How to source the perfect images for your social media, website and blog
Awesome content is essential to an effective social media and content marketing strategy. 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual Click To Tweet and with the increasing popularity of image and video focused social networks it can be tough to consistently produce engaging and varied content.
Here are some great websites and apps that can help you source great images for free:
Pixabay has stunning photos, vector images, illustrations and video content curated from across the web. The search functionality makes it easy to find what you need and there’s a huge library to choose from.
Unsplash is a great resource for high resolution photographs. There is also an app called ‘Unsplash Wall’ which uses an API to display photos from unsplash.com, it displays photos at random so it can be great for a little inspiration and a quick source to grab an image for a social media post.
Not strictly an image site however Canva do have a library of free images you can use within the site and app to create and design content. Its a must for helping you overlay text and branding quickly for social media posting, calls to action, blog images etc. quickly from your smartphone.
4. Free Digital Photos
Free Digital Photos offers a large library of free images easily searched by category.
5. IM Free
IM Free curates images and also has templates that can be used commercially, all organised by category making it easy to find what you’re after.
6. Death to the Stock Photo
If, like me, you’re not a fan of typical stock images (too many years staring at boring corporate stock photos) then this one’s for you. You do have to sign up with your email but then they send you royalty free photos each month. Super convenient – I look forward to these emails every month!
Like Death to the Stock Photo, PicJumbo will deliver photos to your inbox each month if you want. You can also browse and download their library of free images, organised by category.
This one you have to register for, however their library of images and photographs is massive.
9. Google Advanced Image Search
This is a hidden gem that so many don’t know about. Google Images has a custom search feature that you can use to find royalty free images. When searching for an image – see the example below for ‘beach photos’ – select the ‘search tools’ option, then ‘usage rights’ and ‘labeled for reuse with modification’.
The results will show all the images that you can use and modify for free.
10. Libre Stock
Libre Stock is a great site which lets you streamline your search for royalty free images so you can save time. Type your keyword in the search box and find out where you can download the images from.
11. Just Ask…
Seen an image you like? Don’t be afraid to ask the person/business that owns the copyright if you can use their image. Sometimes people are willing to give away their images for free as long as you credit them or in return for a link back to their site to help their SEO.
12. Get Creative
With so many easy-to-use editing tools available and increasingly accessible photography equipment (you probably have one in your hand right now), get creative and give it a go yourself. Use other people’s Instagram and Pinterest for inspiration, keep an open mind and get snap happy!
Once you’ve got hold of all those perfect images for your next social post or blog, don’t forget to edit, customise and brand them to match your business’ personality and tone. Set them apart from your competition. We’ve become a generation of scanners, endlessly scrolling through Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram looking for inspiration so think about what would catch your eye and stop you scrolling on.
The above sites are all awesome for sourcing free images to use in your online marketing, however it is always a good idea to make sure you understand the different types of Creative Commons Licenses and how to use them appropriately so you don’t get slapped with any hefty fines.
Need some help with editing? See my blog post on the top easy editing tools for editing and branding your images.
How do you source images for your social media, blog or website? Do you know a great site that isn’t in the list?
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