You are probably aware of just how important images are to your business marketing efforts. There are two main reasons for this. Content that contains images generally performs better than content that contains only text and people remember images more easily than they remember text.
What this means is that using photo stock images in your business online content helps to engage customers and ensure they remember your brand. However, in order to optimize your use of images, you need to ensure that you make the right choices. One choice that you may find perplexing is whether to use free stock photos or to pay for images.
Pros and cons of free stock photos
There are several sites that offer free stock images for use. It can be tempting to use these when you are choosing photos, and other visual content, for your website or social media accounts. What are the pros and cons of doing this?
- Images are free to use so you do not have to eat into your marketing budget.
- You have easy access to the photos, and other images, that you need.
- The choice of photos available can be limited.
- There may not be a lot of choices when it comes to different types of images.
- Image quality may not be high. This is vital when you consider just how important online images are. You want them to attract people, not deter them.
Although you can save money by using free stock images for your online content, you can see that it may not be the best choice.
Why buying stock images is the best option
There are several reasons why investing in stock images is a good idea for your business. You need to take these factors into account when you are making a decision regarding image choices for your online content.
Access to a large selection of images
When you are choosing images to use to promote your business and get your message across, it helps to have a wide selection to choose from. The choice is normally more varied when you use sites that provide paid stock images.
Different image options available
It’s not just the selection of images available that is important, you also need to have access to different types of image. This is because using a variety of different images such as photos, memes, vectors, and infographics helps to keep customers, and potential customers, engaged with your content. Sites that provide paid images usually have more image types available for you to choose from.
Quality of images is high
Using photos in your online content is all well and good, but if the quality is not good, they can have an adverse rather than a positive effect. This is why you need to ensure the quality of every image that you use. This is more likely to happen if you pay to use photos and other images.
Making the most of your stock image investment
It’s important to realize that simply choosing to use paid stock images is not enough. There are steps that you need to take in order to make wise spending choices and help to optimize your marketing budget.
Taking time to complete these steps benefits your business financially and helps you to optimize the effectiveness of the images that you choose.
- Make sure that you know your message.
You need to have a good understanding of the message that you are trying to convey. Having this knowledge means that you are more able to choose relevant images.
- Understand your customer base.
It’s not just your message that you need to consider when choosing stock photos. You also need to think about the customers that you are attempting to attract. They need to be able to relate to the photos that you choose.
- Have a budget in place
Investing in stock images is an affordable option, especially if you chose royalty free images. In this case, you will normally only need to pay for a license to use an image as often as you choose to. However, it’s still important that you have a budget in place for your visuals, so that you can plan your expenditure upfront.
Do not forget great content
Optimizing the effectiveness of your stock image investment does not end with making your initial choices. They need to work on your website and across social media.
This is only going to happen if the images are combined with well-thought-out and informative content. You need to ensure that you get the right balance between images that have something to say for themselves and excellent content that complements them.
Images are an important part of your online content. They can convey a message to your customers, and potential customers. In order to make this happen, you need to have the right images available.
While you have the option to use free stock images, it usually makes more sense to pay for the images you use. Doing so gives you access to different types of image, as well as a greater variety. This means that you are better able to get the ideal images that you need.
In order to get the best results from your investment, you need to have some information in place before you spend any money. This information includes knowing what message you want to convey and what images will appeal to your customer base. You also need to understand your budget and what money you have to spend on your stock images.
When you are making your choices regarding images to use, it’s a good idea to have your overall content in mind. You also need to remember that this content needs to be of high quality. This is important because the only way to optimize the performance of your online presence is to make sure that you have the right balance of stand out content and relevant and memorable images.