Are stock photos taking away from our brand?
So, I'm deliberating this thought in my head and often when I deliberate it can be a length process, so I am opening it up to you knowledgeable people for your insight.
Now, I love stock photos, they look professional, clean and often clearly articulate the point you're trying to make, however is there a place where it becomes too much? Do you get over seeing too many photos of coffee, flowers, computers or notepads?
I use stock photos on my website as it's a professional advertising platform for me where I hope to gain business and return on investment. However, when does the use of stock photos become too much?
I tend to be a bit more casual with my Instagram pictures as it's a different medium that offers more social networking and allows me to show the person behind my brand and show my identity. Some of the Instagram accounts I follow have people doing live Instagram videos showing their family, their house, holiday snaps or even them on the way to the gym all whilst giving useful business information - why should I not follow them or not take them seriously when they are giving me a) an insight into them and their brand, b) they are giving me useful information and c) I love the fact they are being true to themselves and not changing images all the time that don't reflect them or their business.
My Instagram is professional, however I will include photos of family event set ups that my business has completed, or photos of my events, acknowledge sponsors, share interesting articles or imagery of other like minded businesses. I will also include information I would like to share with my followers so that my followers feel as though my Instagram account is useful for them instead of using imagery put together by someone else.
I know people that have impeccable Instagram and Facebook profiles where the photos are white, and crisp and often include stock photos or modified Photoshop photos and I often sit there and go wowee, I want that. I however also sit there and think that I don't know the person behind the brand and I don't get a sense of their personality. All I know is that they have the ability to produce great quality Photoshop and stock photos on their Instagram. I'm not saying my Instagram profile is perfect, however if people visit Pink Cow Promotions, they will see true event photos of events I've delivered and organised, they'll see quotes or interesting information that depicts my values both personally and professionally, and they will see some of my professional endeavours accompanied with shout outs and attributes to sponsors.
Having conducted some research myself accompanied with reading the Hubspot article where Brittney Leaning presented a 99 slide presentation on the use of stockphotos, here are the key points I found interesting and hopefully helpful to you.
* Don't use stock imagery for the sake of it
* Don't use stock photos for every photo
* Do experiment with Instagram real snapshots and stock photos
Have a read of the article if you're interested- https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/how-to-use-stock-photos-slideshare.
Hope this helps, anyway, it's food for thought.