Stock photos can be a blessing and a curse. If you use generic, even awkward stock photos, your message will fall flat. However, stock photos are a great tool for you when you use them correctly. Take a look at a few of the guidelines below in order to make sure you are using stock photos to enhance your brand.
1. Make sure the images are relevant.
Using stock imagery can be tricky, so when you do use stock photos, try to ensure they add to the message you are trying to get across. Images that don’t correlate with your content distract the viewer. Try to pick an image or images that hints toward what your content has to say before the viewer reads the text.
2. Keep things up-to-date.
Even stock photos have a shelf life. Stay away from very dated images, as it will reflect on your brand. A few things that date photos include:
- Clothing and hairstyles
- Buildings, especially skylines
- Cars (some vehicles are timeless, some...not so much)
Stock photo sites are always adding new content, so check back as often as needed. To make sure your images aren’t dated, do an audit every 3-6 months to review your images and flag any that need to be replaced.
3. Don't go overboard, mix in original pictures.
Whenever you can, try to throw in a picture from your company. People like photos that look like they come from within a company, or around the office. Take some photos yourself to set apart your website from others. Mixing up your images brings a good balance to your site and your content.
4. Stay away from too much posing.
Pick your stock photos wisely. There are differences between stock photos, and some are better than others. Stay away from images that are extremely posed or cheesy and find photos that look modern, natural and could occur in the real world. These will get you better results in the long run.
Both photos below are of a person working on a laptop, but the first is cheesy and posed (and quite honestly, distracting), whereas the second it modern, pleasing to the eye and beneficial to the viewer.
5. Increase views with stock photos.
Adding photos to your content, like social postings or blogs, will help boost the amount of views you receive. For example, Facebook posts with photos see 2.3x more engagement, and tweets with photos get retweeted 150% more than tweets without. So without going overboard, place photos on your company blogs, CTAs or social posts to boost engagement.
Now, implement these with your own stock photos. Add some natural photos, add images to your social, or switch up some old images with fresh new ones! Let us know how it works for you!