Visuals are the backbone of any content. They can make (or break) a text and make it extra appealing. And with humans considered visual learners, the images you add to your website give you a huge opportunity to increase engagement, reach a higher audience, and even boost conversion.
But, when it comes to images, not many have the resources to curate original photos. This is where stock photos come in!
Yes, many marketers may cringe at the name of stock photos, and truthfully, some of them are indeed over-posed, overused, and cliche. Yet, stock photos are valuable. They are readily available, and if you know how to pick the ‘right’ one, you are doing your marketing a huge favor in the most cost-effective way possible.
In this guide, let’s talk about stock photos and how to pick the right one for your marketing efforts.
Nothing annoys a viewer more than a blurry or pixelated image. A poor-quality image looks unprofessional and devalues your work. It turns off the visitors to your website and harms your brand image.
To improve the overall experience of your audience and consumers, use high-quality images. Take careful consideration when choosing pictures and use those that are well-lit and shot with ‘quality’ in mind.
There are millions of places an image can appear and therefore, consider your online content for a moment before finalizing an image. Remember a picture of a puppy will not work for an article on artificial intelligence – unless the puppy is a robot. Using such a concept will confuse the readers and force them to leave the page as quickly as they came.
There are billions of stock photos available on the internet, and you will definitely find one that resonates with your content. Search carefully to find an image that offers an interesting context to your page’s content and has not been overused in the past for the same subject.
Nothing is worth a lawsuit. However, did you know that using a stock photo requires a certain license that enables you to utilize the image on a commercial platform? Yes, each stock photo requires a license that allows its usage.
When using stock photos, make sure to check the licenses that are offered by the website. Instead of using free images, choose to buy stock photos from reputable sites to ensure you are getting the right protection against potential litigation.
Model releases are another factor to consider. This means that models, landmarks, and private properties are shown in the stock photo should have an individual release allowing their use. Without it, the models present in the photograph can claim a lawsuit stating their non-permission use.
There is no holding back on your creativity when you use stock photographs. If you like a stock photo you like, you can add to it the graphics, illustrations, and even text as you prefer. You can also crop a certain part of the stock image and use it for your digital marketing – provided that the stock website you use allows the modification.
A study from Georgia Tech found that the colors:
Simply put, the colors you use impact the user’s emotions and provoke them to take action as you require.
When choosing stock photos, make sure to use colors that grab attention and go along with your website’s design layout. Don’t go for too shocking colors. Instead, use subtle hues that are easy on the eyes of the viewer.
The size also matters when you use stock photographs. Specific places require specific dimensions, and being mindful of them is crucial to make the best out of your content.
For example, Facebook allows square images, while Twitter requires marketers to add wide images. Make sure to follow the guidelines of each channel you choose carefully and add appropriate sizes as required. Otherwise, the channel will oddly crop your image and make it appear disoriented.
When using stock photos, the last thing you want is to see the same photo appear on a competitor’s website. This is why you should choose carefully and pick only unique images for your website.
Moreover, don’t settle for photos that appear cliche or overposed. Look for candid images that appear natural and make your content unique. Not vice versa. A person smiling directly at the camera or pointing at the screen are just some examples of such images. Avoid these types and go for natural-looking photographs to enhance your content.
Test each image that you add to your website to ensure it is the right size and style for your website. Once up, check the impact it has on your page speed.
You can also take referrals from friends and family to find out their experience with your chosen images.
Any website that you create is nothing without the right images. With these tips, you can get started on the right foot with stock images. So get on with it and choose the right image for your marketing needs. Good luck!