Finding reliable stock photo sites with great images for all of your social media and content marketing needs can sometimes be quite the pain. Whether it’s finding images that relate specifically to your content, or you just want something that doesn’t scream STOCK PHOTOGRAPHY! Regardless, it goes without saying that every post you make on social media should not be without a visual to go along with it. Not convinced? Check out these stats:
- Posts with images produce 650% higher engagement than text-only posts.
- Visual content is 40 times more likely to get shared on social media than other types of content.
- Facebook posts with images see 2.3X more engagement than those without images.
- Visuals in color increase people’s willingness to read a piece of content by 80%.
- Tweets with embedded images get 18% more clicks, 150% more retweets, and 89% more favorites.
Over the years I’ve spent countless hours researching different stock photo sites for great images, and while it can be enticing to just do a Google search for what you need, you don’t want to get into copyright issues. So without further ado, below are the top 5 sources I’ve found (paid and free) to source your social and content marketing image needs.
Pixabay (free) – Pixabay is packed with well over a million public domain images – not only photos, but also illustrations, vector graphics, and even a handful of videos. Its selection of landscape photography is particularly strong, and the Editor’s Choice is well worth a look if you don’t have something specific in mind.
Pexels (free) – Anyone is welcome to upload photos to Pexels, and the site’s curators will pick out the best shots to populate its searchable collection of public domain images. You can search for something specific, or browse by themes including pastimes, emotions, and locations.
Unsplash (free) – Unsplash is a well curated collection of beautiful photos donated by skilled photographers, and has been used to create some incredible work. There are fewer images than you’ll find on Pixabay or Pexels, but the quality is more consistent and less “stock” looking.
iStock (paid) – iStockphoto (now iStock) by Getty Images is one of the oldest and largest stock photo agencies around (started in 2000). They sell images by credits and subscription plans and offer some of the highest-end stock images to choose from, especially if you decide that you occasionally need a really unique image.
Shutterstock (paid) – Shutterstock offers both image credits and subscription options for stock photo buyers. Shutterstock image collection is one of the largest, with over 84 million royalty free images, but it is on the higher end of pricing.
While there are many more stock photo sites then this out there for this sort of thing, I’ve found myself going back to these 5 on regular occasions based on my specific needs. You won’t go wrong adding these to your bookmarks for image sourcing not matter what your particular image needs are. Good luck!