Way back in January 1996, Bill Gates wrote an essay entitled “Content is King” which began by saying: “Content is where I expect much of the real money will be made on the internet.” Nearly twenty years on and this still holds true today. When it comes to choosing content for your website, it’s useful to remember the adage ‘an image is worth a thousand words.’ Choose the wrong image and it doesn’t matter what you write alongside it, the viewer will quickly lose interest.
Choosing the Right Image
In most cases stock photography is all that’s needed. Choosing the right image however, is where the fun starts. You will need to ask yourself what message the image needs to convey, and in what tone? Because as with any content, it’s not what you say, but how you say it.
Web content can be dull and uninspiring if there are no visual stimuli to draw you in. How often do you casually surf the web, when all of a sudden an image catches your eye? That’s a visual hook at work, an image specifically used to catch your attention.
Using Free Stock Images
If you don’t need anything fancy, especially on a blog or local newsletter for example, it may be an idea to look for a free image from one of the many stock agencies available. This is preferable to randomly picking one off Google just in case you infringe copyright. They usually indicate that they are for non profit use only, which is why they are free.
Buying Online Stock Images
When it comes to advertising your website to generate sales, you’ll need content that grabs the viewer’s attention. Buying from an agency ensures you get a quality image with single or multiple uses (depending on the license). These usually come with either royalty free (RF) or rights managed (RM) licenses. The difference being that royalty free images aren’t exclusive, but are more affordable. Whereas rights managed images are totally exclusive, with the option of buying an enhanced or extended license for further use of the image.
Hire an Agency
When you want to market your product in the best possible way, using a stock image might not give you the impact you require. Stock images have their uses but hiring an agency, such as 360 Product Photography London ensures your products are shown to their fullest potential. Specialist agencies can offer full e-commerce packages, where they will market your products using their own in-house stylists and photographers. E-commerce packages can also include copywriting, which will compliment and promote your products. Quality may cost, but quality sells.
Hiring an agency has other benefits, in that they work with clients from many industry sectors, which encourages a cross-pollination of ideas. You may have a great in-house design team, but it can also be beneficial to think outside the box and get a different perspective.
Whether you are designing a blog and just need a visual lift, or wanting to create an e-commerce website, it is only as good as the content. Remember the wise words of Bill Gates: “Content is King!”by