Stock photos on social media: Are they worth it?
2020 July 08
Stock images on social media are a great tool for a company to utilize, but the thing with the stock image world is that it can be a bit cheesy, to say the least. The thing with social media marketing strategies is that it is a very visual marketing strategy that needs to have visuals that communicate and resonate with the audience.
It is estimated that there are over 1.5 billion pieces of content on the internet and consumers only retain about 10 to 20 percent of the information that they are reading, hearing or consuming. This means that a strong marketing strategy and CTA with stronger visuals are critical.
A great photo can generate about 14 percent more views when published with social media marketing content, in return, this helps to grab the attention of your audience and provides the “inbound” part of social media marketing.
While there are hundreds of websites out there that offer free stock images, the picking is a bit limited for the free ones. On the other hand, it can be costly to have a membership with other companies that provide better images. It can be a toss up, but any marketing firms Austin Texas will recommend paying a bit more for better images or have your own stock images taken! So yes to answer the question, “is it okay to use stock images on social media” but make sure to use the best images possible!
There is a very big difference in the type of images that are free and premium stock images will produce for a company. If you are in a niche industry, it would more than likely be better to purchase a smaller premium stock membership. This is because there is a larger range of images that would work for your company, otherwise, the images can be pointless and not convey the right message.
Stock images tend to have a certain feel about them and most consumers know that the image itself is a stock image, and with that, stock images might not fit branding guidelines in place because they are simply made for anyone on the internet to be utilizing! It is important to download the images at their highest resolution, add logos and any other branding in place.
Should I use stock for every image?
Is it okay to use stock images on social media? Of course, but try not to use stock images for every single post if possible! Consumers want companies who are honest, open and transparent with their social media marketing efforts. OMG Austin, one of the leading marketing firms Austin Texas, always tells clients that one of the easiest ways to do this is to have real life people in their social media images.
While it can be difficult to have an exact image for every type of content that will be published, it will be better to have a mixture of stock and custom images instead of all stock images. You can implement stock photos alongside some of your own graphics, user-generated content and other images to help to diversify your social media feed, but at the same time, keep the audience engaged in the content that is being published.
What type of photos should we share?
The first step in figuring out what type of images to share is to make sure there is a strong social media marketing strategy behind everything. Without a strategy, it can all be for nothing, images and everything! The first step is to create a content calendar! This calendar can be a weekly, bi-weekly or monthly calendar that has all of the marketing strategies in place and ready to go for images.
The next step is to make sure to understand your audience’s wants and needs from social media marketing. A post to simply post isn’t going to work, but what images and content are they engaging with? Are their certain images that outperform others? If so, use them as much as possible!
A company can also leverage user generated content as their images. This can be a screenshot of a review left by a customer, posts shared from the customer themselves and other content from their consumers. This is because consumers trust other consumers.
It is important in our world to make sure to be personal and humanized. This can be difficult with stock images, so when someone asks, “is it okay to use stock images on social media” we say no if you want to be personal and humanized. This does not mean we don’t use stock images on our own social media marketing strategies, but our company does try to use its people first when the opportunity arises!
There you have it! Stock photos are worth it, but only if they convey the message as strongly as it should. For help with images, content calendars, marketing strategies and more, contact us today!
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