Case in point. I'm driving into work a couple of weeks ago along the northern shore of Lake Ontario, and voila. I see a phenomenon I've never seen before, and have only heard about once.
Ok I think, wheres my camera? Oh good, its here. And I snap a few shots.
Here's the result; Snow Donuts … A Natural Weather Phenomenon
The 30 minutes it took me to snap the pictures, download them, write a quick post, load the post, and submit it to Digg and Stumbleupon, resulted in:
a) 15,000+ unique visitors to the site to which is was loaded (an acquaintance)
b) hit the buzz page of Stumbleupon … no funny business I assure you
c) hit the Mixx homepage (someone else submitted it)
d) drove a few thousand visits from Reddit (again, someone else submitted it)
e) missed the homepage of Digg by a small amount (see Digg)
f) will result in an image link on Wikipedia on this page
On that note … local media completely missed the boat.
Here's an example of a video captured by another amateur photographer that may have been better utilized …
Obviously, I'm not suggesting that your staff will snap unique pictures every day, but once in a while could certainly be beneficial … and the more people the better. Of course, they would have to be taught to look for photo opportunities that could be spun to apply to your business in some way.
It would also have to be positioned as a trade with your staff; ie. we'll provide each/some staff with a digital camera (wouldn't have to be expensive … $100 per is likely sufficient), if they agree to carry it with them routinely, and snap photos and videos of interesting situations they encounter.
Quick Cost/Benefit Analysis:
With 10 people, I would suggest that it wouldn't be unrealistic to expect one winner photo/video per month. Social media types are ALWAYS looking for unique photos and videos! At the same time, if all the pictures taken are loaded to an on site image gallery, or perhaps even Flickr, its an opportunity to rank for thousands more long tail terms.
Cost = (10 employees x 1 camera per @ $100/camera) / Lifetime of Camera in Months
Cost = $1000 one-time / 36
Cost = $27/month
Camera's lifetime = 36 months
Benefit (Ultra Conservative) = [SMT/month X $.01 (SMVV)] + [ST/month x $1 (STVV)]
Benefit (Ultra Conservative) = (5000 x $.01) + (200 X $1)
Benefit (Ultra Conservative) = $250/month
– Social Media Traffic (SMT) = 5000 visitors per month from social media
– Social Media Value/Visit (SMVV) is worth very little, though relevant pictures will attract relevant visitors … so lets assume $.01/visitor (very conservative)
– Search Traffic (ST) = 200 extra visitors per month from search
– Search Traffic Value/Visit (STVV) is obviously much more valuable than equivalent traffic from social media … estimate $1/visitor
and this doesn't take into account the value of:
a) an search engine friendly Wikipedia link
b) increase in RSS subscribers
c) the links generated
and much more.
ROI = (Benefit – Cost)/Cost X 100%
ROI = $250/mo. – $27/mo.)/$27/mo.
ROI = 826%
Watermark your photos! Otherwise others will take your photos and will not give credit where credit is due.
Where else can you get a minimum 826% ROI … it is outstanding. What are you waiting for?