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Images and Digital Marketing

IMAGE USE AND DIGITAL MARKETING

As you probably have seen, images are everywhere in digital marketing!  From business Facebook pages to upcoming event promotions on Instagram, text is almost always accompanied by an image.  This is done for several reasons. First, use of images in digital media marketing and posting greatly increases its visibility on social feeds.  Second, our eyes tend to be drawn to colors and images more often that just text. The good news? Data backs up the fact that it works! The challenging part?  How do you know what images are not only best to use, but – legally usable?

FREE IMAGES

Free can be everyone’s favorite word.  When it comes to image use for digital marketing though, free isn’t always better.  As blog.thesocialms.com points out, although free images save on cost and may look fine, they don’t necessarily add value to your posts.  They rarely provide additional information, and often are only vaguely related to your post’s content. Screenshots can be a free way to further emphasize a point in your post or blog.  Looking to add a quote to your post? Add an image behind it and then post an image of your quote. If using a free image, make sure that it can be resized, and that it is sized properly to begin with.  Dimensions for Instagram are much more compact and vertical than Facebook. Also, if you are using a free image or an image that you created, don’t forget to add overlay text for Pinterest.  

COPYRIGHT LAWS AND DIGITAL MARKETING

Have you ever been searching for content and wonder what you can and cannot use?  Understanding copyright laws will make your digital marketing work more successful and can make the difference between a copyright infringement lawsuit or not.  First, be sure that you understand copyright laws. Copyright protection is automatic upon image creation. What does this mean? Graphics no longer need to have a copyright symbol in order to be considered copyrighted.  Once they are out in the public domain of the internet, it’s assumed that they are owned by their creator. This means that legally, no one can use an image without the permission of the creator. With that being said, if you create an image and put it online, you can’t just sue someone for copyright infringement without taking an important step yourself.  According to socialmediaexaminer.com , image creators must register their work within 90 days of publication with the U.S. Copyright Office.  However, an easy rule to follow is this: if you didn’t create it, you may be unable to use it when searching the general public domain.

KNOW YOUR PLATFORM

Each social media platform has different rules and terms of service regarding image use.  Stay ahead of an issue. Read the rules and terms and be sure you understand them prior to using each platform.  It’s best to know what you can and cannot do in this case while working on your digital marketing campaign rather than running into an issue due to being under-informed.

OPTIONS

So, what are your options?  There are subscription-based stock photo agencies that you can sign up with and safely grab images from.  Some of these include Shutterstock, iStock, 99Club, Adobe Stock, and Bigstock. Similarly, there are some more limited but free sites that will do the trick.  These include: Foter, Unsplash, Pexels, and Pixabay. Rest assured. If you do your research prior to beginning your work, you can begin executing your campaigns successfully and without worry in regards to your image and artwork needs.