The human brain processes images around 60,000 times faster than text. Images are VITAL to customer engagement, especially on social media, but as a small business you don’t always have time to take the photographs you’d like to. We’ve put together a list of the best stock image sites for Small Businesses, which you can dive into when you’re struggling.
You must use copyright-free images in any marketing literature or social media that your business uses. These days, you can filter most search engines such as Google or Bing to find copyright-free images (on Google Images, go to Tools > Usage Rights > Labelled For Re-Use) – but often the images aren’t that great, or there just isn’t the exact thing you’re looking for.
You could either slot something tonal into your Instagram grid when you haven’t got time for product photography, or they’re also useful for a nice quote that fits with your business. Why not bookmark this page to refer back to later?
You could even design your own graphics – check out our blog on using Canva for some inspiration.
This useful list of stock image sites are free to use, copyright-free, and will make your marketing really stand out:
One of our favourites, Unsplash is super-easy to use, and is a treasure trove of top-quality professional pictures. Great for travel and landscapes, it has good people shots too and lots of quotes. You can search for colour as well as picture type, making it ideal to fit in with your brand theme and colour scheme on your Instagram grid.
Pixabay is another great free image site, with a huge variety of stock photos and an easy search engine. Easy to use and you can pretty much always find what you’re looking for! You can also download images in a variety of resolutions, depending on what you need them for.
It might be a mouthful to say, but Gratisography has a great selection of quirky images and graphics that offer something a bit different.
Pexels offers another huge variety of free stock photos and video content. The images are not quite as high-res as some other sites so be careful when downloading and if blowing the image up on posters or marketing materials – but they’re usually fine for social media use.
Picjumbo is jam-packed with colourful stock images, with dozens of categories to choose from and a handy search engine function.
Life Of Pix
LifeOfPix.com is great for large landscape shots and shots of people, offering plenty of categories to refine your search too.
Splitshire.com has over a thousand free images, but some images can pixelate so check the resolution before you upload them on social media.
Creative Commons is great for video content and illustration as well as stock images, but the search engine is a little more complicated than the previous ones we’ve mentioned. It searches via third-party sites such as Google Images and Flickr to bring you the latest content you can use in your social media. It isn’t categorised as well as other sites, but is great if you’re looking for a very specific kind of photo. Double check licensing on each image as some restrictions apply.
Foodiesfeed.com is ideal for food markets or foodies traders and stallholders. You can find any type of food image and search for food types such as ‘healthy’, ‘coffee’, ‘cake’ and ‘pizza’. Full of mouth-watering goodies if you need some quick images of food!
Top Tip: make sure you double-check each image license before using it and always give credit to the author as applicable.