For all companies, having images on your website, in your blogs, on your social media, and on your marketing materials is critical. Images can be very powerful and draw in audience members that otherwise may bounce from your page. If you don’t have a business photographer on staff, you may be relying on stock images for all of your marketing needs. While stock images can be great, there are a few best practices to be aware of. Here are some stock image basic tips, as well as advice for choosing stock images that suit your brand—
Before we dive into the details of choosing stock images that suit your brand, consider some of the basic best practices for using stock images:
- Know your rights. First, it’s important that you determine immediately whether or not you have the right to use the stock image and, if so, if you have to give credit. Keep in mind that some platforms or companies frown on stock images, even if you have permission. Be sure to double-check all requirements first.
- Choose high-quality images. Of course, choosing high-quality images that are high resolution is always important. If you’re in doubt about the quality of an image, don’t use it! Consider things like lighting as well. If you own the image, you can edit it using image-editing software.
- Make sure images are up-to-date. Always choose images that are relevant and up-to-date. For example, choosing an image of someone with a CD player probably won’t be relevant if you’re trying to reach a 2022 audience. Stay up with the times and trends.
- Select relevant photos. Finally, always choose images that are not only up-to-date, but also relevant to the audience you’re targeting and the content you’re posting about. Just choosing an image because it’s pretty doesn’t do much.
Choosing Images that Are Brand-Specific
In addition to the basics listed above, it’s important to try to choose images that are brand-specific and reflect your brand’s values and look. When searching for images that fit, consider the following:
- Consider style and mood. Your brand and the content you’re posting about surely have a specific style and mood; does the stock image you’re looking at reflect that? If your brand is bright and upbeat, for example, choosing a photo with muted colors or pastels may not meet that criteria.
- Pay attention to colors and logos. An easy way to match images with your brand is to pay attention to colors and any other graphics or logos. If your brand uses bright blues and greens in its content, reds and oranges in an image may not align.
- Reflect your audience. Finally, when choosing images with people, choose images of people that reflect your target audience. For example, if you sell baby clothes, images of parents and kids will be much more relevant than images of young adults or seniors!