Have you ever stopped to think about what grabs your attention when you’re browsing the internet?

For many of us, the endless scrolling through walls of text is often halted by beautiful, eye catching photos. In our previous article, “Storytelling and the Science of Emotion“, we talked about why learning to tell a story is so important to connecting with your audience, and today we’ll talk a little more about how fantastic photos, specifically stock photos can help you tell that story!

Whenever you use photos as a part of your brand, you are allowing your audience to connect a little more with you, and picture themselves as a part of what you have created. The use of photos in advertising started over a hundred years ago, practically as soon as the first camera was created! This example of a photo based advertisement was created by the Kodak company to advertise the first camera available on the mass market.

Kodak used a simple photo of a cow to appeal to their audience, showing them how, by purchasing their product, the audience themselves could begin to create beautiful memories and capture specific moments.

Now, obviously a company based around selling cameras would be using photography to sell their product, but why should you be using photos for your business? By using consistent, beautiful images, you’ll be able to give your audience a clearer picture of what it is that you do, and also create a personal brand that they’ll be able to recognize as they scroll through their feed.

In the article “3 Ways to Use Images to Elevate Your Business”, the author Serban Enache sums it up nicely by saying:

That old adage of “a picture is worth a thousand words” has never been more true than it is in the Instagram age. In today’s image obsessed world, every business owner needs to think about how they can use images to visually elevate their business. Photos are an important part of building a brand, but picking the right photos can pose a consistent challenge. Every detail — from the color to the framing to the content itself — matters.”

So now we know that photos have appealed to people for over a hundred years, they catch attention, and they connect your audience to your brand. The final step is where to find these photos to use in your business!

Stock photography has long held a stigma of being stiff, impersonal, and frankly in some situations, kind of ridiculous! For example, we’re not sure what occasion would warrant using an image like this…

                                                      neuroticneutral, Getty Images

And yet if you search for stock photos, you’re likely to come across a plethora of similarly uncomfortable images. So what kind of images should you be using for your brand? In “How to Use Photography in Advertising to Engage and Inspire Your Audience”, the author, Paul Boynton says:

As long as the imagery speaks in an authentic manner and impacts some component of our collective humanity, even convenient but effective solutions like advertising stock photos can fulfill the same vital role that vivid imagery has played in advertising for nearly 100 years.

Fortunately for ad teams, the digital age has introduced effective solutions that can leverage the innate power of photo advertising to pierce through and create impactful advertising that is engaging and even inspiring.

When used within a cohesive campaign that blends content and tone, photography’s direct and visceral qualities will continue to be an essential tool to drive conversions and maximize ROI.”

What does this mean? As businesses we should be using authentic, gorgeous photos to connect with our audience and thankfully we have a multitude of places to discover stock photos that fit our brand, without the spaghetti.

Many organizations are starting to use meaningful photos to connect with their audiences in videos, and in their online courses! Whether it’s being used in your social content, video content, eLearning, or digital courses, hopefully you’re now a little more excited about using beautiful photos as a part of your online strategy.

To help you get started using stock photos, we’ve created a microlearning tutorial on using one of our favorite websites for free images, unsplash.com that you can discover here:

“Finding and Using Free Images”

Other wonderful stock photo websites are Pexels, Pixabay, and Stocksnap.io.

Are you ready to start using the power of beautiful images in your brand?


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