When you first start investing time in marketing for your IT business, you’ll naturally be focused on the valuable information you’re sharing that will help your customers be better informed and confident about using your services.
While it’s important to get the messages right in your blogs and website pages, don’t overlook the images you use alongside them. Visitors to your site will make a quick decision about whether or not to stay and look around, and eye-catching visuals are a key part of this.
So, move away from those stock images of cables and laptops you’ve saved somewhere safe, because not only are they boring, but your competitors will be using them too. Let’s look at why free, open-sourced pictures aren’t always the best choice.
- You Don’t Stand out: Your ideal customer is probably a business owner who knows they need IT support, but they’re not sure exactly what that involves. If you’re using the same images as your competitors and every other IT business, you’re not differentiating yourself. If you don’t stand out, you’re not giving people a reason to do business with you
- You’re not Showing how you Help: People are looking at your website because they need a solution to a problem they’re having, whether that’s in business or at home. Stock photos don’t tell visitors what you do and how you can help them. Yes, they’ll find specifics by reading your content, but if you have a well-chosen picture as well, they’re able to quickly make a decision about whether you’re the right company for them
- It Looks Lazy: You might not expect that as a reason, but unfortunately it is. If you’re using stock images, it shows your audience that you added them as an afterthought. Even if you spent ages finding the best cable picture available, it still looks like you did a quick search on a free image site and downloaded the first thing you found
- It’s Generic: One of the advantages to stock images is also one of the biggest problems – they’re free, so lots of other people are probably using them too. This means that not only are your competitors likely to have the same or similar pictures, other companies will too. They may be in a completely different industry to you, so if site visitors have seen the same pictures elsewhere, they’ll be confused. At best you may look like you’ve stolen the images, at worst, you might end up being associated with a less reputable company than your own
- They Don’t Communicate Your Brand: Using bespoke photos and illustrations (or even putting more thought into the stock images you do use) are a quick, clear and easy way to show off your personality, your business and your brand. They communicate to visitors who you are and how you can help them
- Nobody Cares About Cables: OK, some people care about cables, but if you’re trying to attract small business owners who have a problem they need fixing ASAP, they don’t care about the hardware you use or how you do it, they just need a solution to get things back to normal
- They’re Off-putting: Most people outside of the industry are scared of IT, because they don’t understand how it works. If you use stock images, you may come across unapproachable – people may think you’ll use a lot of jargon and make them feel stupid
- Cables are a bit Obvious: While most of your customers won’t have a clue about systems, servers and software, they will know that cables and other types of hardware are used in IT! You don’t need to reinforce that to them in your images
- They’re Impersonal: It’s often said, but it’s true: people do business with people. If you want to engage with your audience, give them a personalised approach. Show off your team so the customers know who they’ll be talking to and who will help them with their problems. They’ll feel like they already know you before you start working with them
Some Ideas for Images to use Instead
- Your team
- Your office
- Your workspace
- Your customers
- How-to photos
- The outcomes/results from working with you
- Product images
- Branded graphics
- Personalised infographics