Last October, I announced (in this post) that I was going to trial Shutterstock’s premium images on the blog for a few months. I wanted to know what benefits, if any, professional, premium images provided over freely available images, so I could share them with you.
Here’s my quick review.
I saved a massive amount of time
The first benefit I noticed from using Shutterstock images, was also the biggest. It saved me a huge amount of time.
Normally, I either use images I’ve created myself or I search free image libraries for something suitable. This sometimes takes as much time as writing the actual post.
The shutterstock image library isn’t only enormous (hundreds of millions of images), it has an exceptional search facility. Just to qualify that, it’s the best search, for accuracy and speed I have ever used. This means there are not only millions of premium images to choose from, but you can find what you want in seconds.
If you publish as frequently as I do, this makes a real difference.
Shutterstock’s images create a powerful impression
The overall quality of the images is absolutely superb. You can tell instantly that you’re looking at high quality work.
Investing in premium images should be a no-brainer, for anyone with a website, where they’re seeking to create a polished and professional impact. There’s just no good reason not to use a premium image library and Shutterstock is rock solid.
For bloggers who write magazine-style content, premium images are an equally good idea. The same is true of company blogs, where you want consistency with the quality and look of your images.
And, of course, premium images are a lot less commonly used than free ones, so using them can help your content create a stronger first impression
Ironically, I’m one of very few edge-cases, where a professional image library isn’t ideal. As I wrote last month, I’d already decided to make my blog posts more personal. This includes investing the extra time required, to create more of my own photos and images, rather than using 3rd party image content.
The prices are significantly lower than I imagined. Here’s the link to their various prices and plans.
Shutterstock’s pricing scales from one-off purchases, to plans for users who need hundreds of images a month. There’s something for just about every commercial use-case and budget.
Did it move the marketing dial?
Because the images are so quick and easy to find, posts took me a lot less time to create. As a direct result, I’ve been able to publish several (or more) additional posts over the past 3 months. This will have moved the dial, because of the SEO benefits of frequently publishing fresh content.
Shares of my posts remained about the same, as did client enquiries via the blog.
Hard to find a negative
It’s been very hard to think of anything negative. In fact, only one very minor thing comes to mind.
Some of the marketing-related images I found, included relatively old technology. I’m really nitpicking here, but these images will instantly look dated, even if they’re not. Of course, you can quickly find up-to-date alternatives. Like I say, I’m picking nits.
Shutterstock gets 5 Stars
This is a very comfortable 5-Stars for Shutterstock. The service, images and my overall experience has been superb.
Shutterstock’s content looks professional, will save you time and ensure you always have an image that matches your needs. I have no hesitation in recommending them and I’d like to thank them, especially Amanda, for all their help.