Weekly Marketing CastUsing images throughout your business' web presence—in blog posts, on Facebook, in online presentations, etc.—presents a great marketing opportunity to capture people's attention and create brand awareness. But how do you choose the right images?

If you've spent more than 10 minutes on the web, you've probably seen photos of multicultural people pointing at a computer and laughing together. Or after clicking on a company’s Contact Us link, you must have seen some stock photo model with a headset on, representing the customer services department. These practices are widely used and, frankly, a little bit absurd.

In today’s episode of the Weekly Marketing Cast, we discuss how to choose the right images to include throughout your web presence.

Don't Use Stock Photos to Represent You

“When companies use photographs of happy, smiley models to represent either their clients or themselves, it’s just silly,” says David Meerman Scott. “It’s almost like telling a lie about your company.” The stock photo models are soulless—they seem plastic and fake. Would you like your visitors to make such associations about your company? Do you really think that using a picture of a lady in a suit will convey professionalism and trust?

While we don’t advise you to use stock photos to represent your employees or customers, there are actually other more appropriate uses for these images. You can place them in presentations to make a point or use them to tell a story in a Facebook album, for instance.

Use Authentic Images

So what images should you incorporate into your business' web pages? Take pictures of your own employees and use them on your website instead. Launch a brief survey, and find out which people from your company are willing to participate in a professional photo shoot. (The chances are, many will raise their hands.)

In general, consider using more authentic pictures that will draw creative associations in the visitor’s mind. For instance, you can add an image of a vintage telephone on your Contact Us page. Or place a photo of a typewriter on your Press Releases page. For such purposes, we at HubSpot like to use Creative Commons-licensed images from Flickr.

Are you authentically representing your company throughout your business' web presence?


Originally published Oct 17, 2011 9:00:00 AM, updated October 20 2016