Did you realize that using the wrong photography can be harmful to your brand? Here are a few reasons why repurposing someone else's image or even using a stock photo can be detrimental.
1. Copyright infringement is a real risk. You cannot simply find an image online, download it, and use it as your own. If you do, you run the risk of copyright infringement. Copyright is a form of intellectual property law that protects original creative work, including images (as well as music, literature, and other dramatic and artistic works). At any time, the copyright owner of an image could issue a cease and desist order or bring a lawsuit against you. Determining whether or not a photo is okay to use can be confusing, though there are some guidelines to follow.
2. People want to understand your brand. Even if you are using stock photography that is free from copyright restrictions, you still might be harming your brand. It damages your credibility when someone sees the same generic image of happy homeowners on your site and a competitor’s. Plus, people want to see the real you. In an A/B study by Marketing Experiments, original photos achieved a 35% higher conversion rate than stock photos!
3. Search engines prefer original content.
Right now, stock photos do not impact SEO, but the rules of the Search Bots are always changing. Duplicate copy is penalized, so it isn’t a huge stretch to imagine that unoriginal images may not fare as well in the future.
The good news? You can easily avoid all of these issues by investing in your own brand photography. Plus, original branded photos set you apart and help you connect authentically with your audience.
Imagine you need a page on your website about your signature cookie decorating classes. The classes are small, hands-on, and held in your beautifully decorated teaching kitchen. An original photo could capture what an actual class looks like, help website visitors to picture themselves there, and get them excited to register. A stock photo of a tray of cookies won’t give them nearly as many reasons to sign up—it might just make them hungry.
Ready to talk about your visual strategy? Need an expert to help you build your brand? Visit my contact page to schedule a free 30-minute consultation call.