When to use stock photos on your B2B website

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Archival photography: bad or good?

During the B2B website redesign process, we often get this question from customers. There is still a stigma around the use of stock photography. The reason behind this is valid: stock photography used to be really, really bad. No one wants to watch a guy in an ill-fitting suit counting money in an office decorated like the 1990s. (You know you’ve seen the picture and it makes you cringe.) The good news is that photography of stock has evolved considerably.

Stock photography now

Like any other market, stock photography has had to evolve to meet the changing needs of its clientele. So photographers spent less time staging really fake images and started putting together shots that looked more natural and organic. Images still convey a lot of meaning, so it’s important to use photos and images that convey a consistent message with your brand. Of course, custom photography is still the number one choice for websites and B2B marketing, but if that option is too expensive, stock photography is a good resource.

When to use stock photos on your B2B website

Let’s see when to consider stock photos on your website:

  • No image available: Your business does not have access to professional action footage taken while your employees are providing a service. This is not uncommon, especially for service-based organizations like accounting, recruiting, finance, or consulting. Rarely has someone taken high resolution images of people working in your office.
  • Stock Pictures: Similarly, your company may not require images of a unique product or service made by employees. It can be difficult to convey the tasks of a consultant or financial partner in a photo. Often, iconography or other graphic elements can tell your brand story more effectively than photography.
  • convey or arouse an emotion: Stock photos can be used to capture a feeling you’d like a user to feel when visiting your website, which is best achieved with abstract or artistic images. Do you want visitors to feel passion, relief, security? Imagery can be used to convey or elicit these types of feelings.
  • Tell a story: Photos can help tell the story of your business, which can be difficult for a professional photographer to capture with the resources available (i.e. employees are not paid models, so they may not not produce the “feel” you are trying to capture to help explain the benefits of your business).
  • Adapt to website design: Stock photography can provide unique visuals that support the structure and layout of your business website design. For example, wide images with blank spaces for copy overlay can create a unique and compelling visual effect. These images help support the look of the website to make it smooth and functional.
  • Quality pictures: It can be difficult to find clear, high quality images that were not taken by a professional photographer. For this reason, stock photos help ensure that the B2B website designer has access to images of an appropriate scale, high enough resolution, and large enough size to avoid on-site blurring. website. Blurry images make your business look unprofessional and sloppy, so never use blurry images.
  • Supplements: If your business already has high quality images to work with, you may consider supplementing with stock photos to help provide a bigger picture and/or stronger message to the user.

Stock Photos: a great resource

Even as I write this, the stock footage is getting better and better. Photographers are increasingly learning what B2B companies are looking for and refining their images, compositions and subjects to meet those needs. Stock photos can be powerful tools to use in B2B website design, so don’t overlook or avoid them because of their previous stigma.


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