Using Stock Images in Your Franchise’s Branding: Yay or Nay?

Visit any sales website, and you likely won’t have to look long to find a stock photo showing satisfied customers or an appealing display. But does that mean you should be using them on your website?

As a franchisee, your goal is simple ‚ÄĒ draw in new visitors and show them why your business is the best choice. While stock photos can help you build your online aesthetic, there are likely much better options for you to achieve the same. Learn what stock images are and what you can do differently with FranConnect today.

What Are Stock Images?

Stock photos are images created for a variety of uses. You see them every day ‚ÄĒ they can be anything from a group of people laughing together to a picturesque sunset on the beach. They are generally mass-produced images that marketing companies sell for people who cannot create or take images of their own, and they’re a favorite among businesses and franchises looking to save time in their advertising campaigns. You may see them on:

  • Billboards
  • Textbooks
  • Pamphlets
  • Websites
  • Product listings

Cons of Using Stock Photos for Marketing

Despite their popularity, using stock photos comes with a laundry list of things to look out for. While you can use stock photos for your business website, the images tend to appear:

  • Unoriginal:¬†Even if you pay for your stock photos, they may be subject to many copywriting laws and similar legalities later on. The best way to protect yourself and your brand from potential legal issues is to create original images on your own so that there is no question they belong to you.
  • Off-brand:¬†Even the highest quality stock photo will not align precisely with your brand’s style. You may need to spend extra time editing and adjusting them to fit your franchise’s aesthetic. In some cases, it may be easier to take your own images so that you can make them how you want them.
  • Disingenuous:¬†Stock photos are created with the intention of versatility, so they’re unlikely to perform exactly how you are envisioning them. When people recognize an image as a stock photo, they might see it as a brand taking the easy way out, like they do not care about their marketing materials ‚ÄĒ and maybe even their products.
  • Repetitive:¬†Since stock images are free and available to anyone, there’s a good chance that any stock photo you use is already on another website. To viewers, it will be obvious that you’ve used the same resources, leading them to wonder how your business is better than any other. If it’s important to you to have a website that is completely unique from competitors, it’s best to develop images on your own instead of browsing stock photos.

Pros of Using Stock Photos for Marketing

While these cons are usually the reason brands avoid using stock photos, there are a few benefits to make note of. After all, franchise stock images are popular for a reason. When someone decides to use a stock photo, it’s usually because it’s:

  • Easily accessible:¬†A simple online search of ‚Äústock images‚ÄĚ will give you hundreds of stock photo websites at your disposal. Even the most novice internet users can easily find and download stock photos to suit their needs, making it a popular choice among startup businesses and those still learning how to work their websites.
  • Cheaper:¬†Creating original photos can potentially cost a lot of money. Depending on the photos you want, you might have to hire a photographer or videographer and models for the shoot, schedule a time to take the pictures and find someone to edit them to your liking. Stock photos can be free or come at a flat-rate price ‚ÄĒ making them cheaper than trying to hire someone to take your photos. In short, stock photos can save time and money you can use to invest in other parts of your franchise.

Discover FranConnect’s Suite of Franchise Management Software

Unless your budget is very tight or you’re running out of time, original images are the way to go. They can help your business in the long run, just like having a platform like FranConnect to help you scale your franchise.

As one of the country’s leading franchise support providers, we know there is often a better option than using stock photos to boost sales and marketing efforts. Learn new ways to meet brand guidelines and set new performance standards with our platform today.¬†Request a demo online¬†or call us at¬†833-438-7523¬†for more information.

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