As babies, we’re amazed by everything we see and as we grow, we satisfy our visual desires with cartoons, picture books and videos. Remember Show and Tell in kindergarten? It was the part of the day we all looked forward to because it meant we could show off our most prized possessions. Tiny five year-olds all gather round to see anything from a crayon drawing to a prized pet rock. The point? To make personal connections through sharing intimate, relatable glimpses into your life.
And sometimes these glimpses come in the form of pictures. Like when there’s a new baby in the family, pictures are taken by the droves and shown to anyone that’ll stand still long enough to look. Virtually everyone is walking around with a camera in their pocket, taking shots of everything and sharing them with the world in record numbers. Over 80 million photos are uploaded daily on social media networks like Instagram, which makes them a bigger part of our lives now than they have ever been.
That’s why it’s so important to make imagery a large chunk of your marketing plan and why using anything but authentic representations is a no-no.
Here’s what you stand to lose by using ONLY stock photos in your marketing:
In the world of marketing, a picture is worth much more than a thousand words; many times one single image can send multiple messages, channel an array of emotions and set the overall tone for your marketing presence.
For example, a business that uses an image of real children playing conveys a happy, playful mood and an authentic snapshot from nature projects a serene, relaxed vibe. This makes the viewer have a positive emotional connection to your company.
On the contrary, stock photos can be spotted a mile away and oftentimes their generic inauthenticity leads to a negative emotional connection. Is that the feeling you want to give viewers? Probably not. Cringe at the bad stock sample below.
Using real photos does all of the following and more:
- Establishes emotional connections
- Makes your brand cohesive
- Increases your credibility
- Lays the foundation for a personable reputation
- Makes your company more trustworthy and relatable
In order to attract your audience, your website needs to be aesthetically pleasing to the eye. A great way to accomplish this is by hiring a professional photographer to give you real, quality images that will reach off the page and grab their attention.
This look gives your viewers the first impression that you’ve put time and money into your design, which tells them you’ll likely do the same for them.
If you opt for using BAD stock imagery, the design tends to look cheap and like you lack professional experience. Not exactly the impression you want to give people whose business you’re trying to gain. Keep in mind if you are working with professional designers like the team from myheartcreative and need to use stock photography they can help you choose the BEST options available to you and help you avoid the BAD stock images.
Using GOOD stock photography does all of the following:
- Gives anyone the ability to use high end images
- Allows you to quickly access photos in a pinch
- Makes photos of faraway places available for use
The initial investment is worth all the added value you’ll get from having real photos of real people, places and things, but stock photography does have its place.
Content with relevant imagery gets 94% more views than content without. This means it would be a huge marketing mistake to skip adding a photo to your blog post. But it’s also not good enough to just throw any random stock .jpeg on your website; it has to make sense with your company or you risk confusing people and sending them on to your competition.
Generic images can present their own set of issues with functionality, so it’s important to always make sure whatever you choose to use works on both desktop and mobile devices, are the correct format, load quickly and have great resolution. Any delay in viewing or error in loading is more than enough to plummet your site traffic.
Professional images are always unique and original to you, but if you don’t spring for the pro’s, you can still create some pretty awesome snapshots with a piece of equipment that’s basically an extension of your body; your camera phone.
Make everyday photos your original works of art. It’s never been easier to take pictures from blah to wow with free editing resources, like Pixlr and Webvis CMS. From your desktop or mobile device, you can use filters, add effects or even add text to any photo you upload. You get instant, quality results and can upload them to your website or social media networks with ease.
While stock photos can be repetitively used by others, your professional or self-made images are unique to only you and are what sets your brand apart from your competition.
We Heart Photography
At myheartcreative, an Oklahoma web design studio, we have big love for photography. Capturing life in action is something we’ve been doing for years and we feel it’s never been more important to incorporate it into your company’s marketing mix.
That’s why most all of our services include professional photography; we know how effective real, quality pictures are and how to make them work for you. It’s also why we use Webvis CMS to make updating your website design super easy, including uploading and editing imagery.
Get in touch with us today to learn more about our photography services or how Webvis CMS can next-level the visual appeal of your website.
Hop over here to learn more about myheartcreative and our growing list of satisfied customers.