Q

Build Your Content Arsenal with Powerful Stock Photography

If small businesses want to ramp up their social media content strategy, stock photography can give them more creative fuel to support their efforts.
Photo credit: alesmunt - stock.adobe.com

Social platforms like Instagram and TikTok are driven by images and video. In an ideal scenario, you’ll have a social media marketer or digital marketing lead on hand to create unique branded content for your business accounts. However, to keep pace with posting best practices and maximize your reach, you need a trove of content that you can use and repurpose over time.

Now, that doesn’t mean you can simply do an image search and use whatever you’d like. If there’s an image or video you’d like to use on another social account, you can re-share and repost using the platform’s specific functions. However, you can not save, download and reuse these images for promotional or commercial use. If you do, you are susceptible to fines and legal action.

Why Use Stock Photography Sites?

More than 3 billion photos shared on the Internet every day, and 85% of them are stolen, according to research from Copytrack, a website that does searches for your photos online and contacts illegal users. More companies like Copytrack are popping up every day, which means getting away with using copyright-protected images is incredibly risky.

Using a stock photo site  free or paid), can help you mitigate legal and financial risk. It also can provide you with fingertip access to a wealth of high-quality content. Rather than spending hours searching for the perfect image using a search engine, these platforms are designed and optimized to help you find exactly what you need.

Free versus Paid Stock Photography

There are many free stock photo platforms available online. Here are a few options to help you begin your research for potential options for your small business:

However, free stock images are going to have some limitations, especially if they feature trademark products or easily identifiable people. Many times, the photos on these stock sites are also taken by amateur photographers who are not in tune with copyright laws. Be sure to do your homework on any of these limitations and whether certain images can be used for your specific needs.

You can avoid these issues by subscribing to a paid stock photography site. While these paid platforms are beneficial for several reasons, including better-quality images and more diverse options, licensing rights do vary depending on the supplier. Usually, these sites have standard and extended licensing rights. Standard rights usually allow users to include images in emails, newsletters, web pages and social media. Extended rights allow usage in print, broadcast, cable, TV, theatrical, merchandise, templates and advertisements.

Once you find high-quality stock photos, you’ll be able to customize them to meet your needs.

Customizing Stock Photos for Your Needs

In some situations, you will need to edit your stock photo to include your product details, business information or key brand elements. Look for solutions that will allow you to do fairly simple tasks, such as removing blemishes, straightening and cropping, and improving colors, or even adding visual elements and overlays.

Adobe Photoshop is one of the most widely-used editing software options out there. However, there are others options out there, like Canva, that are more user-friendly and cost-effective. Canva is especially good for small businesses because it offers a variety of free images and templates directly within the platform. It also has different image size options for different platforms, so you can easily upload and edit images, and then download them for your specific content needs.

Stock photos, both free and paid, can help you build up your marketing arsenal to include a more diverse range of content. It’s all about finding the right tools to meet your business needs and align with the way your team works.

This article was adapted from a piece initially written by Deborah Sexton, former editor of Impressions Magazine. She now owns her own company, Saracen Communications, doing digital media marketing, copywriting, and public relations for companies in the decorated apparel industry. You can reach her at dsexton@sbcglobal.net.

Build Your Content Arsenal with Powerful Stock Photography

by | Feb 22, 2024

If small businesses want to ramp up their social media content strategy, stock photography can give them more creative fuel to support their efforts.

Social platforms like Instagram and TikTok are driven by images and video. In an ideal scenario, you’ll have a social media marketer or digital marketing lead on hand to create unique branded content for your business accounts. However, to keep pace with posting best practices and maximize your reach, you need a trove of content that you can use and repurpose over time.

Now, that doesn’t mean you can simply do an image search and use whatever you’d like. If there’s an image or video you’d like to use on another social account, you can re-share and repost using the platform’s specific functions. However, you can not save, download and reuse these images for promotional or commercial use. If you do, you are susceptible to fines and legal action.

Why Use Stock Photography Sites?

More than 3 billion photos shared on the Internet every day, and 85% of them are stolen, according to research from Copytrack, a website that does searches for your photos online and contacts illegal users. More companies like Copytrack are popping up every day, which means getting away with using copyright-protected images is incredibly risky.

Using a stock photo site  free or paid), can help you mitigate legal and financial risk. It also can provide you with fingertip access to a wealth of high-quality content. Rather than spending hours searching for the perfect image using a search engine, these platforms are designed and optimized to help you find exactly what you need.

Free versus Paid Stock Photography

There are many free stock photo platforms available online. Here are a few options to help you begin your research for potential options for your small business:

However, free stock images are going to have some limitations, especially if they feature trademark products or easily identifiable people. Many times, the photos on these stock sites are also taken by amateur photographers who are not in tune with copyright laws. Be sure to do your homework on any of these limitations and whether certain images can be used for your specific needs.

You can avoid these issues by subscribing to a paid stock photography site. While these paid platforms are beneficial for several reasons, including better-quality images and more diverse options, licensing rights do vary depending on the supplier. Usually, these sites have standard and extended licensing rights. Standard rights usually allow users to include images in emails, newsletters, web pages and social media. Extended rights allow usage in print, broadcast, cable, TV, theatrical, merchandise, templates and advertisements.

Once you find high-quality stock photos, you’ll be able to customize them to meet your needs.

Customizing Stock Photos for Your Needs

In some situations, you will need to edit your stock photo to include your product details, business information or key brand elements. Look for solutions that will allow you to do fairly simple tasks, such as removing blemishes, straightening and cropping, and improving colors, or even adding visual elements and overlays.

Adobe Photoshop is one of the most widely-used editing software options out there. However, there are others options out there, like Canva, that are more user-friendly and cost-effective. Canva is especially good for small businesses because it offers a variety of free images and templates directly within the platform. It also has different image size options for different platforms, so you can easily upload and edit images, and then download them for your specific content needs.

Stock photos, both free and paid, can help you build up your marketing arsenal to include a more diverse range of content. It’s all about finding the right tools to meet your business needs and align with the way your team works.

This article was adapted from a piece initially written by Deborah Sexton, former editor of Impressions Magazine. She now owns her own company, Saracen Communications, doing digital media marketing, copywriting, and public relations for companies in the decorated apparel industry. You can reach her at dsexton@sbcglobal.net.