Today on the blog I'm excited to share a post from my friend Caitlin, who recently launched a new shop with beautifully styled images for creative entrepreneurs and small business owners. Her collections provide content for blogs, social media posts, and more. I asked her to write about how even photographers can authentically incorporate stock images into their feed - even if they didn't take the image themselves! She not only answered the question but provided great marketing tips as well - keep reading to hear more!
Sometimes stock images get a bad rap. And stock images from 15 years ago probably deserved it. They were generic and cheesy. But today, there are so many options for artistic, beautifully styled stock images. And those can be used so seamlessly in your social media that the last word on anyone’s mind would be cheesy. Here are 4 ways to use styled stock images authentically.
1. Give your audience a look behind the scenes.
Everyone loves a peek behind the curtain. Sharing a beautiful styled stock image gives you the opportunity to share whatever you want about your business, from a ‘day in the life’ report to frequently asked questions about your business. Use a stock image when you have an announcement to make or want to talk about an exciting new project you were asked to collaborate on.
2. Share styled stock in between client projects.
Most creative small business owners probably have a time when they don’t have a lot of new content to share. Maybe you’re a wedding vendor waiting to receive images from photographers. Maybe you’re a branding consultant or web designer in the middle of client projects, and you don’t have any finished branding or websites to share. Or maybe you’re a social media manager or a virtual assistant and you have a hard time finding photos of what you do. Share a styled desktop image and talk about what you’re working on.
3. Make styled stock consistent with your brand.
Consistency is a huge buzzword for small business owners and social media. Naturally, you want the styled stock images you choose to match your branding, both in general color scheme and in feeling. Styled stock images might be simple enough to be used by multiple people but that doesn’t mean they have to be generic. You also need to use your styled stock photos frequently so they don’t stand out too much in your feed. But frequent use is a good thing! When you weave styled stock throughout your social media content, it solidifies your brand in your clients mind. And let’s be real, it spreads out your other content. How much time do you spend each month sourcing and sorting through images? Purchasing just a few style stock images that you can recycle throughout the year will make your other content go farther and cut down on some of the time you spend on social media.
4. Share quotes and other text with overlays.
Overlaying your styled stock images with quotes and other text is a great way to get started using styled stock in social media. Using the styled stock as a background will add dimension to your posts, making them more eye-catching for your audience than just text on a white background. And when you use the overlays side by side with the original stock content, you’re using the images even more frequently, which simplifies your social media scheduling and makes your brand even more cohesive.
The CGP Stock Store gives wedding vendors and creative small business owners access to beautiful styled images for marketing and social media. Not every business owner is a photographer, and they shouldn't have to be! New collections are released every month. Sign up for the CGP Stock newsletter to be the first to hear about new collections and to receive the new free image each season.