When it comes to building a new website, or updating a current one, it is crucial to use only components that will have an equal positive impact for the audience. The key to a great website lies in the ease of use, the relevancy of the text, but without doubt, the most important aspect of your website are the images.
Of the three key areas of your website I want to focus on the images and as the title of this posts suggests,the use of stock images. As a full time professional commercial and editorial photographer, I am the first to admit that the initial cost of custom images will be higher than that of stock images, but I guarantee the return on investment (ROI) will be far more significant.
There are many reasons why custom images are preferred over stock images; below are my top 5 reasons why custom photography is the better choice.
1. Your views "a picture is worth a thousand words"
No matter how professional the stock photo may be, it will always belong to someone else’s interpretation of the idea, concept, emotion, etc. After all the saying is, “a picture is worth a thousand words.” When it comes to your website, why would you want those words to be someone else’s?
When it comes to custom images created solely for your business YOU have control over what thoughts and emotions those images convey, and from a marketing perspective that is HUGE for your business!
To put the above into perspective, think of the emotions, experiences and memories you gain when you look back at past holiday pictures. Would you feel the same way looking at someone else's holiday photos? The answer is no (at least it should be), this is because it is not personal, it is someone else's view.
When it comes to evoking the required emotion from all potential clients who visit your website, custom images created just for your business will hands down beat stock photography.
2. Classic original versus same-old.
The greatest benefit to you and your business that comes with custom images is that it presents you with the opportunity to show your potential clients something they have never seen before and make a lasting impression.
When potential clients visit your website for the first time, their immediate reaction should be "OH WOW!” As a business owner you are wanting to grab the attention of your visitor and get them to explore your website further. The way to do just that is with original photography that immediately shows them something they have never seen before. Showing them custom images, you are already going a long way to helping establish your own unique identity and promote the image of your company that you want to stick in your visitors mind. This is simply not achievable with stock photography, because stock photos are used over and over again on multiple websites.
3. Short-term cost or long-term investment
As I stated earlier in this post, hiring a professional photographer will have larger initial cost than using stock photos, but the benefits will far out way the costs. Having images of yourself, and your staff, provide visitors with a view of who they are talking to when they call. This makes it easier to have that initial chat and start to build a relationship.
There can also be many indirect costs associated with stock photos that go beyond the licensing fee. These additional costs can be quite high depending on the quality of the image, how often you wish to use it,and what you want to use it for. You also have the added cost in time of scouring through hundreds, or potentially thousands of photos to find the “perfect photo” for your website.
Professional custom photography, allows you to build a library of images that you own completely and can use in perpetuity.
4. Be GREAT, don't settle for GOOD enough.
Before you begin to think about images and photography, before you even start thinking about your vision for your new website, you have (or should have) done research to identity the goals/objectives for your website. What message it is you want give across to your potential viewers and potential clients? What actions do you want the website visitors to take when on your website.
Where custom photography is concerned, you are assured of having the images that are perfect for your business website and that the message you want to deliver is clear. When it comes to your business only the best should be considered good enough.
5. Direct customer connection takes on “Yeah right, pal”
You will find that every website you ever click on will have a ‘Contact us’ or ‘Customer service’ section. This should be a standard page for your site, but it should also be a personal one. For example, you go to a website and there is an image of a sales agent on the contact us page… now look again, does it genuinely look like a happy employee who legitimately works for that company or have you seen it before on someone else’s website?
Professional photos of your team will let visitors know that your website is personal, and directed at the one visitor who made the click. Those companies using stock images will look like everyone else.
When building your new website, remember that small cash savings now could very well have a much greater cost down the road. Using stock images over custom photography is one of those areas. If you want to learn more about how John Rose Photography can help you increase engagement and trust, call us on 01722 320500 we will be more than happy to assist.