You’ve written a blog post you’re proud of and you know where and how you’re going to share it–the Inbound Fundamentals checklist is checked. One final touch to your post is to add an image that will engage your audience and communicate your content effectively.
Rather than pulling out your camera for each post, an efficient way to find imagery is to use stock photography. With many reputable stock image distributors available online, you’re likely to find just the right image for your post. But how do you choose the best stock photo for your social media? Here are just a few tips:
What are the Copyright Restrictions & Usage Guidelines for the Image?
When using stock images for blog posts, web sites, or design, the first thing you need to consider is how and where you can use the image. Whether you find the image on a stock photo site like Getty Images or do a quick Google search, make sure you’re allowed to legally use the photo.
The best way to do this is to purchase the image outright from a stock photo web site, including a business license. Some image licenses are only allowed for personal use, but purchasing an unlimited license for your images will ensure you won’t find trouble later when a photographer comes knocking. Cover your bases. A reputable stock image site will make it clear how the images can be used.
Does The Image Help Communicate The Goal Of The Content?
When you’re posting an image as an addition to a blog post or tweet, be sure that the picture helps the content rather than hinders it. The image should complement the content and not act as a distraction. If you’re posting an article about the best ways to stick to your 2016 resolutions, including an image of a checklist or a list of goals makes far more sense than an image of someone lying on a couch.
Make sure your content gets center stage, rather than the image. However, keep in mind that you want your image to be engaging enough to cause the viewer to stop and read the content and not just scroll past it.
Does the Stock Image Fit My Company’s Branding?
When a customer is scrolling through her Instagram feed, why will she stop at your photo? It’s because of your brand. I don’t mean your logo, but the look and feel of what you’re sharing and how that communicates your brand to your viewer.
A quick scroll through Nike’s Instagram feed shows a consistency in their images that represents their brand and their Instagram presence. While Nike is not using stock photography for their Instagram, their strategy is still helpful if stock photography is all you can get your hands on. The posts are active, often featuring one athlete doing an activity, or showing a new piece of sportswear. If a customer is quickly scrolling through his feed, he will notice the Nike posts because of the consistency of their photos.
Be sure to have your brand in mind as you’re searching for images to feature in your content.
Is the Image Optimized for Each Social Network?
When posting an image to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Instagram, make sure the image is appropriate for each social network. For instance, the same image for LinkedIn won’t work for Snapchat. Consider where the image will be posted, the audience of each network, and the content you’re sharing. Having a solid knowledge of your audience on the various social networks will help you choose the right image.
If you’re confused about your imagery strategy, Seapoint can help. We’re experts in social media and are here to make sure your message is communicated in the right way on the right media with the right image.