You might often hear it banded about that social media posts, blog posts and online content in general receives way more engagement and interaction when it includes imagery.
This isn’t just generalisation and speculation; it’s the cold hard truth but don’t just take my word for it….
According to a recent study, photos on Facebook get an 87% interaction rate whereas other post types such as videos and statuses didn’t even register more than 4%!
A separate study has revealed that tweets with pictures were retweeted 35% more than those without images!
There is no doubt that including attractive imagery in your online content engages your audience and encourages them to share it, but getting the right photos can be tricky!
Remember, most photos that you find online will have a copyright or database law attached to them meaning that using them without permission could land you in hot water.
Also, a simple Google image search is often not good enough as it will return popular images that have been used countless times before.
For many small business and startups, it’s not financially viable to have an in house graphic designer working on each and every post so alternative options must be sought. This is also true of larger companies, such as telephone answering services for example, who won’t necessarily have a team dedicated to creating regular new imagery.
Luckily for you, there are a good deal of websites out there that offer hi-res, free imagery for you to take and directly use on your site or social media channels.
From people and nature to more specific photos such as office and meeting shots, the 9 websites I have selected will cater to all your needs:
With over 2,000 photos and at least 35 new ones added every week, Pexels is probably my favourite of all the free image sourcing websites.
StockSnap curates images from around the internet and also accepts submissions from users, accrediting them for the photo. The wide selection here is hard to beat!
Gratisography has a very distinct, wacky style and adds content weekly. However, there is no search feature which does limit usability.
Albumarium has a search function but it lacks the depth and diversity that a lot of the aforementioned free stock photo sites have.
5. Death to the Stock Photo
Death to the Stock Photo is rather different, not just in the quirky name, but in the ability to register and receive new photos in your inbox each month – with a cool story attached. There is also a premium, paid option.
6. Startup Stock Photos
There is no searchability on Startup Stock Photos (not even any text!) but loads and loads of free, startup related imagery. If that’s all you need, this is the site for you.
7. Life Of Pix
Life Of Pix is another website that can be difficult to find what you’re after with no search, but the categories in the gallery section make it easy enough.
8. Jay Mantri
Jay Mantri puts it simply – “free pics. do anything (cc0). make magic.” With 7 new photos added each Thursday, this collection of beautiful snaps is perfect if you wish to add a natural feel to any of your content.
And finally, probably the most popular of all free photo websites, Unsplash offers 10 new images every 10 days. The site has a handy keyword search feature but beware; a simple reverse image search on Google will reveal just how popular and often these get used!
If you can’t find what you’re after on any of these websites (I guarantee you will!), then just be aware of the ‘CC0 symbol’, before publishing any photo that you’ve found. Good luck and go and make the internet pretty!