There is a reason that we say, “a picture says more than a thousand words” because photos can be a great way to connect with our audience. You might have a very persuasive presentation or tremendous written content, but you first need to make your prospective customers want to read about what it is you can offer.
You might consider photos a ‘nice to have’ feature on your website or other presentations, but studies show that websites alone generate 94 percent more views when they have images. You have probably heard the marketing phrase ‘show, not tell’ and that is another area where photos can help. They can help bring your service or your product to life.
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By visualizing your service or your product you make it more interesting. Given that our brain can identify a picture in as little as 100 milliseconds, it means that adding the right stock photographs to your outing can quickly grab someone’s attention.
What are the stock photos?
Speaking of which, how do we define stock photography? Stock photography is special photographs that you can download for free or purchase from specific distributors. Oftentimes stock pictures are offered for non-commercial use or royalty free. This means that you could use them on your website, add them to written articles, or use them in your newsletters or social media posts.
There are many different types of stock photography, but the common denominator is that these are pictures that are already taken. They are not specifically taken with your wants in mind. Oftentimes you can get them in several different formats and sizes, allowing you to get the right picture for your specific circumstance.
Recommendations For Using Stock Photos
Even though stock photos can be a tremendous boost, there are several different considerations before you use them to get the most out of them.
Do not overdo it!
While stock photography looks great, no one is going to suggest that this is actual company photography. For example, if you have a page where you want to be more personal “about us”, “our mission”, or “working at” you are not helping yourself if you use stock photography. Using images of your own company, your own team or your own solution is likely to be more personal.
Add a personal touch!
Some stock photography might look a bit ‘surreal’. That is why you can use your own corporate colors and apply a filter or effect in Photoshop. Perhaps include your logo or a watermark to those images that you intend to use. That is going to make the stock photos stand out from the other options you find online.
Try to use the same type of image!
It is a good idea to use the same type of image to follow a uniform line. Especially if you are going to use these images on your blog or website (or your email marketing) it is a good idea to use the same type of images.
Best Practices In Picking The Right Stock Photos
If you are not using the right stock photos for your brand or message, you might be hurting your message without knowing it. We have a few best practices in finding the right stock photos to match your needs:
1. Choose reputable sources
Not all stock photography websites are created equal. You should make sure that you do your research about the right type of photography to match your needs. Perhaps a stock photographer has a perfect image in their unpublished portfolio that would be perfect for you.
2. Be sure to research the licensing agreements
People often use stock photos to save money, but you want to make sure that you are using these stock photos legally. If you end up being sued later, you are not saving any money. Some licenses mean that you have complete creative freedom over the image, while other licenses mean that you should credit the owner. If in doubt, the original owner of the photo.
3. Do not forget the people
It is a good idea to include people in your visuals because marketing often leads to a personal connection between the customer and the brand. Using pictures of animals and people creates an instant connection. Interestingly enough, candid photos always tend to do much better than the posted images.
4. Avoid the random smiling employees
How often do we see this happen? Retail and business sites use stock photos that look insincere and phony. Even if you absolutely love your job, the chance of you sitting around grinning like the Cheshire cat is highly unlikely. today’s savvy consumers do not respond well to the traditional cheesy stock images
5. Capture a feeling
If you are choosing the right stock photo, you should focus on whether it can convey the right feeling. You want the person on the other side of the screen to connect with your brand. Oftentimes the best way to do so is to touch their hearts.
If you have a picture that establishes specific key phrases such as ‘confidence’, ‘trust’, or ‘safety’, it is going to be far more effective than just another beautiful landscape. That is because those pictures allow you to make a literal connection with the reader. We all have a connotation of what safety and confidence are.
6. Match your mood
When it comes to finding the right stock photographs, you must make sure that you find pictures that can match your mood, style, and voice of your brand. That is because your target audience should instantly want to identify with what you are trying to demonstrate in these images. With so many different styles of stock photography out there, it is important to realize that not all of them are going to fit perfectly.
While stock photos are certainly great and an affordable way to give your message a bit more emphasis, it is important that you use them the right way. With our tips mentioned above, you should be able to fully utilize stock photos to your benefit.