How to Find the Best Stock Photos

Posted by: Chris Marentis

How to Find the Best Stock Photos


We’ve all seen generic staged looking stock photos on business websites. Sometimes they’re tacky, sometimes they’re overpriced, and in the worst possible situation, they’re both tacky and overpriced.

frame wcopy But if you use stock photos correctly, they can actually be quite useful for your local internet marketing. According to Hubspot, stock photos can add more compelling visual content to your ads without the cost of paying for original photography or design work. The trick is knowing how to select the perfect photo for your marketing campaign and budget.


Make the Photo Tell a Story

When you use a stock photo, make sure you’re using it for a reason. In other words, don’t just post it with your ad copy to occupy space. Instead, use images that tie in with your content. Depending on your business’s creative process, it might help to begin with a message in mind, find a great photo, and then tweak the copy so that it all ties together. If you don’t have flexibility on both ends, you could end up spending hours searching for the perfect photo to complement the exact wording in your ad.


On the other hand, it’s also not a good idea to choose a generic photo that would fit any content. You want to make the image and the message memorable so people take the time to look at it. If you’re stuck on the creative, don’t be afraid to turn to local marketing experts for guidance.


Consider Your Audience

Small business owners always need to be thinking about what their customers want and how they can deliver it. When it comes to stock photos, it’s also important to choose images that your customers can relate to. For instance, if your target audience is Baby Boomers, you could choose photos that evoke feelings of nostalgia, such as a group of people listening to vinyl records.


Don’t Modify the Photo Too Much

Although Photoshop is a wonderful tool, sometimes it’s more trouble than it’s worth. In fact, sometimes you won’t need to alter the stock photo at all. Surprisingly, for simple photo editing, PowerPoint can usually do the trick. In some cases, you’ll run across a photo with one perfect element but another that doesn’t work. The simple solution – just crop out the part you don’t like.


Don’t Be Afraid to Experiment

You might think you found the perfect stock photo—until you combine it with the text. That’s when you realize that the photo isn’t right at all. To learn to use stock photos effectively, you’ll have to be willing to experiment. Thankfully, purchasing stock photos is much less costly than hiring a photographer or graphic artist.

Chris Marentis

For nearly three decades, Chris Marentis, Founder and CEO of Surefire Social, has been responsible for driving innovation and sales growth for large media and e-commerce brands as well as start-ups. With a long-history of counseling local businesses about their marketing efforts, Marentis provides insight on what it takes for small businesses to succeed and thrive in today’s evolving digital environment. His notable career includes creating the foundational blueprints for online marketing, e-commerce and content branding for AOL’s Interactive Marketing group, where he served as Senior Vice President. While CEO of Clearspring Technologies, Marentis developed one of the most widely adopted venture-backed Web 2.0 technology platforms. Marentis is a frequent speaker at local digital marketing conferences and a contributor to SMB and technology-focused publications.

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