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What are Authentic Stock Photos and Why You Should Use Them for Your Website?

Your website is the first touch point with your brand. This is your one-time opportunity to create a positive first impression, as first impressions mean a lot. Visual brand identity is a cornerstone of almost every marketing campaign. And yet, many brands still undermine the importance of hard-earned visual standards.

Some companies still use inauthentic stock images, because they are easy-to-find and cheap. Unlike authentic stock photos, these don’t add any value to your brand identity; they just completely detract users from it.

What is authentic stock photography?

Authenticity may have many shades of meaning. It might imply utilizing maximum post-editing, cherry-picking the most original photographs available on the stock market or creating your own with a professional photographers team.

What actually makes a photo look authentic? Simply put, it’s anything that turns a wacky picture into a professional, pure image. However, there’s a finer line than that. Authentic images have a tiny part of “life” asymmetry and sincerity in them. You can see it clearly if you apply a non-stock filter to choose fresh and authentic coffee stock photos.

Be sure to choose the right content material and edit it if needed. Below find some working tips on choosing and editing authentic images from the stock.

Why you should go for authentic

Authentic images make your brand appealing to visitors. High-resolution photos, combined with meaningful compositions and proper things in focus can make a huge difference between a scroll and a click.

Posting high-quality photos that may be potentially interesting to your users will make up a much greater UX than blurry iPhone snapshots. Instead of getting a few likes, you will be able to push your users to stick around and engage with you for longer.

How authentic stock pictures change content marketing

1. They drive engagement

Authentic images make your online presence welcoming and appealing to your audience. The better quality they are, the more attention they can potentially draw.

2. Authentic images encourage growth

It’s no news that professional photos make a positive impact on SEO, thus enhancing the overall customer experience. Let’s draw the line between authentic images, SEO performance, and business growth.

For most people, their buying decisions are driven by the quality of the photos. Professionally looking images give people a sense of security they essentially need before investing in any type of necessity or retreat.

Whatever business you run – be it a local coffee shop or a country-wide restaurant chain – you should use images to let people see what to expect from you. A properly composed shot of roasted coffee beans scattered around freshly baked macaroons will work to your advantage, showing off the tiniest and the greatest details of your company life. Take readers behind the scenes, get their hands on what they are most interested in, and use professional photography to convert your readers into grateful customers.

3. Proper images engage the right audience

How to decide when and what type of content to post? Sometimes, individual photographs work better than stock images, even though you spend hours searching for the latter online. When deciding which image works for a specific need/situation best, keep in mind the three Rs to authentic pictures:

Relatable, Reasonable, Related

Now let’s break it down. Relatable stands for the pictures that tell a story your readers can perceive. Reasonable stands for the content which has nothing in common with clearly staged situations. Related stands for lifelike, imperfect images that are familiar to users.

Using these three criteria to choose stock images will help you target the right people and hence get the results you want.

4. Stock feels original if you choose it properly

As a marketer, storyteller, or business owner, you know for sure how difficult cutting through the noise is. However, using authentic photography can help you establish a closer bond with your audience.

Using unique captures of happy people caught up in imperfect moments, depicted in surprising perspectives is worth a shot. If you manage to choose photos from the stock properly – your content will resonate with your audience much more powerfully than perfectly staged shots. To explain what it means more clearly, below find a handful of authentic, original photos alongside their generic stock counterparts.

Over to you

The next time you skimp on the choice of authentic images, bear in mind that strong visual content lands deep in our long-term memory. Meaningful photos can be called upon whenever your users think of your brand. Make sure you choose great images and augment them with compelling text content. Making use of effective visual communication for your brand is key to long-term recognition.

Written by Marcus Richards

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