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Practices need to reflect authenticity with relevant and real pictures to attract more patients online. Using random stock photos do not express sincerity or credibility. In fact, it does your brand more harm than good.
Patients want to see YOUR Practice, YOUR Physicians, and YOUR medical team online. They want to be able to virtually connect with the expert they plan on entrusting their medical or aesthetic issues with before even showing up to an appointment.
What’s the Real Problem with using Stock Photos?
67% of online searchers rated high-quality photos as being “very important” to their purchase decision, which was slightly more than “product specific information,” “long descriptions,” and “reviews and ratings”.
So if the stock photo you’re using is at all similar to another website that created a negative experience for a patient, they will subconsciously project their negative experiences onto your stock photos, reducing trust and adding resistance to the process.
How will using Stock Photos Affect My Practice?
Low Credibility, Resulting in Low Patient Engagement
Photography is an exceptional way to turn visually boring brand’s into an aesthetically appealing and functional one that attracts more patients.
Patients can instantly tell which practice spent more than five minutes uploading random stock photos versus practices that sought out relevant and professional photos that complement their brand and practice online.
Think about your patient’s overall experience with your digital brand and how they may perceive your practice online. Patients should see custom photos of your people and your practice on your website and social media platforms so that when they walk through your practice doors they instantly know who you are and what you do.
Lack of Communication, Affecting Patient Retention
Overusing random stock photos will immediately demonstrate your practice’s lack of a visual or communication Strategy. It shows that your practice isn’t sure what you want to share with your potential patients and that you don’t connect with your existing patients, making it less likely for your patients to continue to follow you.
Lack of Authenticity, Affecting Patient Growth
You are just blending in and not standing out from your competitors, who are probably using the same stock photos that you just uploaded to your website and social media accounts. The last thing you want is to try to be “unique” by using a stock photo that everyone’s already seen.
A big mistake that many practices make is trying to add the human factor to their digital brand but go about it the wrong way by using stock photos. Unfortunately, doing this plays against the concept of building patient loyalty. Stock photos are misleading, cliche, and don’t accurately represent your brand and your practice.
Simply put, people pay attention to people who look like real people.
So, What Can My Practice Do Now?
Visual content marketing is the cornerstone of almost every successful medical and aesthetic brand. And yet, we still see respectable practices using stock photographs that undermine the credibility of their hard-earned standards.
Your content marketing is a reflection of your physical practice. It represents you, your team, your patients and your practice. Authentic photography will give your potential patients the same experience that they would have walking into your practice. It helps make both your digital and physical brand consistent in communication and visual appeal.
To attract more patients to your practice, you need to show them who you are and what your practice looks like before they can book an appointment. Your visual brand and communication style need to be conveyed in the first few seconds that a patient spends on your social media platforms or your website.
Use Less Stock Photos: It’s Hurting Your Brand
That goes for everything starting from your practice’s website, print materials, social media, and anything else that features humans. Your communication tools are designed to show your practice in the best light. These tools must be as authentic and as real as anything else that you create for your patients.
Your photos should attract patients to your practice, not distract them. Time and time again studies have shown that authentic user-generated content is better than stock imagery because it is more likely to engage and convert your audience.
The first rule of authenticity is to use real content. Don’t use stock images on your brand’s website and social media platforms if you want to grow your audience and keep your user engaged.
Work with Professional Photographers
We’ve seen too many practices with upload and post blurry, off-center, and poorly composed photos online.
It’s true, stock photos are appealing because they’re easy; however, using them puts you at risk of compromising your Practice’s reputation and your Patient’s loyalty.
No matter how unique the stock image, it will never be able to accurately portray your practice. Work with professional photographers so that you have control over your visual identity and communication with your patients online.
It’s Your Time to Stand out Online
Unfortunately, using stock photos doesn’t communicate a “unique” or “one-of-a-kind” brand. In fact, it demonstrates just the opposite.
Pictures are an effective way to communicate who you are, what you do, and show what your brand represents. Patients want to see your practice as real and authentic, not just a corporation or service.
In the process of branding your practice, you are probably aiming for a high level of authenticity. In this case, stock photos will not help you achieve that goal.
Your practice’s photos should be relatable and tell a story that your patients can understand. They should be realistic; avoid obviously staged scenarios. Finally, they should be relevant; don’t use pictures just because they’re beautiful.
After all, if you’re not showing the real people working at your practice, how can your patients trust you enough to want to do business with you?