People love pictures and visual content. And so do marketers.
Especially, since 90% of the information transmitted to the brain is visual. And visual content is processed 60,000x faster in the brain than text.
We can see why visual content is such a hit. They help drive engagement, but what are your photos saying with their 1,000 words? Probably not what you want them to.
Don’t let your visual content make you look generic and ridiculous. If you’re using stock photography, the chances of you looking generic and ridiculous are pretty high.
Know you might be wondering where I’m going with this, well the point I’m trying to make is just because they might be free and readily available doesn’t mean they’ll be effective.
Now before you start trying to find an image for your next marketing campaign, landing page or blog article; here’s why your first instinct should be to go right for those tacky overused stock photos.
Why You Should Put an End to Stock Photography
When it comes to marketing, visual content plays a big role, however, not all companies have the resources or even the budget to develop their own photos for their website and marketing activities.
Unfortunately, that’s where stock photography filled the need. With all those image copyright rules, it can be a disaster just waiting to strike.
There’s also nothing worse than getting an email or phone call informing you that you’re wrongfully using one of their images.
The Impact of Visual Content
Did you know that the wrong image can actually show distrust? The last thing you want to do is lose the trust of your audience and potential customers.
Eye-catching visual content is becoming a staple in everyday life and it’s something marketers are becoming aware of. Not everyone though loves stock photography. It is often times referred to as “business porn.”
Don’t use an image just to fill space. An image should be used to add value. One of many benefits of visual content is being able to generate engagement with your audience. No one can resist sharing a photo that makes them feel some emotion or brings the content you’re generating to life.
In a recent study by Simply Measured, they stated,”Visual content drives engagement. In fact, just one month after the introduction of Facebook timeline for brands, visual content particularly photos and videos saw a 65% increase in engagement.”
Can Send the Wrong Message
The wrong photo can hinder the overall message you’re trying to send. Visual content and stock photography don’t always go hand in hand.
When most people say visual content, they aren’t talking about cheesy stock photography. Often times those photos include people who don’t resemble your audience or company. Those people are talking about using visually pleasing photos that capture the essence of what you’re trying to portray.
Visual content reigns supreme when it comes to connecting with your audience and pulling them in.
When deciding if an image is right for your marketing activities, remember to ask yourself these two questions:
- Is the image relevant to the message I’m trying to convey?
- Will the image resonate with my target audience?
When you’re thinking about visual content for your next blog consider using Creative Commons to find free photos that can be used for commercial purposes.
Photos to Stay Away From
1. The Guy Pretending to Be a Clown, While Eating His Salad.
2. Group of Businessmen and Women Just Waiting to Sell You Something.
3. The Multi-race Group Shot. You Want to Target Everyone, Right?
4. The Stressed and Angry Consumer that Needs Your Help!
5. Umm, I’m Not Sure. Let Me Get Back to You.
6. It’s My Birthday! And, I’m Running Around a Wheat Field in a Suit.
7. Sign a Contract With Us Now!
8. Yes, Best Vacation Ever!
When in doubt and don’t know where to turn; always remember, babies and puppies.
Photo Credit: Free Digital Images