Use photography to help convey your message without words
Unsplash offers brands a free and convenient source of compelling stock photography.
Whether you’re a newsfeed junkie or an occasional scroller, social media is likely as much a fixture in your daily routine as a morning coffee — particularly when you’re homebound practicing social distancing. In North America alone, over 330.5 million people use social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to connect and share with others worldwide — and those numbers have only grown since the onset of the coronavirus.
This change in the way we engage with and consume media content has ushered in exciting new forms of content creation. Yet the one constant across most mediums is clear: compelling visuals. Without an eye-catching graphic or a picture with pop, it’s difficult for posts to stand out. However, the bill for stock photographs can add up quickly and that can be tough for small businesses to stomach.
Enter Unsplash. The stock image platform offers royalty-free photographs that businesses can download free of charge, setting it apart from subscription-style services such as Shutterstock or Getty Images. The model has proved a hit with users, who have downloaded more than one billion images from Unsplash.
“When you look at an image, you get a lot of emotion in a very quick way. Imagery — especially beautiful imagery — can create a powerful message without words,” says Stephanie Liverani, the company’s Co-Founder and Head of Partnerships. “Unsplash helps brands achieve that for free.”
Photographers are flocking to Unsplash despite the fact they aren’t paid directly for their work. The platform provides photographers an opportunity to showcase their work to potential clients and build credibility by highlighting the number of downloads their photos have garnered. That way, when a business is looking for a branded visual unique to them, they can easily find the right professional whose work echoes their ethos and resonates more deeply with their target market.
“A lot of brands now are doing a pretty good job of showing authenticity,” says Liverani. “They’re showing behind-the-scenes things and background stuff that’s very interesting for a lot of people.”
Unsplash as a platform is primed to make money — and it wants to help its photographers earn additional income as well. It’s facilitating partnerships between brands and photographers to create branded photos that will appear on search results within Unsplash. This gives brands an opportunity to embed themselves within beautiful stock photography in an organic way while giving photographers some direct compensation for their work.
With marketers under more pressure to demonstrate the effectiveness of their social media campaigns, the time seems right for Unsplash’s latest evolution. Brands now have convenient access to both quantity and quality of stock photography.
“There are people out there that care about your brand and often they can share their experience in a very authentic way,” says Liverani. “You don’t need a big budget and you can very effectively get your message across.”