If your practice is like most, chances are you’ve purchased stock photos in an effort to make your marketing collateral more appealing. Perhaps you’ve used them to add an interesting visual element to your website, or to entice people to read your blog. While these are all valid reasons to utilize stock photos, there are some common pitfalls that can derail your best intentions. Learning how to use stock photos effectively while avoiding these mistakes can mean the difference between earning a potential new patient’s respect and making them run for the hills…or the waiting room of your nearest competitor.
No Cat Photos
The most important thing to keep in mind is this: do not use photos just for the sake of using photos. We get it – you want to make your content visually compelling. But a photo of a kitten, even if it’s a really cute kitten, is far from purr-fect because it has nothing to do with your ENT practice. When using stock photos, make them relevant to your business. If your target audience is the elderly, posting pictures of children won’t encourage new customers to give you a call. Even if the photos sort-of make sense, don’t forget to add context. Maybe you’ve found an image of a senior citizen playing golf. Now you’re on the right track – but what does golf have to do with health care? Use text to tie the elements together. Try a caption about how a regular check-up will “keep you in the swing of things” and suddenly it’s beginning to make sense!
Don’t Over Photoshop
Feel free to modify photos to fit in with your brand, but don’t overdo it. There’s no need to bust out Photoshop when simply cropping the photo will do the trick. That’s another great tip, too: you do not have to use the whole photo if there are elements in it that do not apply to your practice. Afraid you’ll end up with too much negative space after cropping? Get creative and make a collage by piecing together multiple photos.
Use Real Photos
While stock photos are great, don’t rely on them for everything. Try using real photos you have taken yourself, perhaps pictures you have posted to your Instagram account. Simple images from around your office work surprisingly well: think of an artfully-arranged display of magazines from your waiting room, or front office staff members going about their daily routines. Real-life photos make your office feel warm and personable. In order to improve your SEO rankings, don’t forget to add alt text to your images. A simple title and description will help search engines index your photos properly and, when done correctly, should lead to higher click rates, which in turn can translate to more patients.
Not sure which photos to use in your marketing? Try A/B testing, sending out versions with different images to gauge which has the best response.
Remember, stock photos can be a great marketing tool when used properly. Now that you’ve learned some tricks of the trade, you should find using them a “snap!”