Did you know that our attention span is now even less than that of a goldfish? Media analysts say the average attention span of humans is 8 seconds. This is mostly a result of the hyper-digitalized society we find ourselves in, with over 1.5 quintillions of content uploaded every day.

What this means to you as a content creator, digital marketer or business owner is that you would need to find a way to first grab your audience’s attention, get them to stop all the scrolling, notice your content and decide in that split 8 sec if your content is worth their time. 

The best way to do this is by using a catchy headline along with the right visual content relevant to your audience. This way you would not only snag your audience’s attention; you would also leave your message imprinted in their mind for a while.

What does this have to do with stock photos?

Well, you could decide to source your visual content; take them yourself, or pay someone to do so, but what if:

  • You do not have the necessary skills and gadget to create a quality visual content?
  • You are a new business and don’t have the money to pay someone else?
  • You don’t have the time to create the visual content?
  • You are in an industry like health, where you can’t use pictures of your customer without permission?
  • You need pictures of locations you are not at?

This is where stock photos come in handy.

After reading this blog post, you would know what stock photos are, the license models associated with them and how to use them effectively for your digital marketing campaign.

What are stock photos

Stock photos are photos – pictures, videos, illustrations, icons – made available by stock photo agencies/websites for others to purchase for creative use under various license models. Hence, what makes an image a stock image is that it was made for others to use.

They are not limited to any genre. You can find images that suit any genre on the various stock photo sites. What this means for you is that you have access to unlimited and diverse photos you can use for different projects or marketing campaigns.  All you need to do is strategically use the search option or make use of the various categories options on those sites. 

Sites like Afripik offer you high-resolution African pictures for your African audience. You can also try out Freepik for vectors and illustrations and Gratisography for quirky and funny images.

Stock photos licensing models

Since these photos were made by someone else, not you, the licensing models are what give you the right to use the photos. This makes Google the worst place to get images for creative use. Images from google are not copyright-free and can hence harm your brand if used.

The two major Stock photos licensing models are:

Right managed license

For this license, images are paid for based on the number of uses. When an image is purchased for single use, let’s say a flier, it cannot be used for another use (e.g book cover) without reaching another agreement with the stock agency.

This kind of license is used if you want the exclusivity of a particular picture for a certain period since the stock agency or photo library will not sell the same image to your competitors.

Royalty-free license

For this license model, images are sold based on size. So a high-resolution image will cost more than a low-resolution image. Under this license, there are no limits to the creative work that can be done using a single purchased image. Afripik operates with this kind of license. 

How to effectively use stock photos for your digital marketing campaign

As a result of COVID-19 and the overcrowded digital space, people lean towards brands they think they can trust. They search for something authentic and dependable. And brands fear that stock images can not give off an authentic feel since they are staged pictures.

But if well selected and edited, stock photos will promote and bring no harm to your brand, business, or of your client. 

Some ways to effectively use stock images for your digital marketing campaigns include:

1. Choose the highest quality

This is pretty obvious. A low-resolution stock image is a turn-off and gives a negative impression of your brand. Downloading images from Google images is not only risky to use for your creative work or marketing campaign because of the copyright that may apply but also because they are usually of low resolution.

2. Understand your message

Thoroughly understanding your message gives you an idea of what kind of photo to even start your search with. It also gives you a clue of what photo would work or wouldn’t.

3. Choose images that speak your message

Your image is what grabs your audience’s eyes and helps them decide to read through your flier/write-up or not. Imagine if that picture conveys the wrong message. This would make your audience lose trust in your brand faster than the picture themselves.

4. Download the right image size

After choosing your image, make sure to choose the right image size to download. The image size depends on the channel you intend to use the image in. This is important because cropping or enlarging an image can make the image blurry.

5. Edit the image to align with your brand

The license models of Stock images allow you to edit the pictures as it would suit your creative use. You can make the images align better with your brand by adding your logo, using a particular filter, or including your brand colours in the flier.

6. Avoid overused images

Using images that have been used many times by others takes away any form of originality or authenticity from your work and hurts your brand. Since stock photo agencies contain a lot of stock photo options, choose images that are not cliche. And if you are struggling to find a wide range of options for your African audience, you can check out Afripik.

7. Pay for premium images

Be willing to pay for premium images. The free images are usually widely used by people but purchasing a premium image gives the possibility that you are the only one using the image or you are part of a few that use the image.

Stock photos help save you a lot of time and money and with the above tips, they can help bring you lots of engagements and an increased ROI.

Was this helpful to you? Let us know in the comment section.

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