Should You Use Stock Images in Marketing? Top Pros & Cons

Images have the power to take your communication to the next level. But, not every project or brand has the budget to hire a professional photographer. Don’t worry, you can use stock photos that are easily available on stock websites. Stock photography is a great way for professional photographers to make a side income, but when it comes to using these for your brand, you need to keep in mind certain pros and cons.

In this article, we will be explaining the pros and cons of using stock images in the marketing of your brand.


It Is Quick and Easy

If you want custom photos, you will need to hire a professional photographer and arrange a photoshoot which may include location or model selection. You’ll also need an editor to edit the photos. By using stock photos, you can completely eliminate this time-consuming process and just select the relevant images from a vast library.

Huge Selection Available

Thanks to a community of worldwide photographers, there are tons of stock images available online for different categories and uses. Finding the right stock image for your marketing can be as easy as typing in the right keyword in the search bar.

Pay for What You Want

You don’t need to pay anything to explore the right stock images for your brand. You can check the image resolution, file type and usage information of every stock image. So before actually paying for the image, you can be completely sure about what you are getting.

Can Be Easily Manipulated

Stock photos can be easily edited according to your exact needs. You can merge two photos, take selected elements from one photo, change colours or dimensions to tailor them according to your requirements.


Restricted Licensing Terms

Even though you’re paying for a stock photograph, you can only use them according to the licensing terms. For example, some photos may be used for social media promotions but not for print campaigns. Make sure to read the terms beforehand.

Can Be Used by Others

Stock images can be used by anyone. This means the same images that you are using can also be used by your competitors. This can essentially harm the differentiation of your brand.

Lacks Originality

Stock photos are generic photos that are clicked for a wide variety of uses. This means that your audience can feel disconnected from your brand if you’re not careful while using it in your marketing messages.