It’s overused, sometimes cheesy, and almost always lacks authenticity. Those are the drawbacks of using stock photography and they are the traits you don’t want associated with your brand!
Sure, the benefits are there – stock photography is fairly inexpensive and easy to obtain in just a few clicks, but if you don’t want your product or service to be perceived as “cheap”, then stay away from the cheap stuff when developing your website, email marketing campaigns, and marketing collateral.
For most organizations, stock photography can’t convey your specific features and benefits, especially if you have a unique product or service offering. Take Shoeboxed.com for example. On the website’s homepage and in its marketing videos, you’ll see custom designed illustrations and real life users interacting with the organizational service’s offerings, including illustrations of the Shoeboxed process – granting Shoeboxed the unique marketing opportunity to put the viewer in the mindset of using the service themselves.
Another risk of stock photography is having access to the same libraries of imagery that other organizations, perhaps even your competitors, may be using. That attractive woman giving your business a “thumbs up”? She’s also giving your competitor a “thumbs up”. Ouch!
Jamie Starling, a professional photographer in the Raleigh, NC area notes: “images that go on the cover of your book, your brochure, or your website become part of your image. If someone else then uses the same image, they can (accidentally or otherwise) exert some control over what people think of your product or company”. You can read more about Jamie’s goal of bringing a little recognition back to the creative types on his website at http://www.jamiestarlingphoto.com/.
Instead, seek out professional photographers and graphic designers in your area with experience in capturing or creating the type of imagery appropriate for your business. And while you should be prepared to make an investment in quality images for your brand, try reaching out amongst your network of local professionals – one of them may be willing to offer a partial trade in exchange for your goods or services along the way!
This blog post was courtesy of Lisa Jeffries at Shoeboxed. Shoeboxed is the easiest way to digitize and organize your receipts and business cards. With Shoeboxed, you can mail receipts and business cards and they will be scanned and entered into an online account for you. The paid scanning service and the free online software make organizing these receipts and business cards easier, which saves you time and frustration. You can eliminate your clutter, avoid using a scanner and have your information at your fingertips.