The vast majority of stock images are terrible. In fact, a lot of them are downright unusable.
What’s your first thought when you see a piece of content that uses a stock photo? Lame, boring, and uninspired are probably a few. But ultimately a stock photo probably says a user is in store for stock content.
If stock images are so terrible why are they everywhere? The answer is simple. Years ago when SEO and content marketing we’re starting to take off, digital marketers needed a solution to break up the walls of text displayed to users to keep them on the page. After all, we have terrible attention spans these days.
That’s right, we were part of the problem, but we’re also part of the solution!
Thankfully, there are companies out there trying to make a different. One blooming stock photo agency, Death to Stock Photo, takes a fresh visual approach to stock photography and how it can be harnessed to complement content.
“We’ve used stock photography, so we know what people are looking for, and we’re trying to fill a need for our peers,” David Sherry, Death to Stock Photo co-founder told WIRED.
Custom, related images outperform typical content, especially on social media. According to HubSpot, Facebook posts with images see 2.3x more engagements than those without while infographics are “liked” and shared 3x more than any other type of content. Meanwhile, tweeted images receive 150% more retweets than those without.
What to Do With All Those Stock Photos
Setting aside the time and money to create custom images for every blog post is next to impossible. With the amount of blogs we write and post, PBJ Marketing is guilty of slipping in the occasional stock photo, but we always make sure of these two things:
- Images can’t appear overly “stock” (i.e. no suited young professionals high fiving and looking at graphs)
- Images are always hyper-relevant to content