9 Reasons Stock Images Have Less Impact on SEO than Custom Visual Content

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As digital marketing continues to evolve, the SEO standards have become higher than ever. From new brands to renowned brands, there should be more awareness concerning the obsolete generic tactics to capture the target audience’s attention.

Besides, visual content marketing works only when your strategic approach does not involve using generic stock images. So long as you utilize custom visual content, you can elevate the bar of your entire content marketing strategy.

Where Do Digital Marketers Stand?

digital marketer planning out SEO strategy

Today, digital marketers want to engage people through eye-catching, interesting, and unique customized visual content. Gone are the days when you could pick any stock image and use it a dozen more times for another valuable post on social media.

Comparatively, for instance, Tweets with custom images receive five times more engagement than generic stock images. The same standard of custom visual content is applicable to blog posts and articles on your webpage.

2020 may have been a tumultuous year for the global capitalist order, but it also brings an evolutionary step for digital marketing. It is one of the reasons visual content planning has become more prioritized for brands.

Let’s take a look at the essential reasons, importance, and uses of custom images for a brand in 2020 and beyond.

Why Use Generic Stock Images in the First Place?

Not every brand would adopt the same digital marketing practices at the same time. Predominantly, however, most businesses have gradually started to let go of outdated generic use of images. Visual content is the king only when there is a customized strategic value for the audience.

No one wants to see images that don’t lead to meaningful user experience. However, customized, relevant images will always fair better than stock images. Still, startups use readily available stock images to save time and avoid expenses. Unfortunately, stock images don’t serve any purpose in the long-term.

A niche business usually requires specific and stylized images that are ordinarily impossible to find. Also, a limited budget is no longer a viable excuse; brands can use cost-effective tools like photoshop or avail a photographer’s services to get custom images.

Although there are a few benefits of stock images for small businesses, it does not naturally become part of a long-term branding strategy. There are several ways to customize images online for social media posts and website pages.

Besides, there’s always a legal risk of using a stock image that might run into a copyright infringement issue. It is an expected burden that no businesses should bear on their shoulders. Once you move past the convenience of using stock images and see how it impacts your SEO, you would start to use custom images to stay competitive and achieve long-term strategic value.

Why risk your brand’s authenticity when you can offer something original that would lead to high conversion rates and leads? After Facebook, LinkedIn is another platform that is filled with recognizable generic stock images. The use of custom images on Twitter, however, has become a new norm.

The Power of Custom Images

In the e-Commerce marketplace, conversion rates are higher than 35% when brands integrate custom images to market a product for service. Almost 70% of online shoppers prefer custom and high-quality images to make a purchase decision.

Turns out the unique appeal, after all, sells and attracts more people. Besides, it is vital to remember that people usually remember custom images for an extended period that contain interesting objects, buildings, product placement, or faces.

Sure, custom photos can be relatively more expensive than generic stock photos. However, you should start to think of custom images to achieve more consistency and promote the confidence of your brand. Naturally, every business wants to position itself uniquely.

Another defining aspect of custom images is that you can repeatedly use them without paying added fees. In essence, custom images confirm your brand’s authenticity and generate a high conversion rate than you can imagine.

The Case for Not Using Stock Images

When you have the visual communicative images to drive a successful digital marketing campaign, the possibilities are endless. Therefore, ditch stock photography and adapt to custom images to bring out the originality in your brand’s visual appeal. Once your visual content becomes more recognizable, you can demonstrate more creativity and use even more engaging custom images.

Reasons to Opt for Custom Visual Content than Stock Images

artist in his studio an example of custom visual content

1. Concentrate on YOUR Target Audience

Many brands often appeal to an audience that is not interested in their products or services. With custom images, however, you attune the representation of your brand. So long as the custom images are suitable for your target audience’s preference, you can add more specific styles to increase the appeal.

Also, custom images allow you not to generalize the taste of your target audience. Therefore, even straightforward custom images can leave a good impression to get in your target audience’s good graces.

2. Custom Images Complements Other Visual Content

It is true – custom images can heighten the appeal of your existing visual content. It amplifies the contextual relevance of your visual content. However, how you place a customized product image right next to the description can be exciting or boring.

The trick is to use your creative imagination to make the audience more engaging towards your visual content. Primarily, custom images are powerful enough to add a new life to your textual content.

3. Custom Images Cuts Out Clichés

Yes, generic custom images are vulnerable to typical clichés that bums out millennials and Generation Z. For instance, there are hundreds and thousands of stock images of a person sitting on an empty desk. Typically, you would need more than just an ordinary image to grab the attention of your audience.

On the other hand, you can use a customized image that doesn’t contain clichés and aligns with your entire visual content strategy. Simultaneously, you can use the same custom images to tell the story of your brand and intrigue your targeted audience every time.

4. Better Image Optimization on Social Media Platforms

The natural instinct of a digital marketer is to optimize the images for a specific platform. It means your Facebook optimization tactics would be relatively different than Twitter. The point is not to disregard the nature of each social media platform when it comes to images.

For instance, the last thing you want to do on a Facebook platform is to use low-resolution images. Instead, view it as an opportunity to add high-resolution png images that would encourage your audience to continue scrolling.

5. Custom Images Always Stands Out

The social media paradigm has become more competitive and broadminded over the years. And people can see generic-oriented visual content at first glance. Alternatively, custom images on social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook render a high engagement ratio.

Mostly, generic stock images are not expressive enough for the online audience to share with others. Therefore, it makes sense to use memorable and creative custom images.

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6. Optimize Specifically for Search

Optimization of images for search is a crucial aspect of on-page SEO. Well-optimized custom images significantly improve the relevancy of each web page and support the subject matter of a topic.

When it comes to ranking factor, Google’s algorithm on search engines undergoes necessary changes after some time. Therefore, use the correct combination of title, alt text, file name, file size, format, and other relevant image SEO factors. Google can be quite rewarding once your on-page SEO checks out.

7. More Opportunities to Highlight People

Custom images that feature real people perform much better. The high engagement comes because people form a connection more easily. More brand strategists and digital marketers now utilize custom images that feature one or more individuals enjoying or talking about a specific product or service.

8. Addition of Emotion Value

Custom images can add the much-needed emotional value that your audience can resonate with. It’s the same emotional value you can use to convey a specific product or service message to the desired audience. Custom images should be able to strike a chord in the hearts of your audience. In fact, striking custom images can embody the sentiments of your target audience.

9. Overall Improved Visual Appeal

Editing images to improve your custom image quality while including more visually attractive components is vital to draw attention in the age of digitalization. One of the reasons to use custom images is to resonate with your target audience’s ideas and perceptions. It might sound something simple, but it takes a lot of effort and careful consideration to perfect an image.

Often, brands combine the use of stock and custom images. Theoretically, it may sound like a good, but it results in high costs and even more confusion among viewers. Consequently, your targeted audience can, for the most part, distinguish between unique custom images from stock images.

Your goal should be to boost the effectiveness of your images at all costs. And that means getting custom images. You don’t have to get rid of all your stock images in haste completely. Instead, gradually replace your website pages and social media platform’s generic stock images with custom images.

It might come across as a time-consuming idea, but you would be surprised by the heightened search engine optimization results. Custom images will influence your audience to stick around rather than lose interest. Once you understand the importance of custom images, you can add surprise elements to spark more interest in your target audience.

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