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Visual content sourcing – Best solutions compared

In our earlier blog post we told that you should invest in creating cool and authentic content for different marketing purposes. So this time, let's dig a little deeper into the different solutions of content sourcing.

The amount of marketing messages received by consumers is increasing every day and at the same time, their attention span is shorter than ever. The result? Information overload, often known as content fatigue, which means that people are consuming so much new information and content from firms that they are eventually burnt out by the sheer excessiveness of it. Additionally, almost 2 out of 3 of millennials use ad blockers.

For marketers this means that their content should be so cool, captivating and visually appealing that consumers stop scrolling in order to read what they have to say. In addition, the content should be updated often enough to avoid unnecessary repetition and high ad frequency, which leads to inefficiencies. Thus, brands need a large pool of authentic branded content they can tap into when creating marketing materials.

If done right, branded content will attract attention, make your customers happy and eventually - drive sales. There are several options for how you can acquire branded content and in this post we will review a few of them and tell why you should source branded content straight from the talented creators who are already loving your brand.

Brands need a large pool of authentic branded content they can tap into when creating marketing materials. Photo by Erina Salonen.

1. Stock-photo services

In the beginning of your brand’s social media era, before figuring out what works and what doesn’t, it can be wise to sometimes opt for stock-photo services. Stock-photos are a relatively easy and time-saving solution because you can get images and videos for your brand's use without leaving your office.

These services and the content they offer, might have some variation, which is why it really matters which service or services you decide to use. For example Unsplash offers cool, freely-usable images that resonate with consumers and gets their attention. So, when you are just starting out your social media game, it can be easier to rely on these kinds of services before investing in photoshoots or a social media team.

Photo by Toni Eskelinen.

2. Photographer

Probably the most traditional way of creating visual branded content is to arrange a photoshoot with a photographer, a model, a proper setting and staff. This is particularly popular among bigger brands, since they typically have larger financial assets and therefore, can spend more money on the actual content.

But if you can pay more, it doesn’t necessarily mean you should.

Yes, organizing photoshoots gives you access to high-quality photos that you can use in your social media channels or print on the side of a building. However, organizing photoshoots on a regular basis can become expensive and time consuming. In addition, the photos from these shoots can often come off as too polished, which won’t get your audience’s attention.

Sourcing content through photoshoots isn't a thing of the past, but there is definitely room for alternative ways of creating visual content. This is why many brands also have separate content creators in their marketing department.

Photo by Salla Salmela.

3. In-house or Outsourced Visual Content Creator

So, it might be worthwhile to hire an in-house visual content creator, whose job is to literally create content for your brand, as a part of your social media team. Or alternatively, you can outsource the content production process to a freelancer or a production agency.

As it is their job to create visual content and plan out your social media posts, it is reasonable to assume that they have some level of creativity in their hands. So you won’t be running out of ideas anytime soon! In addition, they are familiar with your brand, which makes them great for capturing the essence of your brand through visual content.

An outsourced visual content creator is usually a wise decision if you are not looking to hire one to your company. However, every individual has their own interpretation of a brand and using only one or two outsourced visual content creators can make it so that your content represent only one side of your brand’s multi-faceted essence.

Yes, it is wise to opt for a certain style and voice for your brand’s social media instead of splashing different tones and messages around – consistency is still the key. However, this doesn’t mean that you need to become boring or bland. This is why you should spice up your content by turning to the people who are already loving and using your brand. The customers.

Photo by Laura Laukka.

4. User-generated Content

Another option is to post user-generated content (UGC) which stands for organic content that has been created by your brand's followers. Its power has been widely recognized and it can give a very needed boost for your social media game. After all, a large portion of consumers rely on the words of a friend (or friend-like person) rather than those of a brand when making purchase decisions.

Try creating a hashtag with which your followers can share their own moments with your brand and share the best shots published under that hashtag. Posting UGC lets you socialize with your followers and at the same time, harness the power of brand love.

This approach works for a small portion of your content but generally speaking, it is not that durable of a strategy to solely rely on UGC. Yes, it can give your brand credibility in the eyes of other new customers, but if the user-generated images or videos aren't up to your visual standards, they won't work e.g. on Instagram, where the post is mainly built around the visual content. Also, putting all your eggs in one basket and waiting for your followers to post awesome content isn't the most effective way of producing it.

In addition, reposting UGC might work on social media for some time, but if you want to use the content in your other marketing channels, the question of photo (and video) rights will become relevant. It's only fair for the content creator to get paid for the work they have done, but purchasing single photo rights from various people just seems a little too much work.

So...if you want to level-up your branded content game, we recommend combining the power of UGC with the ease of stock-images, quality of photographers photos and the creativity of visual content creators. But how, you might ask?

Photo by Anni Korhonen.

5. Source Content Straight From Creators

In addition to stock photos, photoshoots, single visual content creators, user-generated content strategies, there is still room for boosting your visual content game. There are many talented people out in the world and some of them might even be fans of your brand. So, why not harness their creative minds and love for your brand and let them do the work?

To meet this growing demand for a social feed, we created our Branded Content service which allows you to source personalized content at scale from creators who engage with and are already engaged in your audience.

Consequently, Boksi is the easiest and most cost-effective solution for sourcing branded visual content. Whether it is beautiful marketing images or creative and funny TikTok videos you are looking for, we got you covered. By sourcing content through us you get full rights to use the content in all of your channels and you don't need to juggle with licences, since the content is yours for a lifetime.

Sure the idea sounds nice, but how does it work in action? The actual process is rather simple. You just need to tell us what kind of content you are looking for and we'll take care of the rest. In order to streamline the process even more, we just launched a Branded Content Create Tool with which you can create a brief very easily. The platform asks you all the necessary questions we need answered before we can start scouting the content creators. After the brief is done, we can match it with the creators that meet your description.

Next, the content creators will read your briefing, get inspired and create the content based on it. The next step is to select the pieces of content you want, move them to the shopping cart and click "Buy". Oh, and after purchase, the content is yours for a lifetime. Next, you can just put all the beautiful images and videos to use. Post them to your feed, craft up an ad campaign or print on the side of a building. The rest is up to you!

By harnessing the talent of a variety of creators, you can get content that captures the different sides of your brand. So, why not start today? We currently have an offer, with which you can get a bundle of 10 photos just for 3500€.

So, request a demo here and let's have a chat about what we can do for YOUR brand!

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