Because You Can’t Just Copy an Image from Google… All About Image Use
It’s true, an image can speak a thousand words… In marketing, a website or graphic without any images or informational icons is disastrously boring; however, if you don’t have relevant photographs of your own work, location or products, where will you get the images you need? It might be tempting to do a quick google search and use any image that pops up, but in reality, it’s not as simple as it may seem, and can leave you to future stress personally and to your pocketbook/wallet.
How Do You Use Images?
If your AV business is like most companies out there, you’re using photographs and images to give your content more interest, flair and depth. We know how hard it is to find the perfect picture for your blog posts, Pinterest graphics and more. Here at Marketing Matters, we have usage access to thousands of images for marketing, but some startup companies aren’t in a position to spend hundreds of dollars for the rights to an image.
Why You Can’t Use Any Image You Please
“When someone creates an original image, they automatically own rights to that image. And when one of the rights to that image is used without the creator’s consent, that’s called copyright infringement — and it’s a big deal.” – HubSpot
Just like plagiarism, copying someone else’s image is an infringement. Aside from being a dishonest mistake, misusing non-royalty-free images can be costly. Image owners like Getty Images have struck down hard on websites that replicate and republish photographs and vectors that are copyrighted. Aside from having to pay a lawyer to fight a copyright infringement battle, you’ll likely be responsible for damages and lost licensing fees. The misuse of proprietary images (and any copyrighted content for that matter) could cost you thousands of dollars.
Images for Marketing
When building your website and developing content for your AV business, think ahead. We preach that you should firstly be gathering your own original images all the time. But if not possible, build a collection of royalty-free images and pay for usage rights on others; keep in mind that other website owners and developers are going to be using the same images you are. If you want exclusive rights to an image, you need to either create it yourself or pay for exclusive rights – this can get expensive, but can be worth it in some instances.
Are There Free Options?
As mentioned above, there are some royalty-free image sites where image creators accept donations for the time they spend taking pictures, editing photos, and developing vector graphics for free use. Image websites like Pixabay and Pexels have millions of photographs and graphics that you can use for free. It’s always a good idea, however, to credit the owner of an image – after all, image creation is hard work. If you are content paying for images as a subscription or with credits, Shutterstock is wildly popular and fairly inexpensive. iStock is another one as a paid option.
Tools like Canva and Desygner are also popular for developing your own graphics: Pinterest pins, Instagram images, Facebook covers, YouTube channel banners and many more. You can get the job done for free, but so many people are using the same images; you run the risk of looking like everyone else.
AV business owners may struggle a bit more than other businesses to find applicable free images. The AV world is a bit more abstract when it comes to imagery, and that only makes it harder to find the perfect image.
Here at Marketing Matters, we understand this struggle – we work with AV businesses regularly and have our own collection of images that we use for marketing and advertising. If you want to eliminate the copyright concern completely, reach out to us for more information about how we use images in our marketing.