Stock photos may be the last thing you think about when publishing content for your company blog, especially in the B2B and telecom world. It’s been proven, however, that using the right images will help content get shared and noticed. In our visual world of smartphones and Instagram, good visual design is an investment. People expect to see quality images with every piece of content they look at. Feel overwhelmed yet? These simple stock photo tips will take the pressure off and get your blog looking sharp in no time.
1. Take Your Time
Don’t underestimate the value of images, even for B2B. Images are important for digital content in every industry, from B2C to B2B. Statistics from top social media analysts prove this:
- Tweets with images receive 150% more retweets than those without images. (Buffer)
- Facebook posts with images receive 2.3X more engagement than those without. (Buzzsumo)
No matter what your content is, it will always be viewed by a human. Humans feel real emotions when viewing images, regardless of whether they are consuming content about vacations or SD-WAN.
With this info in mind, don’t be afraid to take the time to find the right images for your blog content. Your writing is only valuable if someone is reading it, and the right images will help your content get viewed and shared.
Avoid clip art and low-quality images.
There is no excuse for using lame images in your content. Low quality images take away from the quality of your content, making it appear less professional and authoritative than it is.
Given all of the free and low cost stock image options out there (discussed below), there are endless ways to illustrate your content.
Here’s an example. Instead of using an image like this:
Use something more like this:
Or even a free image like this:
In this case, the free image may even be the best one.
2. Match Your Branding
The images on your blog posts are part of your brand and should be treated that way. Select images that compliment your brand colors and personality.
Verizon does a great job of this, selecting images that are sharp, crisp, and use colors that look good with white, black, and red.
They use browns and light blues in addition to shades of red, white and black in every image. All of their content looks good together and like it belongs.
Copper State Communications does this as well, matching their copper and blue-green branding:
Premium stock photo sites even have built in options for recoloring images and choosing from similar images in different colors, making it easy to find a image that works for you.
It may take a few minutes of extra time searching, but choose images that look good with each other and your website—this will make your branding that much stronger.
3. Don’t Violate Copyright Laws
There are a number of high quality stock or royalty-free photo websites out there to choose from, so check out a few to see which is right for you. They offer a range of pricing options for a license, so even small to medium businesses should be able to afford one.
Here are a few premium stock photo sites:
- Getty Images
- Adobe Stock
If a premium stock photography website isn’t in your marketing budget, there are a number of free stock photography sites out there. When you use photos from these sites, double check what license their images are under. Even though they say “free,” it doesn’t mean they are licensed for commercial use. Creative Commons Zero is the most open license, making images free to use for any purpose without attribution.
Here are some free stock photo sites:
- Negative Space
You can also run an advanced search on Google Images or Flickr, filtering by usage rights and license type.
This will help you search lots of free stock photography sites at once to find the right image. Again, it is always best to double check what license each image is under to make sure it’s ok to use.
Bonus Tip: Use Images that are Evocative and Unexpected
Once you’ve got the hang of the rules above, try using an attention-grabbing, intriguing image that is out of the ordinary for your industry. Make sure the image still relates to your headline in some way—no one likes to be confused or tricked.
Here’s an example from one of recent blogs that we shared on LinkedIn Publisher:
This image stands out in the telecom / IT industry where the majority of the images are faceless guys in suits holding computers or lines arcing around a globe illustrating a network. It also makes sense given the “aren’t who you think they are” in the title.
This was one of our most shared pieces, driving 4x more traffic to our site than the next most popular landing page.
If choosing images for your digital content still sounds intimidating to you, or if you don’t have a telecom / IT content strategy at all, reach out to us.