We live in a world where image is now ruling the internet.
When we all have a camera in our pocket, it’s no surprise that we’re becoming our own amateur photographers and uploading it to our favourite image sharing social sites.
We expect to see images everywhere we go, and it’s becoming the biggest tool in marketing. Nothing quite sells a product like an image. So why are so many small businesses still not understanding the importance of this huge marketing magnet?
An image draws us in, gives us a snippet of the story and encourages to read on.
Without them your marketing and written content is like a whisper in a crowded room, it’s never going to get the impact that you intended.
Many small businesses are under the illusion that great graphics and pictures are going to eat away at their marketing budget. A costly resource that they feel they don’t need.
But with the right resources and just a little amount of time, businesses can create their own bespoke images and get a far greater ROI on their marketing efforts.
Think of it from the customer’s perspective. Do you really want to be faced with reams of lengthy text without any images to help keep you interested or help to explain your words?
Flickr – Creative Commons
The most commonly used photo sharing platform on the internet. Flickr’s Creative Commons allows you to use others images for free as long as you provide them with a credit.
This is such a simple solution if you’re searching for an image specific to your subject, and with creative commons spanning across the globe, you’re sure to find something that fits the bill.
Growing in popularity, Canva is a free online image editing tool that anyone can use without being an expert.
Simple to use and with a library of cool graphics, templates and icons, it’s a small businesses dream, as any image can instantly be turned into an eye catching marketing tool.
No matter your marketing needs you can create social media graphics and printed artwork without any need for experience, which for a small business with a limited team and perhaps limited design skills, means you can use it with confidence knowing that your artwork is going to look as though it’s been done by a professional.
Stock images can be expensive and it’s unfortunately often the case that the same image can be purchased by a competitor, leaving both parties looking a little red faced at the fact they’re unable to afford their own.
But small businesses can ease this embarrassment now with the help of a free stock image site Gratisography. Not only are these images unique and high quality, they are completely free for you to do what you wish. They would like it if you could offer a donation now and again to keep the site ticking over, but apart from that it’s yours for the taking.
The current portfolio of images is quite limited, but they’ve seen rapid expansion already this year, so it’s certainly one to keep your eye on.
With a vast library of images, Pixalbay is a hidden gem on the World Wide Web, but with such a great portfolio comes great power, and all they request is a credit to the source of the image.
A very small price to pay for images that could instigate a better reaction from your marketing.
Have a play around with what they have available and try to think outside of the box with the image that you want to represent your campaign.
Unfortunately there is no guarantee that likeminded competitors are also using this an image source.
You may think I’m throwing a curve ball mentioning the holy grail of image editing that is Photoshop. But Adobe have realised that they’ve been alienating small businesses with their large lump sums for the software, so in order to encourage more users and less illegal downloads, Adobe now offer monthly low payment fees for anyone to have the software.
This could be a far more affordable option for businesses, as they could then invest in training a member of staff with companies such as Xchange Training, who offer bespoke courses to fit the needs and requirements you wish to gain from the software.
With so many options available for better images, there’s no need for your content to lack any excitement.
Choose relevant images that tell the story of your marketing and it could boost your business in more ways than one.