How to find the right images for social media advertising

November 29, 2022

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- Save time: We've curated the best images for you

- Save Money: Unlimited use from $16 per month

Would you like to learn how to create digital images that will make you look like a pro with your social media advertising or other digital marketing?

These days there are a lot of desktop programs and apps you can use to create high-quality creative assets and fast when you need to create images ready for use on various social platforms.

But finding the right image for social media advertising which are high quality, royalty and copyright free, and which are on brand and professional can be tricky.

Here are some top tips to help you find the right images for social media advertising:

1. Get clear on your objectives for the social media campaign  


First things first, you need to be super clear on why you are doing a social media ad campaign and what you are hoping to achieve.


Soccer


Is it to raise brand awareness? Drive more traffic to your website? Get people to complete a lead form? Encourage them to buy? Take a moment to consider this and write it down BEFORE you go searching for the perfect image.

 

2. Target audience


Consider whom you want to reach through your social media advertising campaign and therefore what kind of image will resonate with them.

For instance, if you were doing an advertising campaign about retirement villages, you wouldn’t want to show a bunch of teenagers on skateboards in the images. Much better would be some people looking like they were of retirement age, or nearing retirement age if this is who the target market is.


Elderly in a retirement home


Also, consider the location of your target audience. Some images look decidedly American or British. If you are targeting Australians, you’ll potentially need different-looking cities, streets, houses, flora, fauna, and cultures represented to make it look like a scene they recognize and resonate with.

 

3. Brand style


Ideally, before you set off looking for suitable images for your social media advertising campaign, you would have already established a brand style guide that not only outlines your primary and secondary colour palettes and their exact colour breakdowns, but also your fonts, and ideally your company’s image style.

For instance, if turquoise blue is a colour in your colour palette, you may search for images that have this colour in the image somewhere. Searching for colours on stock image platforms like Jumpstory we’ve found is a surprisingly good way to find good image so give it a try!


Blue and red doors


In recent years, as digital marketing has continued to proliferate, we have been expanding the sorts of brand style guides we prepare for our clients to include a description of the sort of imagery they should ideally source or shoot for their company marketing i.e. authentic, people in situ, happy emotions, showing faces etc. and to also provide some samples for others to follow.

We’ve also been adding in hashtags we’ve researched and even styles of music they should use i.e. DJ beats versus guitar acoustic sounds in line with their brand, to give a guideline as to how they can stay ‘on brand’ and thus consistent and professional no matter what platform they are marketing on.

 

4. Intended use


Another consideration when searching for suitable images for social media advertising is what platform you will run the ads on, and therefore what dimensions you will require.

For instance, if your ad campaign is on Pinterest, you will need more vertically oriented images. If your campaign is on Facebook & Instagram, we’d recommend a selection of both landscape and portrait-oriented images, and to get a minimum of 10 images you can upload if you wish to run a dynamic creative campaign, which will lean on the systems AI (artificial intelligence) to test images on different audiences, and ultimately work out which ones perform best.


Landscape picture of snow forest scene


If your campaign is on Linkedin, you’ll need more landscaped-orientated images, and if your ad campaign is on TikTok, you’ll need to get a range of image which you can turn into a video and underlay some music with. In summary, to cover all basis, you’d be best to select around 10 images, both portrait and landscape, if you intend to deploy on all networks.

Please note that the resolution and dimension guidelines provided by each of the social networks are subject to change and new formats come out all the time.

 

5. Emotion 


They say a picture paints a thousand words and getting an image that conveys the right emotion is exactly how you get results on social media advertising campaigns (or with any marketing really).

For instance, if you are marketing a community group that helps women with postpartum depression, you may like to find images that convey a woman with her baby looking unsure, sad, or even very upset so people can relate to the emotion and read the caption and hopefully reach out to help.

Conversely, if you are promoting a service to write people’s business awards, you might seek images with people looking victorious i.e. hand pumps in the air or reading a computer or letter with wide eyes of surprise and delight – the feeling of having being told they are a finalist or winner.



Seriously consider what emotions you’d like to convey and search these queries in the portal i.e. ‘victory’ or ‘victorious’ or simply evaluate the emotion on the faces of the people you are considering as you scroll through potential options.

We hope this article has given you some guidance on things to keep in mind next time you go searching for images for social media advertising. All the best in your searches, and advertising!

About the author

Yvette Adams is the founder of The Creative Collective, The Training Collective and awardshub.com. She was previously one of 10 Community Trainers for Facebook Australia, passing globally recognised exams in the Meta (formerly Facebook) family of products. In 2022 she suffered some health issues which saw her transition to passive ownership of the companies, freeing her up for her health recovery and passions namely keynote speaking, writing, property investing, travelling, being a Mum, and anything to do with the ocean.

Yvette Adams

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