One of the most frequent questions we get from business owners is: “how can I use stock photos?” There are literally tons of ways to use stock photos for your online business! But in case you need some ideas, here are the top ways Styled Stock Society members are using stock photos in their businesses.
Blog Post Graphics
Let’s start with the most obvious example since you’re reading a blog post now. 🙂 Creating Pinterest-optimized graphics for your blog posts (and obviously pinning them), is an easy way to get your content in front of more people. Honestly, if you’re not including pinnable graphics in every single blog post, then you are definitely missing out on referral traffic from Pinterest! Using stock photos in your blog post graphics can save you a ton of time and ensure you have high-quality visuals that your audience is more likely to share. You can find tons of examples of how Styled Stock Society members are using photos to create pin-worthy graphics over on our community Pinterest board!
Even if you don’t have a blog, you can still use stock photos on your website. A commonplace this is often seen is with website headers or hero images but you can also use stock photos as background images or to create sidebar widgets, buttons, or any other type of graphic on your website (think page headers, sales pages, contact pages and more)! Basically anywhere you’re not using a custom photo (like a photo of yourself or your product), you can use stock photos that fit your brand.
Instagram Post Graphics
This one is a no-brainer! Most business owners are posting on Instagram every single day which adds up to A LOT of images! Even if you have your own brand photos, using stock photos can be a great way to supplement those custom images with high quality visuals that still represent your brand. Whether you are posting stock photos “as is” or creating graphics by adding text and/or other design elements, having a stock photography membership is a great way to have access to thousands of images in one place!
Check out how Elle mixes in stock photos with her own brand photos on Instagram to maintain cohesive brand visuals.
Instagram Story Graphics
In addition to Instagram post graphics, you can also use styled stock photos to create eye-catching Instagram story graphics for your business. This can be a great way to share updates, promotions, sales, or other content for your business. Make sure you include a call to action (swipe up or link in bio) to encourage story viewers to click through.
Facebook Group Graphics
If Facebook is more your jam, there are also a ton of ways to use stock photos to market your business here! One of our favorite ways to use this platform is for Facebook groups. If you have your own Facebook group, you can use stock photos for your group cover image or any of the posts within the group. Using stock photos to create eye-catching graphics makes it easy for your group members to see announcements or any other important posts inside the group!
Facebook Post Graphics
Don’t have a Facebook group? You can still use stock photos on your Facebook page! Whether you’re linking to blog posts, sales pages, special promotions, or other free or paid content, using stock photos to create graphics for your online business will help more people actually SEE your content and interact with it! Don’t forget – social media moves fast, so if you want to catch your audience’s attention, make sure to use high quality visuals that are relevant to your brand.
You may not think of Twitter as a visual platform like Instagram or Pinterest, but studies show that Twitter posts with images receive 150% more retweets than those without images (source). Make the most of the limited space you have to promote your business on Twitter by including eye-catching graphics along with your text to help stop the scroll.
You can find tons more examples over on Elle’s Twitter feed!
Content Upgrades / Worksheets / PDF Downloads
If you’re looking to jazz up your content upgrades, worksheets, or any sort of opt-in PDF download, adding stock photos is an easy way to make your downloads more visually appealing. Rather than just having huge blocks of text, your downloads should be formatted so that they’re easy for your audience to read. That makes breaking text up into sections, using headers and different font weights / sizes, and yes, using stock photos!
Email Headers / Newsletter Graphics
Let’s face it – we all get a TON of emails. If you want your emails to stand out in other people’s inboxes, using a custom header at the top of all of your emails is a simple way to remind people who the message is from. You can also use styled stock photos to create other graphics for your email newsletters – for example, you might be sending promotional emails or emails that link to your podcast episodes or emails that share more about your services – instead of only including text in your emails, you can add more visual interest using branded graphics within your email templates!
Great sales pages have great visuals (are you noticing a trend here?!), and stock photos can be an affordable way to enhance sales pages for your services, programs, courses, eBooks, etc. Stock photo “mockups” with your branded content are a particularly great way to give your potential clients a peek at whatever you’re selling, but you can also use stock photos to separate blocks of text or highlight certain elements on your sales page.
Course / Webinar / Presentation Slides
If you’re creating online courses, hosting live or recorded webinars, or creating presentations for online summits or other speaking engagements, you can also use styled stock photos in your course slides (or workbooks!) to make them more visually appealing. You don’t want all of your slides to just include plain bullet points (that would be totally boring), and using stock photos is an easy way to incorporate more of your brand into your presentations.
Throughout the year you’ll probably need various promotional graphics – whenever you’re running a sale, a bonus offer, a special event, a giveaway, or any other type of promotion – you can use stock photos to create promotional graphics like the example above! These types of graphics could be used on social media, in your emails, or even on your website to market your business.
Running Facebook ads or Instagram ads for your business? You can use stock photos for these too! If you’re trying to get more eyes on your opt-ins or sales pages, you’ll need eye-catching graphics to grab your target audience’s attention online. The right graphics can make a HUGE difference in someone clicking through on an ad (or not), so don’t underestimate the power of high quality photos when it comes to using ads to market your brand.
Client Welcome Guides
Even if you’re keeping your business simple and not building an email list / launching courses/ running ads / etc., there are still ways to use styled stock photos for your online business. If you have a service-based business, there are several touch points with your clients that could be visually enhanced using styled stock photos. Our favorite is using them in client welcome guides or other parts of your on-boarding experience.
Product Listings / Mockups
If you sell digital products or programs, it can be hard to showcase what you are selling visually. We love using mockup styled stock photos to display digital offers because it allows your potential customers to visualize what it could look like to actually invest in your offer and incorporate it into their life. The Styled Stock Society member library includes various tech mockups from desktop computers to laptops to tablets and phone screens.
There are so many different ways to use stock photos for your online business!
These are just 15 ways to use styled stock photos for your online business – but honestly there are so many more possibilities!
Don’t forget to download 20 free stock photos if you haven’t already or get instant access to over 2,500 stock photos when you join our membership!