Stock images are ready-to-use pictures for many different purposes. Most images require a licensing fee; but once paid, your business has the rights to use them on promotional materials, packaging, posters, websites, and social media, depending on the usage defined in the licensing.
Many images are available that match the brand message of your business and where you see your business going. It is important to keep your business mission and goals in mind when choosing to use stock images.
Save Time and Money
The use of stock images saves time and money. Creating original images can be expensive and time consuming. The time from an initial photoshoot and editing process can sometimes take weeks and requires a significant investment. By using stock images, your business can refocus marketing strategy funds to promote your brand vision until you’re ready to schedule a corporate photography session. Stock images can set a general tone for your business assets, while corporate photographs show the people, services, and products that make up your business. While original photography conveys authenticity and can improve engagement with your brand, stock photos, when chosen carefully, can provide immediate imagery that supports your mission and speaks to your target audience.
Do the Research
When you select a stock image it is important to find out if the image is used for other purposes. If it is used somewhere that does not align with your brand, move on. The images you choose represent your business. An image might be pretty, but what does it say about your values and business goals? Choose images that evoke a feeling you want your customers to associate with your brand.
Where do I get a stock photo?
There are many online sites that sell stock images. Websites like Shutterstock and Stock Photo Secrets are great places to start. Shutterstock maintains an inventory of stock images, stock footage, stock music, and other tools. Stock Photo Secrets is a digital magazine you can use to grow your knowledge about stock images in business and elsewhere. Other options often used by professional designers include iStockPhoto, Canva, and Getty Images. Depending on your needs, you can choose to purchase images as you need them, or subscribe to a plan that allows a certain number of image downloads each month. If you’re using stock images for social media posting, you may want to consider an unlimited or professional plan.
The ABCs of Picking the Best Stock Image for Your Business
- Authenticity is a priority. What do you want you image to say about your business? Do you want to invoke a feeling or motivate action?
- Be relatable. Pick an image that makes people want to be a part of what you are doing and represents your corporate values.
- Consider image quality. With your budget in mind, it is also important to get the best image possible. Using images in different ways can affect how your target audience interacts with them, but a great, high-resolution image should be your top priority.
Cowtown Will Help
Cowtown Creative offers a range of services to elevate your brand. As our team develops business marketing strategies, we often help choose or offer guidelines to selecting the best stock images to represent our clients based on their goals and target audience.
In addition to marketing strategy, web design, and branding services that include stock image selection guidelines, Cowtown also offers corporate photography. Stock images are great for starting to build your brand image, but when you’re ready for custom images, corporate photography can showcase your business and your people in a way that is more personal and professional. We’ll come to you and set up corporate photography sessions to create unique and consistent team photos, action shots of your team doing great work, and product images that are magazine-ready. Contact us today to schedule a free 30-minute consultation, and let’s start a conversation about how Cowtown can improve your company image and marketing strategy.