You know you’re really, really into marketing when seeing cheesy stock photography on a company website actually angers you.
Is it just the laziness of it? Or that the company in question is blowing a chance at actually differentiating themselves as opposed to looking like yet another clip art clone? Is it that the decision makers behind it actually think it makes them look more “professional” and committed-to-excellence?
I’d guess all of these reasons, plus the fact that the images are just so bad. So forced and soulless. So not what makes customers relate with what you’re trying to offer them. And remember, it’s supposed to be about them…right?
So thank you to Vince Vaughn (and Photoshop) for demonstrating just how generic and utterly dumb most of these stock images really are. And while we’re on the topic, here are 3 more space-wasters to get rid of in order to free up room for content that actually matters.
Buildings (unless you actually work in commercial real estate)
Intended message: We’re a big, strong, professional organization.
Actual message: Our web developer put this building picture in as a place holder and we haven’t gotten around to updating it.
Why it’s silly: People don’t do business with skyscrapers. They do business with actual, live humans.
Intended message: We get things done!
Actual message: We can’t clearly define what we actually get done and why it matters.
Why it’s silly: Because it’s as generic as a stock image can possibly get.
Intended message: We are people who care passionately about what we do.
Actual message: We are a generic company with generic executives selling generic products/services for generic customers.
Why it’s silly: Because none of the people in these photos actually work for your company.
What to replace them with
• Offers for your white papers, webinars, blog, etc.
• Links to your Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin pages.
• Nothing. Even white space is better than generic images; it will help the other content on your site stand out.