterinary education.

Veterinary classroom training with Central CPD in London - Commercial Photographer London

Meeting Expectations

“I was apprehensive before the first session because the courses are jam-packed and hectic, especially when live animals are involved. The first session was about ultrasound, and we also had live dogs at the session.”

“I needed someone who could work off their own initiative. I knew you understood the brief and what shots were needed with little guidance. And you absolutely did that!”

“You were really good at just making sure everyone was comfortable, letting everyone know you were there, and chatting to people, making them feel comfortable. You immediately put my mind at rest.

In a fast-paced course environment where no two sessions were alike, I needed to “think on my feet” and work autonomously to ensure that critical moments were captured. But the careful planning and working to the brief is what gets the job done.

“After the first session, I was like, Yep, the rest of the project will be absolutely fine!”

Food Photography - Lunch at Central CPD London - Commercial Photography

Leveraging the Image Library

Central CPD wasted no time in utilising their newly acquired image library. The images were integrated into social media campaigns to bolster their online presence. The photos will be vital in creating brochures for exhibitions and conferences and sending them to veterinary practices, a cornerstone of their print marketing strategy.

“We also have companies that want to hire our venue, so the photographs and, in particular, the 360 photography and tour gives them a real sense of what the venues are like.”

360-degree content is increasingly becoming invaluable when enticing potential venue renters. They provide an immersive experience, offering a clear insight into the facilities. Additionally, the images are being integrated into Central CPD’s recently developed website, emphasising the importance of visual content in online branding.

“As I said before, food photography is crucial for us as people always comment on how good the lunches are, so highlighting some food shots on social media and in the brochure will definitely benefit the brand.

“We now have an authentic range of images with plenty of variety. Imagery is just so important in promoting our courses and showing the breadth of what we do.

Conclusion

By recognising the limitations of stock imagery and out-of-date images and investing in professional photography, Central CPD elevated its marketing materials and reinforced its brand identity.

This case study highlights how working with the right photographer can build an effective visual content library to engage an audience. Working closely with Central CPD and understanding their brief, I believe we captured the unique spirit of veterinary education, ultimately strengthening their marketing efforts and solidifying their position as high-quality veterinary CPD providers.

What my clients say!

I worked with Graham over four separate sessions to build up Central CPD's bank of brand photography. Graham was enthusiastic, friendly and professional at all times, and put everyone at ease. He was also the only photographer I contacted who took the time to call me before giving a quote - and so really made sure he understood the brief and particular requirements for the photography. As a result, we now have a huge selection of photos to use in our marketing and social media channels. Graham also provided us with some fantastic 360 images to showcase Central CPD's venues. I would highly recommend Graham to anyone looking for a London-based commercial photographer!

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