At first, stock images were all the rage. In recent years, they have gained a reputation for being almost too generic to get your point across. The fact of the matter is that using stock photography is tricky, but it can work well if used in the right context. Here are some ways that stock photos can visually add to your website.
A Digital Marketer’s Guide to Using Stock Photography
When companies are searching for the perfect stock photo, they tend to choose one of the first few images that they come across. As a result, all of these different companies are using the same visuals to get their message across. That’s why the vast majority of these images have become extremely overused.
When brands use the same generic photos, they lose that unique individuality that their brand is built on and become just another face in the crowd.
If you want to make a name for yourself, think outside of the box—use something new and fresh. If you can’t decide if a photo is cliché or not, it probably is. Also, it should go without saying, but never choose anything that you’ve seen before.
And don’t think your image choice won’t get noticed. All of the same images have become so commonplace that users have developed a quick eye for spotting stock photography.
Sometimes, when using stock photography, brands will use images that seem like they were randomly dropped onto the page. Ideally, you should only use images that complement and give context to your content.
A relevant photo can relay what your content is about quicker than words can. For instance, if you’re writing a blog on real estate and use a photo of a house with a “For Sale” sign out front, the reader will immediately be able to recognize the subject of your content.
You don’t even have to use entire stock photos as they are. If you need to add some text or crop it a little bit, feel free. As long as it’s relevant to the message you’re trying to get across, you should be alright.
No matter which stock photography you use, it always has to remain consistent with your company’s unique branding. Using all different kinds of photos and color schemes will send a mixed message.
At a certain point, the lack of consistency will make your brand less recognizable, which is the last thing you want. So, no matter which photos you ultimately decide on, just make sure that they all correspond to the same general theme.
Using stock photography isn’t easy, but you should be able to master it with these few handy tips and insights.