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How To Choose The Right Stock Image

How To Choose The Right Stock Image

Visual marketing. What is it?

It’s the strategy you use to convey your brand’s identity using visual aids such as stock images. Visual marketing creates your brand story, making it an integral part of your business’ marketing. What’s this mean for you?

It means that picking the right stock images to use on your social media platforms, email marketing and website is extremely important.

Let’s talk about how to choose the right stock image so you have a cohesive feel to your visual marketing.

Check Out Copyrights and Restrictions

Before we get into a conversation about choosing the right image, we feel it’s important to touch on this issue to protect you from preventable problems. Using images without the legal right to do so carries a high risk and can involve hefty fees.

Many people think it’s okay to do a Google image search and use any of the images that come up. This isn’t true. You also want to be very careful when using stock images from “free” websites.

Before choosing the right image, you need to make sure you are legally allowed to use the image. The best way to ensure the legality of any image is to purchase it from a stock photo website. When doing this, double check that it is allowed for commercial use.

Another quite acceptable option is to use a site that includes Creative Commons images. These usually require a link back to the original image. Again, look over the license carefully to make sure you have a legal right to use it.

Think About How You’ll Use the Image

When looking for a stock image, ask yourself if the image will stand on its own, or if you’ll include text. If you’re including text, you want to look for a text-friendly image.

This means that there is an area on the image that is fairly consistent in color where your text will stand out.

Next, decide if you need a horizontal, square or more vertical image. This is particularly important when picking photos for your social media platforms. Can your image be optimized to fit the dimensions best suited for each platform?

Here are the ideal image sizes for common social media networks:

  • Facebook: 1,200 x 628
  • Twitter: 1,024 x 512
  • LinkedIn:  800 x 800
  • Google+: 800 x 1,200
  • Pinterest: 735 x 1,102
  • Instagram: 1,080 x 1,080

Consider Your Audience

Let’s say you work for a law firm, and you are choosing an image to promote your tax services to the retired crowd. You want to consider your audience when choosing a photo. Since you are marketing to the retired set, you don’t want to use a stock image featuring a 20-something.

When picking images of people, stay true to your brand. Nature is often a safe bet when choosing photos as the content is neutral.

Make the Image Work with the Message

When choosing a stock image, you also want to make sure it works with the message you want to convey.

Your chosen image should help your content, not take away from it. Your stock image needs to engage your customer and draw them in so they’ll read your content.

Pick a vibrant photo that isn’t outdated. For example, if you sell cell phone accessories, you don’t want to feature a flip phone.

You want photos with colors that match your brand and your message. Note how we chose an energetic, orange-colored photo for this article that works well with our website.

If your website is modern, minimal, and black and white, you most likely don’t want to use a full color photo unless it works with your message.

Lastly, be creative. Don’t pick the first stock image you see. For example, your audience has seen numerous stock images of a helpful customer service person on a phone.

Find a new way to present your information that is creative and memorable.

The Take-Away

Your visual marketing is important to your success which is why it’s important to choose the right stock image.

The best performing stock images help customers digest information quickly. They catch people’s attention and hold it long enough for you to get your point across.

Plus, on social media, posts with images get more traction than those without.

It’s time to get visual and choose the right stock images for your social media networks, email marketing and website.

If you’d like some help using visual marketing to create engaging social media posts, we can help. We source a wide-range of industry-specific stock images for your social media networks in addition to using your own creatives.

We study your brand, and choose stock images that work with your brand identity

Choosing the right stock image is an integral part of your business’ visual marketing plan. It’s a great way to create loyal followers, increase engagement and provide a valuable return on your investment. Learn more about our services and how we can create engaging content that your customers will enjoy and appreciate.

Image: Unsplash