Got your hands on some lovely stock images lately, but not sure what to do with them? Here’s 9 places across your online platforms you can use stock imagery to grow your business and attract your dream audience.
WHY SHOULD I USE STOCK IMAGES?
When used correctly and intentionally, stock photos can be incredibly effective in increasing your reach, traffic and ultimately, your conversions. Often however, it’s not always clear where to use stock photos to have the maximum impact.
Because slapping the odd free stock image on your social media feeds every now and then isn’t going to have the impact you think it will.
But when you source the right images for your brand style, and use them in the right places across your virtual real estate; they instantly up-level your brand aesthetic, and help you look polished, cohesive, branded and professional.You see, stock images help bridge the gap for the small businesses, helping them look just as shiny as the bigger guys – without the massive production costs.
So here’s 9 places you can use stock photos to actually grow your business and attract your ideal audience.
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1: YOUR WEBSITE
Place images that work well for your brand across various points of your website such as the home page hero banner, in your footer, in your blog or shop sidebar, use them as button backgrounds and on any contact pages.
TIP: Pick a set of images that work well together and consider these your ‘brand stock pics’ to use in a variety of places to being in a sense of cohesion.
2: YOUR LANDING PAGES
These are the pages where you bring potential viewers in and ask them to sign up to your email list, usually in return for a freebie of some kind. Or it may be your main sales page for your key service or offering. They need to catch the eye of your audience instantly – or they’re clicking off the page. So make them stand out by using high-end imagery as page backgrounds, or mock-ups to preview your download in.
TIP: Keep it simple with plenty of negative space or blurred background so it can have the visual impact it needs, whilst still letting your copy stand front and centre.
3: IN YOUR LEAD-MAGNETS
Providing you are not giving the stock images away as part of your lead magnet (that’s normally against the terms of most stock photographers) you can still use them when designing your freebie guides and therefore keep a cohesive brand aesthetic. Use them on your front covers, as header images for different sections of your download and for any up-sell pages or offers you deliver within the lead-magnet.
TIP: Use images that go with the images you used on the landing page – that way the familiarity is there and your brand looks cohesive and professional.
4: IN YOUR EMAIL MARKETING
Grab your readers attention with a branded email header and use a high-end editorial-style stock image or two to get their attention and entice them to read your emails. You can also use a variety of images in your onboarding sequence to speak to your audiences journey and struggles and help relate what you offer to what they need.
TIP: Create a quality graphic in Canva (a free design resource) and use a stock image from your website to keep cohesion with your brand as the background of the image.
5: SALES & PROMOS
High-end stock images can go a long way in your sales and promotional marketing material. Use technology mock-ups to preview your sales page to your audience, or use images of clocks or sunsets to create a sense of urgency for a closing deal.
TIP: Try and locate images that are suited to your style, but don’t use the same ones as you use in your branded, evergreen imagery (websites and email headers for instance). This keeps that sense of cohesion and familiarity, but the different image will grab not only new viewers attention, but the regulars as well.
6: SOCIAL MEDIA POSTS
Here’s where you can use a variety of images to talk about your key topics relating to your brand. You don’t have to stick to images in your specific niche, providing there’s some relevance between the image and the caption. Check out this article for how to choose stock images for social media!
TIP: Here’s where you can blend product shots, headshots, quotes, graphics and stock images to create a beautiful and cohesive feed. Stick to one grid style on platforms like Instagram and don’t change them up too much. Neutral and earthy toned stock images work really well at blending with a variety of other content you’d post about.
7: SOCIAL MEDIA BRANDING
Don’t forget about your Facebook page covers, group board covers, Pinterest banners, Pinterest board covers as well as any other profile pages such as Etsy & Creative Market! I’d normally recommend you put a headshot in any profile picture spaces, but if you’re using platforms with banner backgrounds, this is a perfect place to use a high end stock image to bring your branding together.
TIP: Create a graphic in Canva so you can place your logo over the stock image for the full branded effect. Use images similar to the ones on your website. And try not to use too much text – some banner pictures (Creative Market for example) don’t appear that sharp on retina screens.
8: SEASONAL DECOR
As the year moves through the seasons, you can use images relating to that season on your social media feeds and emails to stay current with your audience. Some examples include festive emails around December, fall social media posts in October, spring website banners in April etc.
TIP: Try and find seasonal images that pick up on your brand colours or are fairly neutral so they will still blend in with your aesthetic. And don’t forget to switch back to evergreen graphics after a couple of weeks. Otherwise you’ll still be sending autumnal looking emails in August…
9: BLOG POSTS
Finally, stock images make ideal visuals for your blog posts. Not just in the headers but also to help demonstrate any points in the post itself. And the beauty of finding a good stock image library is there’s usually a variety of subject matter that will help you talk about so many topics relating to your brand.
TIP: If you’re stuck for content ideas, log into your favourite stock image library – just browsing the latest or most popular images can spark so many blog post ideas!
THE KEY TO HIGH END BRANDING
Using cohesive stock images in the right places pulls your brand aesthetic together and really enhances your visual appeal. By placing a set of stock images that reflect your brands colours and styles across multiple platforms, it creates a sense of cohesion and familiarity with your users, which means they’re much more likely to stick around, check out what you’re teaching and sign up to what you are offering.
And to make it even easier, Tide & Tree members can get their favourite images in a variety of different orientations, which means they can source high-end images in wide, long, square and rotatable layups.
Hello cohesive branding!
(Across a multiple of platforms!)
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