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Content marketing is no doubt a very challenging task, and you need to make the right efforts in order to achieve success. To help you attract, engage and retain an audience, stock images can play a significant part.
With these high-quality and professional photographs, you can easily add visual interest to your content and convey the message efficiently. It is also an affordable and time-saving alternative to hiring a designer or professional photographer.
In this article, you’ll learn how to effectively use stock photos in your content marketing strategy. These tips will help you create captivating content with visuals that align with your digital marketing goals and drive conversions.
Let’s take a look!
Understanding Stock Photos
Stock photos are pre-made visuals shot by professional photographers. They are available in a free-to-use category or charged a reasonable amount for the users. They cover a wide range of topics and can be licensed for almost every commercial project. In fact, the library of stock photo websites is so massive that you can easily find something in accordance with the requirement of your brand.
Another benefit of using stock photos in content marketing is accessibility. Since they are ready to use, they eliminate the need for arranging photoshoots or creating images from scratch. Plus, stock photos provide a simple solution for obtaining photos from any geographical location without physically traveling.
5 Best Tips for Utilizing Stock Photos in Your Content
Adding high-quality and visually appealing stock photos to your content is one of the best ways to support your marketing strategy. But you need to follow some ground details to maximize their efficiency.
Here are some best practices you can follow:
1. Use Relevant Images
Always use relevant images that are related to your content. They should not appear as if you have randomly dropped them in your layout. Using irrelevant images in your text can confuse the viewers and will not add any value. Instead, consider your brand message, target audience, and marketing goal to finalize the pictures.
Therefore, take your time to search and pick the images from different stock photo websites. Most sites feature comprehensive search filters, making it easy for users to shortlist the perfect pictures for your brand. You can also filter the website’s database with options like orientation, color, type, format, etc.
2. Don’t Add Low-Quality Images
Low-quality images not only look bad but also destroy the whole look of your web page. A grainy or distorted picture of a subject will result in the reader’s losing their interest, and they will leave your article in the middle.
The good thing is that most reputable stock photo websites, especially the premium ones, have strict guidelines for quality and vet each submission thoroughly. However, do your homework and always prioritize quality images, even if it costs a few more bucks.
3. Transform The Image Accordingly To Content
In most cases, there is no limitation for you to use the exact same image that you have purchased in the content. You can modify and customize the image according to your brand’s style and theme.
However, make sure to read the guidelines present on the stock photo website to ensure you are in compliance. Generally, most resources allow cropping, resizing, overlays, and retouches. You can also change the background and integrate custom pictures with stock photos.
One thing to note is to try not to overdo it. People often customize stock images so much that it ruins the charm and quality of the image.
4. Never Use Illegal Images
Always use images that are copyright-free or purchase from legitimate stock photo websites. Marketers sometimes confuse images found through random Google searches with free stock photos, leading to further issues when they use them without proper permission.
If you get caught, the copyright holder of the pictures can send you a DMCA takedown notice. Ultimately, it would end up damaging your brand reputation.
Your image should be optimized so the audience has a seamless experience. This will also help the Google search engine algorithms recognize your content and index it properly in results. This includes:
- Optimizing the images so both – mobile and desktop users enjoy content in a similar format.
- Resize the pictures so they are accurately displayed.
- Compress heavy files so they don’t take up a lot of server space and load quickly.
- Include a descriptive alt text to help search engines understand the image’s content.
Choosing The Right Photos For Your Content
Choosing the right photos is extremely important and can impact your blog. Since stock photos have a reputation for being cliche and overused, selecting the pictures carefully can make your visuals stand out. Here are some tips you can follow:
Add Appealing and Full Of Emotion Images
Try to add appealing images that help you explain your thoughts. If there are people in your photographs, make sure they show life and candid expressions. Dull and dry images can have a negative impact on your content, so always try to add expressive and full of emotional images.
Always remember that the internet has connected the entire world. Therefore, anybody can be a part of your target audience, so always use images that show diversity. This includes showcasing pictures of people of different ethnicities, ages, gender, and culture.
Being diverse shows a positive side of your brand and helps others build trust in you and your brand. These photos can make your content more inclusive and help your audience feel seen and heard. It will also help your brand appeal to a broader audience.
Make sure the image you are adding has a purpose there. Identify the need for stock images before adding them to your content. Too many extra or unnecessary images also irritate users and reduce the overall readability of your content.
Keep your images uniform and ensure they convey a similar message. They do not need to be identical, but at least they should look like they belong to the same blog. To enhance the appeal of your website and make it more readable, consider using stock photos with the same theme or color palette.
Simplicity is the key to brilliance. The only thing you need to take care of is to ensure you do not overdo things. Choose visually appealing images that convey your message correctly. Avoid any images that could lead to any sort of conflict or can be hurtful to any group of people.
The use of stock photos in content marketing has increased in past years. According to Venngage’s survey, websites with stock images get 94% more views than those without. So if you want to market your content effectively, then using stock images is the best element you can opt for.
Alongside that, follow the guidelines above to choose the best stock photos and take advantage properly.