Marketing a business has a lot to do with presenting an image that makes people want to interact with your brand. Whether your business brand is classy, sassy, whimsical or rustic, everything you put on there represents your business and adds to its image – good or bad.
The old saying goes a picture is worth a thousand words. Pictures tell stories, invoke emotions, and let us connect with our viewers on a more personal level. You want to make sure that the images you’re using convey what you want them to and accurately relate to your brand.
Anytime you develop content you should be asking yourself – does this match our brand’s personal style? If your business is a rock band, for example, you most likely wouldn’t use a bunch of soft-hued photos of tropical plants and foliage. You’d use photos with bold, colorful hues and a grungy attitude.
But how do you find images?
There are a lot of stock photo websites out there. A lot, a lot. You can use free stock photos, pay by the photo, or use a stock photo subscription, and that can be super helpful at times. However, I firmly believe that original photos are best by far.
Let’s take a look at why.
Original photos form a connection.
Original photos give you the chance to personally connect with your audience where stock photos don’t. Your average consumer probably doesn’t know what a “stock photo” is, but they can pick them out. They feel less personal and staged and leave something to be desired.
Having original photos of you, your business, your product, your team, etc. make that personal connection that people desire. It builds a level of trust and familiarity with your business – elements that are crucial to closing sales. After all, people buy from those they know, like, and trust. You can use original photos to build that relationship with them.
They make your business feel more legit.
Anyone – I mean anyone – can find stock photos online and slap them onto a website. What makes the real professionals stand out is that they invest their time and money into a well presented business.
Humans are skeptics by nature, and it makes sense that we’d be more attracted to a business that looks and feels real. Showcasing original photos does that. It puts your customers and viewers into a place where they can see your face, see what’s happening behind the curtain, and become familiar with what you do.
They can make you more money.
We just talked about how having original photos on your website and social media make your business feel more trustworthy – how does that translate into more money?
It’s a proven fact that people mostly buy from those they know, like and trust. So setting a foundation of familiarity with your photos (which is really only a piece of the marketing puzzle) helps contribute to that.
If you never see the business owner’s face, how likely are you to get to know them? If all of the photos on their website are generic and plucked from a stock photo site, how likely are you to trust them?
People want to feel comfortable with how they’re spending their money. Letting them see the real you behind the business will help them feel more confident when making the decision to do business with you.
Is there a time when I should be using stock photos?
Now, this post isn’t to say that stock photos are bad. I’ve used them since the start of my business and continue using them to this day. I just think there’s a time and place.
If you can’t take the image you’d like to show, by all means, use a stock photo. Don’t spend three days stressing out because that one photo you’re trying to take isn’t happening. Find a photo that conveys your message and matches your brand and go for it!