How To Source Your Images

We all know that images are important, and yet when it comes to sourcing pictures to illustrate content and campaigns, many of us are left floundering and wondering whether it’s acceptable just to take the first image found on a related Google search… (Just in case you were wondering, it’s really not!)

If you’re in any doubt as to whether you have the rights to use an image, chances are the very fact that you don’t know means that you shouldn’t be using it. You can of course approach the image owner to request permission, but often it can be difficult to trace the original source, especially if the image has been copied multiple times on different websites.

The best policy is to use or create your own images – this not only means you have full rights to use them, but it can actually help improve your SEO. Unique images are favoured by Google, along with all unique content, so it is really worth putting in the extra effort.

If you can’t create your own images due to practical constraints, consider signing up to a high quality image bank, such as Getty Images. This will cost you, but you will have access to an extremely large database.


If you’re not prepared to pay there are still some options available under Creative Commons licenses, such as those available on Flickr. Images which fall into this category have been put forward by the image owner for public use – there are some restrictions on use, which will depend on what the owner has stipulated, but all will require a credit to the source of the image. Some owners restrict the use of images for commercial purposes, so make sure that you double check the owner’s policy before using any such images.

How to Select Your Images

As you may have seen in advertisements in recent years, there has been an increasing focus on first person perspective. Brands such as Lurpak have recognised that images don’t just need to grab attention, they need to be a super-sensory, almost immersive, experience – evoking a variety of different responses. (We’re feeling hungry and inspired just looking at this!)


Images also need to be relatable – if the image looks great but means nothing to your target audience, chances are it won’t have the desired effect. Consider whether your images will do one of the following before using it:

  • Inform
  • Inspire
  • Entertain

If you are also able to incorporate a personal touch to images in order to humanise them, customers will find them more believable and will therefore be less likely to dismiss them. It’s important to remember just how much customers will be bombarded with advertisement from your competitors – if you stand out and offer something different and engaging, you’re far more likely to succeed with your campaign. Remember, every brand has a story to tell.

Where to Place Your Images

Good images are made for sharing. If you’ve spent the time to craft a well thought out campaign with striking images, you need to get them out there. Social media provides a perfect opportunity for distributing images, and the more relatable and tantalising they are, the more likely they are to get shared. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest are all obvious candidates when it comes to sharing visual content, and the best part is that if your images are really engaging, users will do the hard work for you and spread your message on your behalf.

Remember apps and social media such as Pinterest, Instagram & Taggr solely focus on the images, so the more captivating you can make yours, the better your interaction is going to be.

Another suggestion is to ensure your profile images have continuity across the social channels, as this helps to tie your brand channels together and helps when you’re promoting your marketing messages.




If you’d like some assistance with your digital PR we’re here to help – we can work with you to create integrated campaigns which promote your brand, increase your SEO and improve your conversions. Surely that’s what everyone wants for Christmas? Get in touch with us today.

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