When it comes to any type of content marketing – whether it’s social media marketing, website marketing or anything else – images are always going to be important. They can help you break up text, making it easier to read and can even help your reader understand your content better. As a business, you have to be careful which images you use. It’s important to make sure you come across as professional, but don’t simply Google images and take them from anywhere – or you could land yourself in a serious legal battle. You can get ahead of the competition with professional, high quality images – from any of these 3 free stock image sites!
Pexels is one of my favourite places to find free stock photography. It tends to be my first stop when I’m looking for images, even when I’m willing to pay. Some free stock image sites boast about the number of images, but often because they’re free, they seriously lack on quality. Not Pexels though; their image bank is full of wonderfully high quality images that should cost an arm and a leg. And they’re completely free to use – they don’t even request that you make an account for access. If you’re struggling to find any images for your marketing material, whether it’s your blog, website or whatever else you’re doing, I’d highly recommend this website as a great place to start your hunt.
The search is really easy to use and throws up very relevant results. They make it really clear what licensing has been added to each image, so you can stay the right side of the law. The only real drawback I find is that the image bank isn’t as large as it could be; but seriously guys – I prefer this one to the paid sites, and what can you say when it’s free?
Lastly, a lesser known fact is that they also do ‘stock videos’ – so if you’re making a video for your website and are looking to add some professional video to it, I’d highly recommend you check out Pexels Videos too.
Pixabay is one of the best free stock image sites; it has a much larger bank of images (over 630,000) than Pexels and if you’re looking for drawn images like vectors and icons – Pixabay has you covered! Because it has a much larger bank of images, it can be a little harder to navigate and there is a mixture of quality – however, having said that, they still have some of the highest quality images out there, especially when you consider they’re free.
Again, they don’t ask you to sign up to get your free images, but signing up can speed up the download process a bit, so it might be worth it.
If you haven’t tried out Canva – check it out today. As far as free stock imagery goes, they don’t have a lot that are free – but what they do have is better! If you’ve ever seen those motivational images pop up on Facebook or Twitter, with writing over a pretty background – it was likely made in Canva. Canva is an extremely simple to use design programme you can access online. The best thing about it, is just how easy it is to create professional images with. You can quickly put together a great, professional image for your content marketing efforts without paying a designer to create it for you.
You can enter in hex codes for colours so you can match your branding exactly and use a whole host of Google fonts on your images. They have even gone to the trouble of giving you pre-sized blank images so you can make sure your image will fit for the media channel you’re using (e.g. they have ‘facebook post’ and ‘twitter post’ sizes pre-made, so you can literally just click and go!).
I’ve literally spent 10 minutes putting images together using Canva – and if it was a race I could probably do it in 2.
They come out so professionally that I’ve never bothered using Photoshop for my imagery. Like anything, there are still drawbacks. The have lots of fancy features and frames which are wonderful – but you have to pay for the fancier ones if you want to use them. And you do need to sign up for an account – but they don’t send you a bunch of junkmail, so I’ve never thought it was too much to ask especially as the service is so great and free to use.
I would recommend downloading a stock image and adding your personal message through canva; so you can quickly create some great images for your content marketing without having spent a penny.
What do you guys use? Do you know of any other good free stock image sites? I’d love to know if you have any more tips – just comment below.
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