Why Stock Images Devalue Your Brand

If you’re using stock images on your business’s website read this article carefully.

Content marketing is a rising star in digital marketing techniques of the 21st century and so like many successful models there will be someone trying to cut corners. This approach unfortunately harms the business image.

Whether it be a manager who’s reluctant to use budget on marketing or a boss who’s disconnected from the modern world there are often people who don’t commit to well-designed content online.

Here are some of the reasons that although you can get stock images for as little as one dollar, it’s often not worth it. Poor judgement can cost much more in wounded business image.


Stock images pop up all over the web, your competitors are probably using them as well and customers recognize when they’ve seen a picture before even subliminally.

When recognized, repeated images cheapen your website and can damage your image


If the image you use don’t directly showcase your product, then you are effectively advertising for someone else’s concept.


With stock images, you don’t have full control over the image and creative direction meaning you are often stuck with images that don’t convey the original message you wanted because you couldn’t find something that was the right fit.


You don’t know what other people are using that same image to sell.

If someone is using that same photo in spam because it’s free to use then you may reap the results of their aggressive campaigns.

These connotations stay with the viewer


If you do buy an image many bury in the terms and conditions that you can only use the pictures you’ve purchased within certain timeframe, leaving you out of pocket.


In an age of digital noise, stock image lack the brand authenticity needed to stand out from competitors.

On social media platforms a lack of genuine consistency severs the connection between customers and the brand.

The vast majority of people don’t engage with brands they suspect of being generic as it seems to give them an ulterior motive


Worst of all, stock images can confuse your viewers.

Unrelated images are abundant and therefore and often loosely clutching at the ways the image related to the content.

These kind of weak connections are what can cause confusion in internet browsers and make them switch off to your message.

While stock images can and should be used for templates, in the design process and as place holders on your website, their usefulness reaches it’s limit in professional business.

We still see a large number of business brands embarrassing themselves by conforming to low standards of design which if your business has any online component at all, it cannot afford to do.

If you’re a start-up, blogger or personal website then check out our list of the best places to get free images. If not, it’s time to start looking for solutions to your numerous visual content problems.


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