If you are anything like most small business owners or even busy marketers with a lot going on, you are not a photographer.
If you do know how to handle a DSLR camera, you may not have time for an all-day photo shoot in a studio.
If you can squeeze in some studio time for a product shoot, the cost and resources deployed in the creation process can be better channelled to other aspects of the business.
So, how do you get the visual content you need to grow your brand? Enter stock photography.
Stock images are all over the internet, for sure. But, knowing how to use them in your marketing campaign can be a great way to grow your brand without using valuable resources on designs and illustrations.
Here are some unique tips to help you make the most of stock photography for the benefit of your business.
Hoan in on your message
Imageries are a powerful, evocative medium to communicate brand messages. So before choosing any stock photo for content marketing, social media posts, or ads, you want to be clear on the precise message and emotions you intend to evoke.
Once you are clear on the message, strategically choose images that complement them. For example, if your goal is to make your audience associate fun-loving, happiness, creativity with your brand, using photos of happy, laughing people in the sunlight is an excellent way to reinforce your message.
Pay attention to the stock photo colours
Pay attention to the dominate colour-theme of the photo. Does the colour align with your overall objective?
You see, certain colours are known to trigger specific emotions. Blue connotes professionalism, competence, and trust.
Orange and yellow are subconsciously associated with fun, creativity, and warmth. Use photos with the right blend of colours to offer a cohesive experience for your audience.
Use stock photos that do not look like stock photos
The best type of stock photos is ones that showcase authentic human emotions or natural landscapes or cute pet images.
Use stock photos that combine genuine human emotions with nature. Photos with humans in a natural backdrop are great. Aerial photography is another type of stock photos that beats the ‘stock photo feel’ when used right.
Understand stock photography copyright status
You do not want to infringe on copyright issues or worse, get sued for using stock photography you have no idea has license requirements.
Understand each of the license categories most stock photography fall under. Public domain photographs are generally free to use with no requirement for attribution. You are free to use public domain photographs in any way you see fit.
Stock photographs with royalty-free (RF) license allow you to use the image after a one-time payment.
On the other end is the Right Managed (RM) licenses allow you to make a one-time purchase of a stock photograph for a specific use case. This means, should you need to reuse the image on a different platform, you will have to repurchase the license.
The upside to RM, however, is that you can buy exclusive rights of the image and take it off the internet which is a great way to avoid the embarrassing situation of sharing the same photos with a competitor.
Retouch the stock photography
One thing going against stock photography is that it is too generic. However, with a little touch here and there, you can redesign the image to feel more personalized.
Thankfully, it does not have to be anything fancy. Overlaying relevant text on the image is a sure-fire way to add a bit of personality and brand touch on the stock photos before using.
Image Pexels License CCO