The trend in blogging and website designing is to use either royalty- free photos or stock photos. You, probably, will have seen the popularity that the stock photos are currently getting. Everywhere you go the same kinds of pictures follow.
Some of these photos add meaning to the content, while some others take away from it. One of the reasons why the photos do not suit the content or enhance the significance of the article is because the images are not related to the writing. For example, consider an article that talks about friendship in India. Because of the unavailability of getting Indian faces on stock photo websites, we end up using pictures of foreigners, which takes away from the uniqueness of the content.
In this blog, we will discuss the main reasons why it is harmful to use non-Indian stock photos for a website that is targeted towards the Indian audience.
It does not add meaning to your content.
If your blog or website is trying to sell a product to the Indian audience, you would want your customers to feel related to you. For example, a blog giving advice on life to youngsters in India, will not use a picture of a bunch of guys from anywhere but India, smoking and drinking.
Photos and images are a great way to link the readers to the content. Through images, one can easily convey the messages or taglines hidden in the text. It helps the readers in imagining and moves forward their thinking. Colourful pictures and photos, especially those with which the reader can make a connection, are engraved in our memories for a longer duration as compared to those times when the images do not add to the content.
A reader, who sees a picture of a neighbourhood which clearly is not from India, will be less likely to relate the content. And, hence, move away from the website.
Non-Indian Stock photos lack the emotional connection.
While non-Indian photos show happy non-Indian face smiling at the camera, an Indian photo of an Indian family helps people relate the blog or website to themselves.
Have you seen advertisements where Indian people are showed using the products which are being sold through the advertisement? That is for an apparent reason: the viewer needs to feel like he or she too can use the product. People would be less likely, if not repelled, to buy a product which shows an American or a Chinese person using it.
A sense of connection is built up in the minds of your visitors upon seeing that the product was designed for people like them. It is essential for the website owner to establish this connection because this is an important point on which the decision of the customer depends.
If you are selling a new product, for example, a vacuum cleaner, you will not be showing your visitors the image of another vacuum cleaner, would you? It is because you understand that you need to show what you sell.
Similarly, it is an excellent idea to upload pictures which are regional because if your audience is Indian, they would want to see that there is a connection between your website and them.
If you are reviewing a mobile application and giving the readers and visitors your feedback, then instead of using images which are available on the net, use you own screenshots and images. Then adds to the authenticity of your website and blog.
Non-Indian stock photos are expensive.
Indian stock photos will cost you a lot lesser as compared to buying stock photos from foreign websites. While any good website will charge you something around $1 per piece for a non-Indian stock photo, you can expect Indian stock photos to be as less as Rs 20 per photo. Some websites even offer stock photos for free too.
Lack of exclusivity.
For a stock photo taken in a foreign country, the number of buyers would increase. For a simple picture of a flower, there will be buyers from various kinds of job backgrounds with different needs, who will be from around the globe. The competition will be high. Whereas, since the Indian photos are limited to the websites designed for Indians and a few other categories here and there, the number of customers for these images will be less.
So, in the end, what you will get are unique photos for your website. If this doesn’t win your trust, you may even put a restriction on the stock photos that you buy online. Once you have obtained a photo, you can limit its usage and may restrict the same image to be produced every again.
You may not easily find Indian stock photos for your website all the time. But, since stock photos are aimed at a more general idea, it is advisable that you make it more of a private affair- something that tells the readers about you.
- Add text to the image. Personalise the stock photo so that now your readers can connect the dots.
- Don’t use photos just because you think space need to fill. Use images that make sense. For example, you don’t want to use a man jumping in the air for an article which talks about playing the guitar.
- Make something out of pictures that don’t fit your content. Crop it, resize it, or Photoshop it. You can even use MS PowerPoint and add your touch to the photos.
- Don’t get overwhelmed by a number of images available on the internet. Look for the photos which will help boost your marketing.
- Always place your customers ahead. Think of what they would like or dislike whenever you go on a stock-photo shopping.
The conclusion is to make sure your website establish an emotional connection with contents and pictures you use.
On ShimBi Labs website we use our images, how about you?