Have you thought recently about the pictures you use in your image branding? Many of us in social media marketing are accredited to picking a few pictures from our stock photos, publishing, and washing our hands of it. This may not be the best policy if we want to gain access into new territory and give our readers a unique and refreshing view of our company and service. So, here's to new beginnings! Let's look at why you should give your images another look.
Quality is in the Details
When faced with either quantity or quality, you know quality is the best. But taking professional photos off a public database is not always a good solution. Ask yourself, how many other brands are using this same image? If you are expecting image branding to stick in their heads and you're using public images, they will not. In my experience on the web, I've seen the use of public images on multiple sites. Trust me. It's ineffective. Any truly unique brand will have its own images, its own character, and its own voice.
Why put pictures in at all? Of course you need images. The internet is a strong presence in marketing and communication, and it's becoming apparent how important imaging is for online presence. Newspapers used to have a percentage of, maybe 30% images. For the internet, it's at least 50%. Eye-catching images will solidify your brand without you saying a word.
Do you have legal access to your images – as in, all of them? If you've ever done a simple Google search and used a picture for your image branding, you are using them without permission. If you do everything else right with your branding, it will not look so polished if you're using images illegally.
The fact is that most companies pay to use their pictures. Available access can open doors for your image branding. Often, when you pay to use these images, you are able to alter them and fit them to your specifications. Just the thought of this should ease your mind.
Another option is paying for freelance work and digital imaging. Although time-consuming, resources like Elance.com have freelancers with what you can negotiate for digital imaging, design, and multimedia. You can negotiate payment and both you and the freelancer are protected.
If you do not want to pay, Flickr.com is a great resource for free and legal images. Scouting through that site may be a little tricky, but it can really pay off with quality free images.