Studies Prove “Real” Photos are Best
Studies have proven that “real” photos have a better chance of relating to and engaging your visitors that come to your website.
- Visual Website Optimizer’s article “Enough of Stock Photos” shows that “real” or relevant images can improve website conversions.
- Marketing Experiments Blog shows similar results with better conversions for businesses.
- Jakob Nielson also did a study on the use of “real” vs. stock photos, concluding that people were ignoring stock photography.
Your Competitors Might Use the Same Stock Image
- Show real employees vs. stock photography
- Represent your products accurately
Another drawback from using stock photography is your competition. The worst case would be that you spend a lot of time finding the photo you want to use and then come to find out your direct competitor is using the same image? Imagine being a potential client trying to decide between the two. Most people are visual and may think that both are very generic and potentially look somewhere else. What is keeping them on your site?
It doesn’t matter what industry you’re in, look around at your competition and take note of the images they are using. Nobody can copy you if your photos are of you. Gaining face recognition and office familiarity helps your visitors get a sense of knowing you before they even inquire.
“Real” Photos Support Your Marketing Strategy
A great photo can be the key to good visual optimization and marketing online. MDG Advertising developed an infographic that illustrates the importance of photos for a company’s brand and business. If photos are proven time and again to help your marketing and visual optimization, then it’s no secret using real photos that engage your customer will only improve on those statistics.
Taking Your Own Photos is Vital
Getting a real photographer can get expensive but in the end, will be worth it. They know more about lighting, composition & how to get the most out of the subject being photographed. These are the qualities that make a professional photographer important.
Do you see the keynote speaker? Real photos help tell your story.
With the increasing quality of affordable cameras these days, you could have a student or friend with a camera take the images. If they have a sense of lighting and creative flair to their images and can represent you, That’s not a bad option. It will definitely make a better impact than stock photos on your website. And can save you money. Stock photography will never be able to truly represent you, your services or products the way you want them to, especially when you’re trying to get that relationship built with your new visitor and potential customer or represent that you are “different” than the competition.
Remember, a true professional will take the time to learn about you and your company and the brand you want to be represented. They will create the images you want for your website, banners, and promotional materials to reflect the unique qualities that you can offer your clients.
What impact do you want to make? And what will it require to get there? You make that choice.