Here are the top sites for high quality, free stock images and how to use them.
As most businesses and brands know, content marketing takes many forms and is essential to having a dynamic presence on the web. At its core is holistic, high-quality information, usually in the form of a blog. In addition, social sharing is part of the marketing process, not particularly for search engine optimization, as these signals have little to no impact on ranking, but, for building an audience.
Of course, text alone isn’t enough to draw consumers in, and, social media is a very visual medium. Businesses and brands alike need high quality images, but these can be quite costly. The alternative isn’t much more appealing — having to create images through software, or, taking photos with expensive equipment. This method is alright for creating infographics, but, unrealistic for photographic properties.
Top Sites for High Quality, Free Stock Images
Statistics clearly demonstrate the need for images. For instance, tweets with images receive 18 percent more clicks, 89 percent more favorites, and, 150 percent more retweets. A study of some 30,000 top brands on Facebook using images received the most engagement making-up an impressive 87 percent of total interactions.
First, it’s important to recognize why images are important in a social context. According to Jeff Bullas, blogs with images receive 94 percent more views than blogs without images, and social media updates containing images get far more likes, retweets, and shares than those without. The principle behind this trend is simple: when presented with images or text, readers’ eyes are naturally drawn to images. —Forbes
Another recent study revealed that a whopping 86 percent of consumers expressed at-least some level of desire to access interactive/visual content on-demand. By contrast, the prevalence of whitepapers is on the decline because consumers and businesses prefer to consume easily digestible content, such as images and video. Social media is obviously a huge medium for marketing, but, each share must be enticing and provide value.
- Pikwizard. A relatively new and powerful free images library, Pikwizard is a wonderful free stock photography resource. Find nature, landscape, animals, technology, and much more. Plus, use the Design Wizard to create high-quality visual content in just a matter of minutes.
- Creative Commons. Click over to CreativeCommons.com and you’ll quickly understand why this is a go-to source for free, high-quality images. You can select the publisher and the licensing. What’s more, you’ll find hundreds of choices, particularly if you click on an image and use Google’s Related Images.
- Getty Images. Perhaps the most recognized name in professional photojournalism, Getty Images released some 35 million shots, and, they can be found here. Full credit is given to the source, already embedded within the image. If you wish to customize the image, you’ll have to pay for it.
- Fancy Crave. A group of photographers and other creatives put their work under CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication. These high-quality images can be used for free, but, in good taste only and cannot be sold or published to another stock image site.
- Gratisography. Also provided free-of-charge the CC0 license is the artist work of Ryan McGuire, which is published on Gratisography.com. Here again, these aren’t to be used for nefarious purposes.
- Split Shire. Daniel Nanescu, an Italian photographer makes his high-quality images available for free on SplitShire.com. You’ll find a variety of categories and he also takes requests.
These sources alone are enough to provide you with plenty of images for you marketing efforts — good luck!
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