Let's face it, stock photography is boring.
As consumers become inundated with marketing content, they increasingly resist anything that looks and feels inauthentic, which unfortunately describes much of traditional marketing and advertising. In fact, 84% of millennials don't trust traditional marketing and 92% of consumers trust user-generated content more than advertising.
Although there has been a growing resistance to traditional advertising, audiences are still willing to engage with brands that deliver a positive experience.
Satisfied customers are increasingly taking to social media to write, talk or post about products and brand experiences they love, and those social engagements are key for marketers. In fact, 66% of users rely heavily on such content when making a purchasing decision, according to a recent study, and 65% trust online word-of-mouth more than traditional advertising.
Even as the resistance to traditional marketing is growing, so is the availability of authentic and unfiltered content, including images, from social media. And that presents an opportunity.
Here are six reasons why it's time to ditch stock photos in exchange for user-generated content.
1. We can't all look like models
It's hard to get a sense of a real-life product or experience when images of those products and experiences are too good to be true. After all, you can't really picture yourself in a new piece of clothing if every image of that outfit features someone who looks nothing like you.