Want to Win Fans and Boost Online Performance? Make it Real.

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The moment has arrived—you’re about to hit “publish” on your latest online content. You’ve researched your audience, defined your goals, and identified your target personas. Your message is compelling, and you’ve managed to get sign off from your boss—even from legal. Everything is looking good—you’re ready to get those pages up and bask in the cool, digital glow of your accomplishment. 

But, wait! The web is full of well-intentioned sites that don’t deliver. And research shows that you have less than 15 seconds to keep a viewer’s attention. So, what’s going to make your site stand out so it attracts, converts, and retains your audience?

Power Your Page Views with Authenticity

Incorporating imagery that connects can make all the difference when vying for attention from an audience ready to scroll on by. In the age of short attention spans and Instagram stories, that means using eye-catching, authentic images to create content that feels true to your audience’s life and perspectives. Why? Because the power of authentic imagery is in it’s emotional resonance.

Resonate with Realness

In a world where the average consumer sees four to ten thousand ads each day, breaking through has become harder than ever. For many marketers, eschewing the perfectly-staged in favor of the authentic has proven successful, and for good reason. According to a 2019 study 90% of consumers said that authenticity is important when deciding which brands they like and support—up from 86% in 2017.

Imagery that’s heavily edited, uses reality-bending filters or obvious staging is easy to spot, gives off a fake vibe, and gets lost in the clutter of junk media. Authentic images can be unrefined, or rough around the edges, but those are the qualities that make them feel real.

What Does “Authentic” Look Like?

Authentic imagery has a relatable, human quality. It captures people, places, and moments in a way that viewers can see themselves—or who they want to be—in the image itself. It produces an elusive, emotional spark, creating a personal connection with your story, product, or brand. In industry terms, this emotive response equates to coveted customer engagement, and ideally imparts feelings such as trust, credibility, and admiration.

And authenticity doesn’t just mean photography. Sure, a photo captures life as we see it, but it can just as easily be illustrations, videos, or motion graphics. Whatever the format, it should reflect your content and your target audience—capturing those everyday and once-in-a-lifetime moments that are often universal truths. For the full effect, it helps to look as though it’s been expertly shot, curated, or custom designed.

Where Do You Find It?

Relatable, aspirational, unique. Where do you find this awe-inspiring and emotion-inducting artistry?

You can try to shoot it yourself—for the ultimate in photorealism. You could hire a professional photographer or illustrator—with a hefty price tag, limited options, and less than accommodating turnaround time. But, for an easier and far more cost effective approach, why not take advantage of the expert artists, curators, and researchers that you already have at your disposal?

Authenticly iStock

iStock offers you access to exclusive images, videos, and graphics that catch the eye and touch the heart. Captured by a global network of photographers and artists, with art direction and guidance from an industry-leading creative team, these collections make it easy to put your most authentic foot forward. Simply stock up on credits, and you’ll be ready to get real whenever your content demands it.

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