Maintaining Brand Identity with Stock Photos: How to Choose the Right Images for Your Website
Article by John Cyril Yee
Graphics Design by Ryan Rivera
Using stock images in the website building process has become a proven and popular strategy for small and big businesses alike. It’s cost-effective, efficient, convenient, and accessible. Done right, it improves brand awareness and people’s perception of your brand. With incompetent use, though, your company will fall to scrutiny for the lack of diligence that surfaced in the chosen stock images.
Picking the Best Stock Photo for a More Engaging Design
Research shows that content with relevant images gets 94% more viewership than those without. After all, in this digital world, only a select few really have the patience to scroll through text-only content to satisfy their need for valuable content. This makes images a powerful tool since the majority of online users are visual learners. More than that, it emphasises the need to use photos for engaging designs and memorable web experiences.
Such need has likewise caused businesses to turn to stock photography for their website and other digital marketing collaterals. As mentioned earlier, stock assets have proven themselves useful in almost every marketing activity as it mimics the benefits of having a professional photographer by your side.
Alongside its popular use, however, is the challenge of finding photos that reflect your branding. As such, it’s vital for a business to find and choose stock photos that uphold their brand identity by first understanding what your brand is.
Let’s dive in the five simple yet effective tips on how to choose stock images for your website.
5 Easy Tips on Choosing Stock Images for Your Website
1. Pay attention to image quality
As we’ve mentioned, using stock photography reflects the concept of having a professional photographer on your team. However, there’s no denying that stock photo banks still house thousands of images with subpar quality like those with non-ideal exposure, tones, and resolution quality. Businesses that use such substandard pictures will definitely fail in bringing a level of professionalism that they want for their brand.
As such, it’s important to pay attention to key elements in your images in order to make them realistic and suitable for your brand. If you’re not privy to the technicalities surrounding stock photography, a reliable web designer can always save you the hassle by cherry-picking quality images that will complement your website’s design.
2. Match the mood that suits your brand
It’s true that a picture is worth a thousand words. That’s why in choosing a photo for your website, you must think about the mood or emotion you want to convey to your viewer. Combine it with strong web copywriting, what you have now is an efficient tool in communicating your brand to your customers. After all, the emotions that stem from photos are what trigger a buying decision.
So for example, you want to evoke a feeling of fun and youthfulness, then your images must be warm-toned or kid-centric. If you want to evoke a feeling of luxury, choose images with neutral colours and minimal elements. For corporate or B2B market, then cool-toned images will often be the most suitable.
With the right photo and the right mood, you can rest assured that users will be drawn to making a conversion. This is because people that relate to a specific image will have the impression that a product or service perfectly suits their needs. By choosing your photographs wisely, you’re implying that engaging your brand will be a good value for the money.
3. Align it with your content’s message
A study by HubSpot in 2017 showed that people have the ability to recall 65% of visual content even after seeing it three days later. When users remember the image they see, it’s highly likely that they will also remember the message that went alongside it.
One of the main reasons why we use photography in web design is to help the user understand what’s being discussed. Nowadays, there’s no denying that people don’t really read every information on your webpage. This makes it crucial to have an image that aligns with the content’s message to improve a viewer’s understanding as well as to increase engagement.
Aligning the image with your message can be done by using a photo that features buildings when talking about engineering, money when discussing investment, or computers when pertaining to anything I.T.-related. You can even use them more effectively if the text you’ve written contains an analogy, wherein accompanying it with an image would help them comprehend the message faster. Whichever stock photo you want, always ensure that it has the purpose of complementing your website’s copy.
4. Avoid visual clichés
The business of stock photography involves commercial photographers uploading their work on websites that licence and sell their works. Some of these photographers want their images to be bought and used a hundred times over. To achieve that, they capture photos that would suit a general audience or a wide market, resulting in photos that can, unfortunately, feel cliché at times.
Without proper observation, you may have already considered using a generic-feeling photo. In order to ensure that you’re avoiding visual clichés, you must go back to the details of what your brand is all about as well as the context of your content. Understand the message you want to impart understanding your brand, the message you want to impart, and the experience that you want to give for your users.
For instance, if you’re a Singaporean business, then avoid using photos that feature Americans, especially if you don’t have one working in your company. Simple yet effective practices like this ensure that you are able to bring an authentic story that contributes to your brand.
5. Customise your chosen images
Always consider customising your images with simple overlays or colour adjustments, among other approaches, in order to incorporate and maintain brand identity with stock photos. Doing so will let you project a consistent and memorable branding since you personalise images towards the mood you want to evoke.
Add to that, once viewers become familiar with the emotion you showed on your site contents, they would quickly recognise your brand once they encounter it on Google images, for example.
In summary, customising your photos works wonders in brand recall since you are able to deliver a memorable feeling for users. Even more so when done with a capable web or graphic designer, since they apply techniques that ensure the effective use of stock photos online.
As a professional web design agency, Verz Design applies proven stock photo practices that elevate your website’s brand identity in the digital world. With the help of our in-house graphic and web designers, we will not only give you exclusive ownership to your images, but we will also personalise them in order to meet your brand’s specific demands.
Forged by our years-long subscription to Shutterstock and iStock, Verz Design guarantees our clients professional and hassle-free access to millions of stock images for their web design and digital marketing needs.
Avoid the hassle of looking for quality photos for your website. Call us at 6841 1680 or send us an email at [email protected] and we’d be glad to help.