Creating unique content your website or blog is a challenge. Finding the right image to accompany the content—ever more so. And let’s face the facts—the most critical component of content marketing is images. It doesn’t matter if you are posting articles, contests, or blog posts, if there’s no image or video that grabs attention, chances are the text won’t be read.
The social Web is all about pictures. When you consider the popularity of Pinterest, Instagram, and Tumblr, its clear consumers like posting, viewing and sharing photos with each other and brands.
You don’t have to be a Fortune 500 corporation to attract the most eyeballs. If you are a small business owner or blogger, paying a graphic designer to create a custom illustration or infographic may be out of your budget, but you can find stock photos that can be visually aligned with your brand and enrich your content.
I came across Ben Larcey’s article about finding great stock photos. There’s a growing number of sites offering high quality stock images for free or at a low cost, and that’s great news for content creators.
I’m listing Ben’s excellent choices along with a couple of my favorites.
- Wikipedia Public Domain Images – Public domain images are not copyrighted. Copyright law does not restrict their use. Wikipedia pages are hosted on a U.S. server, so U.S. law governs whether a Wikipedia image is in the public domain.
- Unsplash – Free, high quality images without attribution required.
- Death To The Stock Photo Free images are emailed to you monthly without attribution required.
- LittleVisuals – 7 free images emailed to you weekly. Attribution not required.
- New Old Stock – Free, high quality images from the past. No attribution required.
- PicJumbo – Free stock photos daily. No attribution required.
- IM Free – Find categorized, free photos that don’t require attribution.
- Gratisography – Quality stock photographs that are free and don’t require attribution.
Paid or Attribution Required Images
- SuperFamous – Nature inspired high quality photographs that require attribution.
- The Pattern Library – Choose from a collection of high quality repeating patterns. No attribution required.
- Creative Market – Paid, top-shelf stock photography.
- Istock – Prepay for credits that allow you to download image files, or you can pay to subscribe for a month or year.
- Refe – Free and low cost stock photo marketplace.
- Stocksy – Great quality, paid stock photos.
- Snapwire – Photos-to-order or custom photos; paid stock photography.
- Filter and Format – $100 will buy you limited sale stock photos.
- Yayimages – Unlimited online images $9.90/month.
Optimize Images for Best Search Engine Rankings
Images can generate significant web traffic from image-based search engines, like Google Images.
Here are three quick search engine optimization tips so you get the most out of your images:
- Choose a descriptive filename—preferably using a keyword you want that image to rank for—because it will help your search engine rankings.
- Ensure that image size doesn’t upset your fast load times. Make the image file size as small as possible without sacrificing visibility or quality.
- Help search engine help the spiders understand each of your images with alt text. Like this: <img src=”dog-playing.jpg” alt=”Dog Playing” />
Human beings are visual creatures. We’re attracted to imagery. As a small business owner, blogger or marketer, ensure images are an integral part of your unique content. Images engage readers and achieve your marketing objectives.
Do you have recommendations for how images can be integrated into content marketing? What has worked for you? Please share in the comment section.