03 Aug Stock versus Custom
Why the Real Thing is Better
There has been a lot of debate in recent years about the value of stock images and videos versus the real thing. In a world of instant gratification and reality TV housewives, it’s never been more important to bring the realness out of your brand. It’s easy for anyone to create an Adobe Stock account and start downloading stock images but it takes a something special to create custom images and videos that really set your brand apart.
If you are looking at a website for a barber for example and you see something like clippers hanging off of a hook or a burly lumberjack with a beard and a pair of scissors, are you going to rush out for a trim because you think that barber is the best of the best in your area. We’re willing to bet that the answer to that is no. What about if you see actual barber’s in their shop with real names and faces actually doing their craft? We bet that will get you running.
We typed “barber” into a stock photo system and these were some of the top images that came up…which grabs your attention more, the two above or the two below?
Custom video and photography not only sets a brand apart but it also builds brand cohesion and consistency. It can help give your customer’s online experience with your brand a certain level of professionalism and connection that can’t be found in stock photos or videos. Nothing makes us more angry than seeing those pictures of people who “work in customer service” sitting at a vaguely shaped cubicle wearing a headset. While that is in fact a person, don’t you have people of your own you could show off? “Customer service representative 12” probably has a doppelgänger of sorts in your current environment.
Hold on, hold on, we know what you’re saying: Professional photography/videography is so expensive and isn’t really in our budget. No one said you have to go out and hire a professional per se; have you seen what the iPhone X can do on portrait mode or the insane video quality it captures? DIY photography is a great way to start your brand portfolio, especially for small businesses. Now, we have to add a caveat here: While it is easy to make use of candid, everyday shots from your phone to start your brand library, there are most definitely times when it is best to leave it to the professionals.
When it comes to video, there are a lot more moving parts (no pun intended) so it’s best to try and start with a professional there whenever possible. A custom video doesn’t just make your brand look real, it makes your brand come to life right in front of your customer. If you are a hair or makeup stylist, what better way to show off your skills than to have them brought to life through your social media. A perfect example is STYL, a mobile salon and spa that comes to you, who were the title sponsors of Orlando’s Downtown Wedding Stroll and the creators of the hair and makeup for an epic fashion show. All it takes is this minute and half video to show the professionalism and brand quality you are trying to put out to your customers.
Blue Helium Concepts works with our clients to build brand-specific content for not just social media but also print and other forms. With over 20 years of photography and videography experience on our team, we can help your brand stand out from the others with custom content. Reach out today to see how we can help you bring your brand to life at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on how custom content outranks stock, check out the links below: