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Stock Images vs. Paid Images – Which is Best for You?

Stock Images vs. Paid Images – Which is Best for You?

The phrase, “A picture is worth a thousand words” certainly holds true in today’s marketing environment. Consider these facts from a study:

  • Articles with relevant images received nearly 100% more views compared to articles without them.
  • On Facebook, images get 20% more engagement than videos and 352% more engagement than links.
  • 67% of consumers said that the quality of a product image was a “very important” factor in their purchasing decision.

As one can see, incorporating images into a content strategy is essential for any business. However, the type of image you use can be just as important.’

Real Images
Real images are original images and photos created just for the client. The biggest advantage of using real images is their quality and distinctiveness. The image is designed to fit perfectly with your content, and since it is not in use by anyone else, it allows your content to stand out further. Additionally, since you may own the license to it, you have the flexibility of using them as you please or sell the rights for others to use.

As for disadvantages, the most obvious are the costs of hiring professional photographers for the purpose, which may not be in everyone’s budget.

Stock Images
Stock images are generic images that are licensed for commercial use and are available to anyone wanting to use them. Thanks to a high level of competition, gaining a license for the use of stock images is very inexpensive. Another advantage of purchasing stock photos is their versatility as they are designed in a way to be used for a variety of content.

Their biggest drawback is that other people are also using them, and this can have a negative impact on your brand and dilute the overall quality of your content.

What is “Rights Managed”?
Rights Managed or “RM” for short is a license that stimulates in what specific ways a customer is allowed to use stock photos they purchased from an agency or individual who owns the right to them. Usually, RM licenses are far pricier than their royalty-free counterparts and have greater usage restrictions but come with the benefit of allowing the purchaser exclusive rights to the image for the duration of the license.