With high-speed Internet the norm rather than the exception today, images have become an important part of the Web. Additionally, sites like Google Images and Pinterest essentially “reward” pages that have high-quality imagery by making it easier for Web browsers to find these pages. That’s why it’s so important to have pictures not only on your main webpage but also on your subpages, blog posts, and across your social media profiles. If you’re at a loss for how to find or produce business images, consider these five tips and tools to help steer you in the right direction.
1. Keep It Simple
The first (and most important) tip is to remember that you do not have to get fancy with your imagery. A simple, high-quality image can be just as effective as one that someone slaved over in Photoshop to make it “special.” Depending on the purpose of the image, you may not need something too complicated. Take a photo of what’s happening in your office, or capture the day-to-day activities that surround your business. Your readers will appreciate the behind-the-scenes view!
2. Put DIY Editing Tools to Work
Pic Monkey is a free online photo editing program that’s considerably simpler than Adobe Photoshop, the tool of choice for many professional designers. Pic Monkey gives you some basic options that allow you to edit your photos or create text-based images. Using the photos or images created from this program is a great first step for those who want to begin utilizing images in their content. Another program to use for developing images is Canva. This tool allows you to design Facebook cover photos and blog images using a number of different templates. These tools are easy to use yet they can help you create interesting visual and text-based images.
3. Use Your Phone
While you may not always be able to take professional photos for use in your work, snapping pictures on your phone is a simple way to create images for your business. Many of today’s smartphones have high-quality cameras built in, and the saying goes that your best camera is often the one you have with you. So, when you’re out and about, take the time to photograph interesting objects around you, or take photos of your products, services, or happy customers and employees. You may find that some of these snapshots turn into potential pictures for your blog or webpage. Check the your smartphone’s app store and you’ll find a few tools that can make your smartphone photography even easier. For instance, Pic Stitch allows you to easily make photo collages. There are also lots of easy-to-use apps that allow you to add text or other elements to your photos.
4. Look for Creative Commons Images
Believe it or not, there are thousands of free-to-use images on the Internet for use on your page or blog (just be careful – you shouldn’t just take any photo you find online and re-post it. That’s an easy way to get charged fines or face legal action for improperly using licensed work). But, you can find photos that have been made available for free use by photographers who choose to make their images available through a Creative Commons license. For example, you can search images on Flickr and limit the search to just those available under creative commons license, and you’ll find images you can use if you are careful to follow the proper attribution guidelines and give credit to the photographer.
5. Outsource Your Images
There are plenty of online resources for images too. If you need something unique or too complicated for you to create yourself, consider working with a local photographer to create custom images for your company. Also, purhcasing stock photos from sites like iStockphoto or Shutterstock is an excellent solution for certain projects.
The most important thing to do when creating or sourcing business images is to keep an open mind and seek creative inspiration. Ideas for images are around you everywhere you look. So, try these tips for developing more images to add interest, engagement, and appeal to your online marketing.