Why Authentic Images Are Essential To Your Brand

Categories: Marketing
No Comments

Stock images are plentiful in today’s digital landscape, and you would be hard-pressed to discover a business site or marketing material that doesn’t use stock photography in some manner.  There are a few reasons for this: Stock photos are easy to locate and implement, affordable for any business, and time-saving.

Regrettably, stock photography isn’t the most eye-catching art form.  Literally.  Research by web expert Jakob Nielsen showed that people completely discount generic or stock images or gloss over.  But photos of actual people or merchandise in a realistic setting garnered more attention.

There are two main sources of photographs accredited for business use: stock photos and hired photographers.  Stock photos are generic photos of places people and items accessible to anyone who would like to utilize them and licensed for commercial use.  Hired photographers shoot photos that personalize a customer’s brand, business, and endeavors.   So, what exactly does this mean?  In the event, you eliminate stock photos in your marketing materials?

Authenticity is Vital 

While stock images can fill space on a website, they can’t catch what your business is all about.  Most stock pictures feel manufactured or put up, and their environments are reflective of your real workplace.

With habit photos, you pull clients in since they are viewing your actual team rather than a cookie-cutter set of inventory versions.  This identifies your business as authentic and tangible.  People will feel more comfortable doing business with you because they view you, your workers, and/or your goods (if you have goods ) in authentic settings.

There is nothing more inauthentic than a professionally staged photograph of men and women who don’t work at the company.  It puts your company.  

Stock photos are not original

Among the most obvious pitfalls of stock photos is they aren’t original.  Stock pictures deliver scenes that are generic with generic backgrounds that you will find on every site.

There is no guarantee that your competitor isn’t using the identical stock image you are using on your site or in your marketing materials.  Most stock image companies sell these pictures non-exclusively, which means that anyone can buy and use them.

Of course, the choice of using professional and personal photography ensures creativity.  You have the exclusive rights of any images taken by yourself or with a professional you hire.  And you won’t need to worry about your opponents using the very same images on their site.

Creative control of pictures and branding Another downfall of stock photos is they provide you with no creative control.  If you search for hours for the best image, you are ultimately picking someone else’s work designed to vaguely fit in with a variety of businesses.

This, of course, may lead to major branding issues.  The graphics, logos, colors, and text that you use for your company are part of your brand.  It is hard for stock photos to correctly communicate what your brand is.

With custom images, you simply take back creative control, which consequently lets you ensure your photos are on message.  Imagine if a print advertisement for Coca-Cola utilized a picture of folks holding cups of brown liquid.  It would be bizarrely off-brand that you would recognize it with the business at all.

Working with your team

A low-key photo shoot can improve morale and build camaraderie among your employees.  With stock photos, random models represent your business; with custom photos, you may get your staff in on the action.  What better way to show you appreciate your workers than simply making them the company’s face.

Of course, not everybody would like to be contained in photographs, but for those who do, it can be an enjoyable team-building exercise.  This is especially true when you have a product or service that you can show in action.

Shooting your photos doesn’t need to be a significant deal.  A worker who is good with cameras or you can snap a couple of shots.  If you want to spend a little more time and money on photos, you may always hire a specialist from Beacon Media.

Benefits of Stock Photography

There is little doubt about it, stock photos are appealing to many tiny businesses since they fit tight budgets, can be found quickly if you are on a tight timeline, and they’re fantastic for references.  But they have a few cons that are serious and also a dark side.

Cons of Stock Photography

1) REPUTATIONS AND BRAND RUINED

Stock photos aren’t such a fantastic choice as soon as your competitor is using the same photos.  If you are looking for stock photos using keywords like “happy client”, or “satisfied customers”, odds are your competitor is too.

Two major computer firms discovered the hard way that looks like your competitors was a bad thing.  They bought the stock image to brand their advertising campaign and become ridiculed and humiliated in public.  The photos may change, but the report remains online making them a case study in what not to do.

It is not hard for people to monitor what photos they view from one website to another.

Two ) FALSE VALUE

You save money by using stock photography; but you wind up spending those savings on having your designer spend hours in front of a computer trying to design round accessible stock photos which don’t match the vision, the message or your brand-new  You eliminate value once you only examine the dollar sign or the line and can save yourself money.  True worth is the value that your clients see where it shows to the world, and because you have invested your money wisely.

3) COMPROMISED CREATIVITY

When you hire a designer based on their portfolio, style, and vision, you employ them since you trust them to visually interpret your message and brand new.  They can not do this if they’re restricted by using stock photography.

· You wouldn’t hire a chef and limit them and week-old veggies and expect the best meal they were capable of producing.

· You wouldn’t hire a massage therapist and limit the number of techniques they could use to alleviate your pain.

· Do not hire a designer and limit them to using stock photos.

4) SENDING MIXED MESSAGES

Does any of your marketing copy say ‘customized’, ‘unique’, ‘reliable, ‘relationship’?  These are some of the power words businesses use to characterize their own relationship.  Will these values be translated when you pepper your own website with stock photography?  Should you provide your clients service with products, why not treat yourself too?

5) STOCK PHOTOS ARE GENERIC

Professional stock photographers attempt to achieve the best number of buyers, not to create the best or most distinctive photo for any given individual.

Stock photographers:

· Earn their money by creating and shooting photos that are appealing to the greatest number of buyers.  The more popular their photo, the more people buy it and the greater the saturation of that photo in the market.

· Want to make sure their designs aren’t one-of-a-kind or unique.  One-of-a-kind photos do not sell.  By being generic and non-descript as possible they appeal to the business because they “match” a cliché, message or mood these businesses with tight budgets and no concern about branding needs.