Blog Posts

How to Make Free Stock Images Work for Content Marketing

Visual content is king, but what happens if you don’t have a massive library of brand images to use for your online content? Do you try a simple Google image search and grab something that might be approved for commercial use? Or, do you simply go image-less and rely on your copy to carry the weight?

If you’re pillaging images from Google’s regular search, stop right now. Google might tell you that it’s approved for commercial use, but there are other resources that provide greater assurances (and more relief for your legal team).

In this post I’ll show you where to find (truly) free stock images, and how to use those images for the best visual impact on your content marketing.

Strong Stock Image Sources

What comes to mind when you think of stock images? Does your brain turn to generic illustrations with the words “content” and “ROI” in them? Those are some forms of stock images, but they usually don’t inspire readers to peruse the content.

This Buffer post outlines over 50 different sites that provide free stock images, and I’ve frequently used the following in my work:

  • stock images, content marketingPixabay: A database of over 320,000 free stock images, many are photos submitted by users without attribution requirements or copyrights. No registration is required, though you’ll need to fill out a Captcha to download images.
  • New Old Stock: If you’re looking for something more vintage, this database offers archival photos are no longer under copyright protections.
  • Public Domain Pictures: The title says it all – these are photos uploaded by amateur photographers within the public domain. These are free to use for personal and commercial options, without attribution.

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