As regular readers may have noticed, I’ve recently started using Shutterstock images in my blog posts. They reached out to me a couple of weeks ago and asked if I’d partner with them. Shutterstock has given me access to their 225 million-strong image library, in return for exposure on Jim’s Marketing Blog.
Note: If you haven’t already heard of Shutterstock, they are headquartered at The Empire State Building with an IPO value of over half a billion dollars. In short, their service lets users find and buy images, vectors, videos, and music.
What interested me, was the opportunity to test, and then share with you, if using ‘paid for’, premium images would have a positive, measurable impact on my marketing results. So, I’m going to use their images until January, then I’ll report back to you with my findings.
Previously, I’ve used images from freely available image libraries or made my own. The obvious challenge with free images, is that they are used everywhere. In theory, because premium images are less commonly used and look better, they should be more effective at capturing attention.
Some immediate feedback
There is one immediate, measurable improvement I can share with you already. And that’s speed.
It’s massively easier to find exactly the right image, when you’re searching a huge professional library, with powerful indexing. To qualify that, it has often taken me as long to find the right image for a blog post, as it took to write the post. And the image tended to be, at best, ‘okay’. With Shutterstock, it takes just a few minutes and the image is always highly professional. That’s allowed me to spend 100% of my blogging time actually writing.
It remains to be seen whether the visual impact will move the dial, from a marketing perspective. Rest assured, you’ll be the first to know my results.