Stock photos: a necessary evil AND a fundamental marketing tool on your website. No doubt you’ve seen the cheesy end of the spectrum: people with wide, toothy smiles looking directly at the camera while…sitting in a dentist chair? Or what about those business stock photos where the model is holding random pie charts while others in the “meeting” are exclaiming in disbelief or giving thumbs up.
The reality is that stock photos are mostly going to fall into that bucket, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Visuals are an incredibly persuasive marketing tool and will only continue to be that way with the rise of Instagram and Snapchat. Most internet users will tune the cheesy graphics out, but those well-versed in marketing will see those photos as laziness and underachievement.
So how DOES one choose the best stock photo? You don’t have to change your source, even Shutterstock is capable of dishing up some pretty interesting imagery. But, you will have to expand your mind a little and think about what you are REALLY trying to communicate. It doesn’t always have to be literal to convey an emotion.
Choosing the best stock photos for your company translates to brand trust. If your images look fake or pixelated, that only degrades the relationship between your customer and yourself. The future is visual and as a business, you want to use every opportunity to remind your customer that you are a trusted brand who is here to help.
In need of some new imagery? Here are some free resources.
Pikwizard is a great new stock photography website. It features over 100,000 images, with 20,000 exclusive to the website. There is no attribution required and the website prides itself on its images of people, which are few and far between on great stock photography websites.
Creative Commons Search
Convenient access to search services provided by other independent organizations
Beautiful, free photos. Gifted by the world’s most generous community of photographers.