Why Relatable Stock Images are So Crucial for Your Communication

November 7, 2023

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When you think about communication, you might think about emails, phones, radio, TV, and letters. But when brands are marketing themselves through their branding, advertisements, and social channels, they are using communication, too.

With content constantly fighting for our attention, our attention span has decreased to 8,25 seconds, 4,25 seconds shorter than in 2000, a recent study finds. That’s 8 seconds to grab the attention of your audience and convince them to read on.

By using images and visuals, you increase your chances of getting the audience’s interest. According to science, humans process images 60,000 times faster than text.

This means that visuals help your customers establish an emotional connection to your brand faster than only using words. 

Images create emotional connection

Humans are emotional creatures and make emotionally driven decisions. An emotionally invested audience will support your brand. But if you haven’t won them over, they will use logical reasoning in their decisions.

This is why building trust as a brand has become so important.

It’s hard to evoke emotions by only using words. Images, on the other hand, are more effective for communicating a message, feeling, or idea. To create an emotional connection, you need visuals that fit your brand and messaging.

These visuals support your words, add emotion, create connection, and become recognisable as your brand.  

Imagine an advertisement for a luxury perfume. There’s a model in a beautiful dress. She looks stunning. She’s got wind in her hair as she sprays the perfume, and the camera makes her look like royalty.

The company is communicating confidence, exclusivity, and luxury. The customers feel the desire to become a part of the brand’s image, and therefore buy the brand’s products.

The example above shows exactly how powerful the right images and visuals are to create an emotional connection with your audience.

Choosing the right stock images for your brand

When choosing visuals for your brand, it’s important to consider some key factors. What do you want to communicate with your photos? What industry are you in? Is your brand colourful, nature-focused, organised, or friendly?

When customers see your brand, what do you want them to feel? What fits with your brand colours? What kind of aesthetic are you going for? 

Let’s say you’re a dental practice. You want to convey professionalism, cleanliness, organisation, and friendliness. Dark images with murky colours do not communicate any of your values. Instead, choose photos with light and clean backgrounds that focus on people with friendly smiles.

Another tip is to find photos with similar colours to your brand, this makes it easier to create recognisable content.

Anything you put out there as a business will communicate something to your audience. The right visuals can help you stand out from your competitors and attract the right people.

If you want to learn how to choose the right stock photos for your website, read our post, Stock Photos for Website Design: A Key to Improved User Experience.


Building a recognisable brand through images 

Your images should be consistent and convey the same message across your platforms. As you’re building your brand, you’re setting expectations for yourself. Changing your visuals to something off-brand may break customer trust and confuse your audience.

Most customers will spend more time interacting with your brand before they decide to buy. If they like what you offer on your website, they’ll go to your social media, and vice versa. Posting on-brand content shows you are reliable and engage with your customers on a regular basis. 

On social media, images have become key to communicating effectively. The visuals become the attention-grabbing element of your post. It leads the customer to your profile and then to your website or other links provided.

Your audience sees hundreds of posts each day, so creating recognisable and consistent visuals makes your brand stand out among other posts.


Using relatable images in your marketing

Email marketing is another great way to communicate your offers. The direct link between your brand and your customer is a great option to establish brand trust and strengthen the customer experience. 

To create a memorable reading experience, you can use images to break up the text and make information easier to digest. But make sure the images are supporting your message and not there for the sake of it.

Visuals in email marketing should be informative, evoke emotional responses, and support the email copy.

Images make your communication more effective. The right visuals help you establish your brand and create an emotional connection with your audience.

It helps you get your message across more effectively than through text-only formats. And it can help you stand out from your competitors on social media and in emails.


  1. How do I find stock images that truly align with my brand’s values and messaging?

    When choosing pictures for your brand, think about what you want to say with them. Prioritize authenticity and relevance to your brand values. Look for visuals that reflect your industry, resonate with your target audience, and convey the unique aspects of your business. This authenticity will set your brand apart and attract the right audience in the competitive online landscape.

  2. How do I make sure that my visuals convey a consistent message across different platforms and don’t break customer trust?

    To keep your brand consistent, use the same kind of images across your platforms. What can help is defining your brand’s identity and creating simple rules for all your current and future images, such as: every photo must have one colour background, a logo in right upper or lower corner, specific filter, etc.

  3. How can I use images in emails to make the message better and connect more with my audience, not just to break up the text?

    The visuals should give information, bring out emotions, and support what your email is saying. It’s important to use images that are unique and follow your brand’s identity. Also, incorporating AI generated images can precisely help tailor content. For the best fit, test different visuals with A/B testing to enhance the reading experience.

About the author

Emilie Tveitan is a UK-based freelance copy and content writer. She’s specialising in branding and messaging for brands that make the world a better place. When she’s not writing you can find her knitting another jumper, reading a book, or enjoying nature (if the UK allows it).

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