Are you on Instagram? If not, what are you even doing?! Joke aside, Instagram for business is a goldmine, you just need to know where to dig and how to extract its riches.
Starting by having awesome Instagram photos. This platform is all about images so a great Instagram profile is the one that nails the visual side of it. And we're here to teach you how and where to find the best stock photos for Instagram.
Being big on Instagram will take a lot of photos. A lot! Producing an image from scratch every time you want to update your social media account takes time, effort, and money. But luckily stock photos can save the day! There are several outlets where you can find the perfect photos for Instagram posts –including great styled stock photography that is all the rage on the platform– at very affordable rates.
But what are the perfect photos for Instagram? Why to even bother having Instagram for business? You’re about to find out!
Why Focus on Instagram Stock Photos
I won’t sit here and tell you what you already know about reaping social media benefits for your business and brand (if you want to read more about this, though, check out our article on the best images for marketing and learn everything about them in our guide to photos for social media), but there are reasons why Instagram is one platform you definitely want to be on. So, let me give you the why’s for having your business on Instagram. It's all about your Instagram Photo and which new images you can use to impress your clients and partners. Here is your Instagram social media campaigns strategy:
- It’s one of the most popular social networks at the time. Considering how massive these platforms are, that says a lot. But numbers speak it even louder: At the end of 2017 there were 800 million Instagram accounts (1 billion now) Instagram accounts, with 25 million of them being businesses. 39% of all Internet users are on Instagram, including the highly-desirable millennials and gen z's. Who wouldn’t want to have a way to reach over a third of all the Internauts instantaneously?
- It’s a highly visual platform – Instagram photos. While most social networks include images and videos, text content is as or more relevant. Instagram is all about images, photos (and videos) are the main focus. It’s great for marketing, as visuals are one of the most effective marketing tools. Photographers are missing out when they are not showing their work there.
- It’s the go-to network for young demographics. The latest stats point that 59% of Internet users in the 18-29 are on Instagram. For the 30-49 segment, it’s still an important 33%. More likely than not, the Instagram user base is withholding your target audience.
- Free Instagram compared to paid platforms like Google / Facebook: You can use Instagram free of charge (when you start) only if you want to put ads on it you would need to pay.
- The best and most easy way to add coolness to your brand or company
No problem with copyright laws and photographers of free stock photo sites. Some users still use Unsplash images and
free photos from other platforms like Pexels, Burst, or Shopify.
- Make sure you download and use only royalty-free images for your Instagram photos
And that’s basically why you must have an Instagram account, if you don’t yet, for your business. However, it’s not a matter of just upload photos to Instagram, no: you want to make sure you’re doing Instagram right.
Note: You may also want to check what makes the best photos for Facebook!
How to Master Instagram Stock Images
Social media marketing has its particulars for every platform, and here’s a bit of how to use Instagram like a pro:
In 2020, visuals are highly social-driven. To be and stay relevant you need to look not only at the images' style but at their content, focusing on diversity and inclusion in particular. Issues like the worldwide Covid-19 pandemic and social justice movements –Black Lives Matter, climate change, feminism– are at the forefront of daily discussions and online activism is strongly present on Instagram. Today's creatives are learning that including these topics in their communications and visual campaigns is the right way to go.Ivanna Attie
- Use of the perfect social media stock images. This is an absolute key. Instagram is one of today’s social media visual trendsetters, ever praiser of the “authentic photography” style. The perfect Instagram image is one looks realistic, natural, organic. In other words, an image that doesn't suck. Our photography trends 2020 report will surely help you find the trendy style that suits you to build your own brand.
- Some tips? Inclusion themes like people with disabilities in everyday life scenarios are one of the current social media marketing gems. Food delivery services and takeaway food concepts are at an all-time high in the current Covid-19 times, too.
- Use the right amount of stock photos. Studies throw that business Instagram users post between 1 and 3 times a day. That’s the average rate to stay relevant and keep your following engaged, according to experts. If you don’t have the time, resources, skills, and money to dedicate to social media, no problem: beautiful photos will sort you out. We have some really cool options for social media images for you below!
- Create a visual narrative with stock photography for Instagram. It’s not a matter of choosing pretty social media photos and send them live. Your Instagram pictures must express a goal, have a defined style, and follow a cohesive narrative. Do not neglect the Instagram stories feature! it’s a very good resource for micro-narratives and specific social media campaigns.
- Do NOT use the Instagram Logo – it is copyrighted
- Don't use creative commons stock imagery if you don't want to run into issues later with anyone claiming that copyright or the model contact you that you should not use her likeness
- Use People Photos: People love to see photos on social media with people in it. So pick photos with nice and natural people in it for your channel and collection.
- Reach out to Bloggers who have a cool Instagram Feed and check how they are using it to promote their blog and within blog posts
- Try to find an influencer in your industry and check what images do have the most likes
Having learned basic Instagram tips on its perks for businesses and the basics of Instagram marketing rules, it’s now time to get hands down to work and find cool stock images to use in your next social media Instagram image.
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Where to Find Stock Photos for Instagram
Of course, you can produce your own social media images for Instagram but this might not be the best Instagram Strategy. The Instagram app includes a camera function with lots of preset filters and other quick editing tools, after all. You can snap them with your iPhone, use the native Instagram filters, and try your luck. Or hire a pro to custom shoot an image every time you need to share one…
But you’ll need 7 to 21 images per week if you want to please your Instagram followers and keep up with the competition. The time, hassle, and money it’ll cost to custom shoot so many pictures can be better invested in other fronts, as you use awesome stock photos for Instagram posts. Here's are the best websites:
Photocase: The best Stock Photography Agency for Instagram
Photocase – Stock Photos for Instagram is a Berlin-based, unique stock photo agency that has just the perfect images for Instagram. This company started out over a decade ago as a photo-sharing community, and it’s this common trace with Instagram what makes their collection such a great fit for that platform. More details are in our Photocase review.
Photocase’s stock images library is purposely small compared to other agencies because they have a super tight curation process that is the base of their premium service: they only include high quality, unique and authentic images. You won’t find picture-perfect, overly produced stocky shots on their website, but you will have plenty of choices for quality content, artsy, modern, natural-like photos (like the ones that illustrate this article, and also this selection specially curated for you). And that’s exactly what you want for your Instagram account!
Being premium, Photocase photos are sold a la carte or with credits. Priced according to size, they cost between $14 and $42 individually, and less than $8 each when using credit packs. They all come with Royalty Free license including the right to use in social media and in any blog post.
If you’re looking for top-notch, unique imagery for your Instagram, Photocase is your friend! And you'll love to know we have a special Photocase Coupon Code with 5 FREE credits plus 10% off on your purchase!
StockPhotoSecrets Shop: Budget-Friendly Instagram Stock Images
The StockPhotoSecrets Shop is a stock photo agency aimed specifically at small and medium-sized businesses, thriving to cover all their image needs at budget-friendly rates. And that includes of course photos for Instagram and all social media channels you use!
The Shop’s collection has over 5 Million high-resolution images, with thousands of freshly created shots added each month at a low price tag. The style follows trends and variety keeps only improving, so you will find plenty of choices in modern, authentic styled photos that are ideal to share in your Instagram stories or to post in your account (like the ones accompanying this article).
Example of a Stock Photography Image for Instagram
When we say budget-friendly, we mean it. StockPhotoSecrets Shop has super affordable prices and different buying alternatives for every budget. Let’s note here that high-quality photos come at all available sizes, up to XXL (high resolution) at no added cost. This is one of the best sites for business customers who want to get into the social media image game.
Image packs you can buy on demand are from $39 for 5 downloads, monthly subscriptions start at $35 for 25 images per month, and the special 99club gives you 200 downloads of social media images for just $99 a year (see more info in our 99club review). So you can get high res images ready to be posted on Instagram for as little as $0,49 each!
If you want to make it big on Instagram without breaking the bank, you should definitely check out StockPhotoSecrets Shop! The 99club is an exclusive deal, you should seize it while it’s still around – go to their website now!
More Alternatives in Photos for Instagram
You will also find various alternatives with photos suitable for Instagram use in our dedicated article covering Authentic Stock Photos, so do check it out!
Instagram + Authentic Stock Photos: A Match Made in Business Heaven
Ironically enough, authentic stock photos are gaining ground in the photography industry since years fueled by the Instagram style: more and more buyers needed the right kind of high-quality Instagram photos for their accounts, and so more and more agencies have begun sourcing, producing, and selling it.
What you now have at your disposal is an ideal resource to use social media images in Instagram for business painlessly: you can buy professional, perfectly styled, and legally safe photos at very affordable prices, and have them ready to liven up your Instagram posts and stories in no time.
By doing Instagram right, you will be tapping into an ever-growing pool of business opportunities. A follower base can be translated into what you’re looking for: more traffic and conversions, new customers, professional connections, collaborations, stronger online presence… you name it.
Instagram Images FAQ Answered
- Can I use stock images on Instagram?
Most stock photo websites do allow the usage of stock photos in social media (which usually includes Instagram). We recommend double-checking in their license agreement if they allow it. The recommended agencies in this article, Photocase and Stock Photo Secrets Shop do allow the usage!
- Can you use royalty-free images on Instagram?
See the above answer on this one.
- Can I use Pixabay images on Instagram?
Always double check if you use free stock photos for Instagram 1.) If the license of the free stock agency allows the usage in social media 2.) What are the rules to use it (some force you to put the copyright caption there and photographers name) 3.) We recommend to NOT use free images with people or brands in them. Both would need legal clearance to be used commercially and this is most of the time missing. Make sure you know the copyright restrictions and how to use creative commons zero in the correct way.
Be an Instagram Star with Awesome Stock Photos
Our job is done, the ball is in your field now! You know the basics, you have the resources and sites now. Time to plan your Instagram content, get yourself some really cool stock photos, and start building up your Instagram business profile. Some last tips:
- Get Instagram Stock Photos: If your business or your audience is mostly European, go for Photocase. Their collection is a perfect visual representation of the modern, vibrant Berlin style.
- Stock Photos for Instagram: If you have a limited budget or want to work on the low-cost end, choose StockPhotoSecrets Shop. It’ll give you cheap images without neglecting quality and variety.
- Stock Photography can be creative! And don’t forget to check other great alternatives in our Authentic Stock Photos article!
- Free Stock Photos: If you are looking for free images for Instagram go check out our list of the best free stock photo websites
- Stock Photo Sites: If you are looking for a larger list of the best stock photo sites – read on if you love to find your best stock photo site
Which one will be your Instagram ally? Where will you buy your Stock Photos for Instagram? Share some of your Instagram photos!