What do masks, hand sanitiser and stock photos have in common?

The demand for all three has soared since last March. 

While stock imagery can’t save lives like masks and hand sanitisers can, they’ve been heavily relied on by businesses of all sizes, from startups to multinationals, since Covid hit.

In this article, we highlight the reasons why bespoke content outperforms stock content every time and why skimping on high-quality, original content can cost businesses in the long run.


social media imagePicture this. 

You’ve got a really good concept for an upcoming marketing campaign to promote a new product. You’ve got the copy nailed to a T.

Now it’s time to decide on the visuals. You want to try and save a bit of moola so you use stock photos instead of sourcing a graphic designer, photographer or illustrator to create original assets.

Your product is great, your copy is great, but your campaign is a flop and your predicted sales are way down. What’s happened?

While our attention spans continue to dwindle, the number of people and brands we follow on social platforms increases by the day.

Our social feeds are therefore littered with content. They’re noisy, busy places and as a result, brands must ensure that their content stands out in order to cut through the noise and grab their audience’s attention. Furthermore, they must also make sure than their visual assets align with their overall brand identity to help increase brand awareness. 

To put it bluntly, if your post doesn’t catch a users eye in less than .5 of a second from the time it appears in their feed, the chances of them engaging with it are nil. 

So, how does one produce content that a user will actually engage with? Content that gets results? Content that leads to sales, downloads or whatever your desired objective may be?


models in image


Firstly, know your audience. Who’s your target market? 

When you’ve got that sussed, it’s time to move onto the creative bit. How can you create bespoke content that aligns with your brand values and boasts an aesthetic that cuts through the noise?

Now you have to be really honest with yourself. Lots of us are familiar with Canva, some of us are pretty handy at Photoshop too. But does that mean we should take it upon ourselves  to create visual content for our campaigns? No, unfortunately not. 

It’s really important to know your strengths and weaknesses and even more important to stand by them. If you don’t have the skills, experience and expertise to create exceptional visuals, you should outsource this work to those who do. 

Using creative, bespoke content on your website, social posts and ads will generate a significantly better return than stock or DIY content will. 

Reach out to experienced photographers, animators, GIF creators, graphic designers or illustrators. They know how to produce great content and can bring imagination and creativity to your visuals. Armed with details about your target audience, your brand values and the product or service you're trying to promote, they’ll be able to create some pretty cool, next level content. 


 Hat images for social media


As you can see, the content above is unique and original because the creatives behind them have years of experience and expertise in creating bespoke content for clients (not to mention lot of experience working with in house marketing teams). They have a creative eye, which only a select few possess. They can look at something that we see as ordinary and make it look extraordinary. No camera or design software, no matter how expensive, can replicate that. They just know how to produce great content that will generate engagement. 

Entrepreneurs put so much work into their businesses - from product development, to funding applications, to legal paperwork. So, why set yourself up to fall at the last hurdle? Why create a fantastic product or service only to have your target audience scroll by your promotional content?

We understand that budgets are tight at the moment, but where possible, we’d strongly encourage startups to invest in good quality, visual content. The return far outweighs the investment. 

Image credits (in order of appearance): Luciana LuraschiDawn Marie Jones, Camila Andrade

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