Stock photography is an important part of digital marketing and most businesses today use it to advertise their products, increase traffic to their website, and more. You might be wondering what are stock images to begin with if you haven’t come across this term before, but even if you have, let me help you understand it a little better.
1. What are stock images?
Stock photography is the name of the industry that creates imagery and sells it with various licensing models. Most often, customers will pay a certain fee to be able to use the stock images and incorporate them into their projects or marketing strategies. This small fee will then be split between the services or an agency that sells stock images and the photographer that took and uploaded the photos. Customers can download images, and the photographers often retain their copyright while the agencies earn money by facilitating the transaction.
2. What are the types of stock images?
Macrostock photography is the traditional stock photography, and it is exclusive, so customers have to pay higher fees so that they could hold exclusive rights. The images aren’t always entirely exclusive though, because some images can be bought by a limited number of people.
Midstock photography, is, as you can guess from the name, something between microstock and macrostock photography. This is when there are both non-exclusive and exclusive options for using the pictures.
Microstock photography is cheaper, but this is because exclusivity is most of the time out of the question. This means that multiple customers have the option to purchase the rights for the same microstock imagery, so more pictures are sold for a smaller fee.
3. How do stock images work?
You now know what are stock images, but how do they work, and what do companies use them for? Well, stock imagery is often used in marketing campaigns which helps companies save money, human resources, and time that they would otherwise spend on hiring a photographer. Stock images are also often used in blogs, and they have become, as I already mentioned, an essential part of digital marketing. The process is pretty simple. Stock photographers create the pictures and submit them to stock agencies or websites, which then display them and sell them to customers. They use a licensing model, which brings us to the next question you might have if the first one was “what are stock images?”
4. What are the types of licenses for stock images?
Public domain (PD) licensing is when you can freely use the image for either personal or commercial purposes. These are usually images that are no longer under exclusive intellectual property rights, and this means that you don’t have to worry about copyright.
Royalty-free (RF) licensing means that you can purchase the rights to use the imagery through a single payment to the person who licensed them. This can sometimes include certain restrictions, but you pay for the image only once, and you can freely use it as many times as you want afterward without having to pay again. These rights usually aren’t offered as exclusive rights.
Rights-managed (RM) licensing is the opposite of royalty-free since it comes with restrictions. This means that you can purchase the rights to an image but you will encounter further restrictions. You will need to pay for additional usage rights to use this image again. Depending on the platform, these licenses can be offered on an exclusive or non-exclusive basis.
5. Where can you find stock images?
Now that you know what are stock images and which licenses are most common, you might be wondering where to find them. Maybe you have already heard about Getty Images, Adobe Stock, Moose, and Shutterstock, but there are also great websites for free stock images. Naturally, the ones that require you to pay a certain fee are of better quality, but you can find great free images that you can start with before getting used to using them in your blog or marketing campaigns.
6. How to pick the right stock images?
Stock images can help your business, but only if you know how to pick the right ones. You can’t ever choose low-quality images, and there are many more rules you need to follow, so read about them and learn how to pick the right stock images for your business. Don’t forget to always check the license agreement, and make sure that the image you want hasn’t already been overused by other websites. Start using stock images and watch what they will do for your business! You’ll save money, time, and human resources!