Guest Post – Sarah Aktag, Founder of Eliza Stock
Professional content is the key to creating a professional aesthetic for your brand and business. In this blog Sarah from Eliza Stock shares the top 5 places to use stock photograph in your content.
Fresh, new, ongoing content, filler content, text overlay, celebration days, events, email content, website content, blog posts, articles and the list goes on and on….
We need content.
Visual imagery is a key part of content in business and in many instances can attract or deter the very people you most want to engage with aka your target market.
We know consumers are savvier than ever and have higher expectations than ever and so with this in mind, we need to work towards presenting our business professionally at every touch point (just like the big brands and businesses you admire do).
Whilst you may not have the million dollar marketing budget or connections that the big brands have, you can still look professional and just as put together.
One way to do this is through making a commitment to always use quality photography. Visual aesthetics are often the first introduction to your business and photography is a key component to visual aesthetics and content.
As a professional photographer, there are five key areas I recommend using professional images.
The Top Five Places To Use Stock Photos in Your Content:
1. Website – Stock photos are perfect for placement throughout your website and blogs
Your website is your virtual shop front and the modern way to display your business for all to see. Browsers will view your website and quickly decide if they’d like to keep browsing or walk out and move onto the next virtual shop.
In a bricks and mortar store, a customer who steps into a cluttered, unorganised shop with cheap products and paper signs stuck to the windows will get the impression of a low quality, thrown together business.
The same could be said for your virtual shop front when using free, overused images that have been seen a thousand times.
Websites are also not the place for pixelated or blurry images taken on your phone and then uploaded to your website in order to fill a gap.
No one sets out in business to position themselves in the market as a low-quality option, your website is your moment to shine and tell your browser, “look no further, we offer what you are looking for”.
Well written copy accompanied with visually appealing images creates a virtual shop front that ties together seamlessly and keeps your potential customers in your store for longer.
And side note- the longer they stay browsing, the better it is for your google rankings, potential sales, and building your email lists.
2. Social media – Let’s talk Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest
You can’t talk about visual content without talking about social media. Social media platforms are great for establishing new friendships and connections as well as showcasing behind the scenes, client testimonials and offering free content or ‘how to’ guides.
Offering true insights into your business shows your brands personality and brand voice to your followers.
Socials are a great platform to use a mixture of three types of images:
The face of the business, brand or company plus staff or team members
Behind the scenes, the unpolished, real content giving your customers insight into the process of your work
Stock images for planned content to grab your audience’s attention
Utilising a mix of these three images will give your followers overall insight and add a professional feel to all aspects of your business.
3. Email marketing – Email marketing is key to business
Your audience wants value and they want to hear from you (that’s why they hit the subscribe button) and you want your audience to open, read, click on the links and most of all stay subscribed to your list.
So how can you stand out in an inbox swimming with all the other emails?
What may seem unimportant to some is a secret weapon that can give your business the upper hand in the battle of the inbox.
One way that many business owners let their newsletters down is in the visual department.
Here’s a scenario….You’re planning to send an email to your subscriber list and want it to be both visually appealing and “read worthy” so along with your written message and updates you quickly search the internet for a free photo to use.
You find an image that will do and insert it into your email template and send it out to the world. When subscribers open the email they see an image they’ve seen time and time again (from every other business that has already used the free image you’ve just found on the internet). The chosen image has been downloaded hundreds of thousands of times…it’s been seen.
Whilst some may wonder how an overused image in a newsletter could have a lasting impact on subscribers, the truth is that ultimately we lose the wow factor in an instant, not to mention the exclusivity of our product and our services lose their value every time we use an old photo that’s been circulating for the best part of a decade.
4. PDF’s – Think service guides, flyers and e-books and digital downloads
Digital documents are an extension of your website, your social media and your brand and are created for your most valuable clients who want to take the next step in their customer journey with you.
Keeping digital collateral visually appealing with beautiful images can make or break the ongoing perception of a brand or business.
If a potential customer or client perceives you to be professional and a specialist in what you do, they would expect a digital document to hold a consistent level of professionalism and a cohesive aesthetic that matches your website and social media presence.
5. Ads – Facebook, Instagram, Google, Pinterest, Spotify and anywhere else you can advertise
Advertising is a great way to showcase your business to a new audience, gain greater reach, and build brand awareness.
Offering fresh, professional imagery along with well written copy will keep your potential customers engaged and show your business in the best light.
As a professional photographer, these are the five key areas I recommend using professional images for your business. You’re covering all bases and ensuring every touch point looks visually appealing which makes you appear professional and trustworthy.
Happy content creating!
Bio – Sarah Aktag
Sarah is a professional photographer and after almost a decade as a wedding photographer, in 2020 she launched a product photography business and this year expanded her photography offering with the launch of her stock photography service called Eliza Stock.
If you’d like to know more about using stock photography to give your business the visual upper hand, check out her website at Eliza Stock, where you’ll also be able to download 20 FREE images for your use.
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