LinkedIn is a lead generation bonanza.
A tool for professional networking, LinkedIn is one of the best tools for B2B lead generation –according to LinkedIn’s own stats, 93% of marketers agree with this–, and in less proportion, also relevant for B2C sales. This is mainly thanks to its opportunities for establishing brand authority, credibility, and trustworthiness.
While it isn’t perceived as visual as other networks –like Instagram–, people who are acing LinkedIn marketing use images constantly and wisely, to not only increase engagement but also make their content more discoverable and shareable.
Here we tell you how to achieve just that, with stock photos.
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The 5 Must-Haves of Stock Photos for LinkedIn
Like with everything, you need to select and use the perfect images if you want to drive results. And the perfect LinkedIn stock photos are:
The one downside of stock photography is that it can sometimes be too cookie-cutter and generic, which is counterproductive for brand credibility.
However, top stock photo sites today specialize in authentic stock photos, images that look like you could’ve snapped them yourself on the spot: candid, raw, and emotional, in a minimalist way. That’s what you want for your LinkedIn images.
Authentic-looking imagery makes for great stock photos for branding.
Ours is a multicultural, inclusive world. Diversity is at the core of most companies' (and consumers’) values, and your images have to reflect that.
Use photos that show people from various backgrounds, lifestyles, ages, ethnicities, body shapes, etc. Diverse stock photos are at the top of visual trends for years, and they are your allies.
To stay up to date with visual concepts, make sure to check our Photography Trends 2021 report!
Color is an invaluable visual resource that can be well-exploited in LinkedIn, where photographs and graphics need to be a lot neater and straight-to-the-point than other channels.
Images that use complementary colors, high-contrast accents, and other clever color combinations to trigger emotional responses –through the use of color psychology that tells us which tones touch which emotional fibers– are always a hit.
This one should be a given, but it’s more crucial in this professional context: You want images that are heavily linked to your field of expertise.
Pictures that portray relevant aspects of your company, your article, or your industry. Pictures that will actually add value for the viewer, as this is what builds up your authority.
The best business stock images are straight-forwardly topic-focused!
LinkedIn has its requirement for images like most platforms do. To maximize the visual power of imagery here, you need to not only use high-res, professional-quality images but also to make them fit the right dimensions for each placement on the site.
Learn all the standard photo sizes for LinkedIn (and other main social media sites)!
The 5-Front Visual Plan to Nail LinkedIn Marketing
To really squeeze the juice out of LinkedIn for your brand, you need to cover the 5 main content and connectivity formats the platform offers, really bringing it all out with images. All your images can be easily made by yourself with the help of our 102 tips for creating visuals!
Here is how to do it right:
It’s your presentation card, and your best shot at captivating viewers is through images that both catch their attention and make your message instantly and clearly understood.
Stock photos can really help your profile’s appeal. The LinkedIn banner or background image is a great way to promote key aspects of your business, through compelling photos that are not too strident or noisy but portray your values/identity/industry. You can overlay copy, such as your slogan or website, to maximize promotion opportunities.
For the profile picture, it’s best to stick to simplicity: if it’s your personal page, a headshot; if it’s a company page, your logo.
Keep in mind branding is super important, so make sure everything, from your headshot photo to your background stock image, are consistent in tone, style, and voice.
Also, color psychology plays a big role here. Did you know that blue represents reliability and authority? That's why so many businesses and professionals use it for their branding, including LinkedIn itself!
A long-format content, articles are great to share your knowledge, start conversations and take a stance on industry-related matters, all of which help position you as a referent in your field.
Images are crucial to make articles stand out be read, remembered, and, the key factor, shared – just like in regular blogging. Using photos and graphics that are deep within the topic and bring out the highlights of your copy to the visual sphere is a must.
Video is a highly engaging image format, and this network is a great vehicle for exposure and collaboration. You can join forces with non-competitors in your field to do live streams –like interviews or Q&A sessions–, but also co-produce videos that will reach each of your’s networks and spread your name more.
Presentation-styled slideshows are very popular among professionals and consumers, and you can totally use stock photos to create them! Check out our guide to use stock photos for video, it’s all in there!
Additionally, you can always use stock footage to put together compelling clips in no time!
Borrowed from Snapchat –and Instagram, and Facebook–, stories are short-timed, short-living videos of up to 20 seconds that last 24hs live on your profile before disappearing. This burner-styled format is an opportunity to share more informal content with your network.
You can do original content like behind-the-scenes of your production or daily operations, meet-the-team, real-time event coverage… but also mini-productions to promote your brand or even to present tangential yet valuable content. Stock images and stock videos let you create short clips in no time.
Combining stock imagery and the graphic templates LinkedIn stories offer (fonts, stickers, themes, etc) you can boost up your relatability (and likability!) in a matter of seconds.
LinkedIn Status Updates
This is the standard social media entry where you can share whatever you want and think is valuable for your contacts to know – mind you, professional context: LinkedIn statuses aren’t the place to share a pic of your breakfast or the last cute thing your child said.
Your statuses can be bite-size insider tips, quick product updates, curated articles on your area of expertise, check-in at events or meetings with relevant people –tagging comes in handy to expand your network, too–.
A way to tune up the visibility and shareability of your statuses is, of course, through imagery. Infographics (which you can find at stock image sites and easily customize with Adobe Illustrator) or images with text overlays –made on a whim with any basic image editor like Adobe Creative Cloud Express (Adobe Spark) or its alternatives— are simple yet very effective.
5 Stock Photo Agencies with LinkedIn-Approved Images
Have a quick look at the best stock photo sites with royalty-free photographs that are totally safe to use on LinkedIn, and whose style and quality make them a perfect fit for this channel:
Stock Photo Secrets – Budget Images
In the Stock Photo Secrets Shop, you can find high-quality stock photos at friendly prices for the not-so-deep pockets. It’s the perfect option for small businesses and startups looking to build up their name on LinkedIn.
Photocase – Unique Photography
Photocase is a Berlin-based agency that excels in artsy, unconventional images. It’s a good match for those in creativity-oriented industries, and for fun-loving styled brands.
Shutterstock – Commercial-Ready Pictures
The stock photo giant Shutterstock is the king of commercial-styled photography, and they have over 230 million images to choose from. They suit pretty much any business thanks to the variety in the catalog and affordable prices.
iStock – Exclusive Imagery
The renowned stock photo site iStock stands out thanks to its two-sided library that offers budget-friendly images as well as high-value, exclusive pictures. Ideal for those on a limited budget who still want to amp up the quality of their visuals.
Adobe Stock – Trendy Photography
Adobe Stock is Adobe’s very own stock photo service, and it’s remarkably trendy in terms of content and style. It’s a great choice for Adobe tools fans and all those leading brands with a strong trend-based profile.
Rule LinkedIn Through Clever Stock Photo Use
What we hope you take from this walkthrough, is that by taking relatively simple actions you can really boost up the potential in your LinkedIn network to drive sales.
To recap, these actions are basically:
- Use on-brand, current, and topic-focused stock images
- Use them cleverly across the 5 main activity fronts
- Use images from renowned, high-quality stock photo sites
So head over to your LinkedIn account and start your new strategy today!
Header image: Copyright by Andreas Berheide/Photocase.com, all rights reserved