Rethink using stock images

by | Nov 2, 2016 | Strategy, Websites

Nothing makes our hearts sink quicker than seeing cheesy stock photos plastered all over a well designed website. So much so that a couple of weeks ago we recreated some of most love to hate images which I think prove our point. However I think we should probably explain more about why you should rethink your approach to images on your site.

When you use stock photos you are telling a different story to the words you are writing and users will pick up on this. The images are impersonal and lack authenticity destroying the carefully crafted message you are trying to send out.  

This doesn’t mean everyone has to go out and hire the most expensive photographer or that if you have stock images then you’re doomed to fail. But if you want to take your marketing and brand to the next level, to get a visual library that is unique and to have a site that can hold its own against the competition then get yourself some bespoke images.

Below are our top 5 reasons why we want you to rethink your approach to stock photos:

  1. Don’t settle – as a business owner, partner, manager or a passionate member of your staff I’m sure you’re used to telling people why you’re the best, how hardworking you are and how you never cut corners. When you use obvious stock photos you undo all of those messages.
  2. Connection – there are a few phrases we hear a lot “people buy from people” and “it’s nice to put a face to a name”.  People want to trust people, they want to meet people and they want to feel secure. If you can show your users who you are and build a better mental picture for them it will be easier to give them what they want.
  3. Authenticity – Unless you put in a lot of time and effort to find really good stock photography (and I’m talking hours) it can look really staged and can do more damage than good. If you’re trying to get people to attend a meeting then your success rate will be better if they can imagine themselves talking to your staff rather than seeing a picture of some models in suits.
  4. Differentiate yourself – your competition may already be using stock images, which means if you use real staff photos you’re on track to beat them! There is also the chance your competition could use the same or very similar stock photos which make you look like a copycat. Plus your staff make you how you are, so celebrate them!
  5. Investment – these photos are an investment that add depth to your brand. You’ll be able to use them across your site, in your print materials, on social media and in any press coverage you may get. They will create a cohesive identity that connects people to you.

Stock images are cheap, easy and therefore very tempting. What you gain in speed, ease and price you lose in connection, impact and depth.

What bespoke images can do is unmeasurable.  It will connect your audience to your staff, creates a humanised visual brand, creates authenticity and above all they’re completely unique to you.

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