An image can grab your reader’s attention or bring about emotion. It can encourage your customer to make a purchase.
Check out some statistics from Hubspot’s Amanda Sibley:
- 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual, and visuals are processed 60,000 times faster in the brain than text. (Sources: 3M and Zabisco)
- 40% of people respond better to visual information than plain text. (Source: Zabisco)
The power of visual content
“Seeing an image gives the user experience of being able to relate that image to a personal memory or emotion, tying you to it,” said Coles Multimedia Designer Kevin Moore.
With the growth of content marketing and social media, we continue to look for images to get our messages across. It seems easier than ever with countless images available online at the click of a button.
But it’s essential to take precautions when choosing images to make sure you do it legally.
Know the rules before you use
- Get familiar with fair use laws. These laws operate on a case-by-case basis, but there are general guidelines.
- Investigate the source of an image before you copy it from the Web. Just because you “can” copy an image does NOT mean you have the right to use it.
- Get permission. It’s best to get images you have authorization to use. You can purchase stock photos or use a free stock image website, such as Stock Free Images.
- Search smarter. You can search images under the “Creative Commons license,” which allows for images the photographers have released for common use.
- Cite appropriately. It’s safe to use an image for educational purposes. But when you use a photo this way, cite your source, giving credit to where you copied the picture.
Do your research or create your own!
How can you find the photos you want without getting a cease and desist order you don’t want?
- Use a stock photo site that, with payment, allows you to search and use copyrighted images, such as Shutterstock, iStockphoto or Getty Images.
- Creativecommons.org is a free way to find photos based on the type of license you are looking for.
- Also, use Compfight.com, a database dedicated to helping bloggers find photos.
Plus, here are more sources to discover cost-free content!
And if you can’t find the right photo, you can always create your own! Did you see the article “Six Simple Steps to Better Photos” from Coles VP Creative Tim Coulon? You should!
A picture may be worth a thousand … dollars
“Because images are so readily available and people are so used to sharing them through social sites, I think some may not understand the consequences of grabbing an image off the Web and posting it in a blog or e-blast,” Moore said.
He suggested using TinEye, a reverse image search website. You can find out where an image came from and how it’s being used.
“An image that may cost just a dollar to purchase can cost you thousands of dollars in a lawsuit if it’s used without permission and the proper citation,” Moore said. “Plus, there’s the embarrassment of being found out. It’s just not worth it.”