Designing a flyer can allow you to reach different audiences in a way that gives them something physical they can keep hold of and read at their leisure. This sets it apart from web based marketing, because of the sheer volume of promotional messages people tend to see online in the average day, and it also allows you to really target customers by location. It can also be very cost effective and easy to get done, for example if you go for next day printing by, who are one of the UK's top names for printed business copy. 

When you are designing a flyer, images are just as important as they are on your website and other on screen advertising – if not even more so. If you don't have any images to use, you have two options – you can either take some photos of your own (or hire a photographer to take pictures at your facilities), or you can use stock photos you can purchase online. But which is the better option for a really engaging flyer?

The Negative Side of Using Stock Photos

The pros of using stock images are obvious – it is fast, and you can get professional quality imagery that represents just about anything you like. It does have some very notable downsides, however. Stock images are used so often that these days, people almost see them as white noise on a screen or leaflet – they don't tell the reader anything about the business but simply represent some kind of vague brand values like 'professionalism' or 'family'. Also, stock photos of people can be a bad choice because they don't really represent your staff or customers. Some generic 'office' people looking at a laptop doesn't really make the reader feel a connection with you and your business.

Real Photos Are More Engaging In Most Cases

Real images of your own staff, facilities and products are generally more appealing to customers and represent your brand better. These do need to be high quality, so it makes sense to have them shot professionally (this can often cost less than buying very good stock photos, believe it or not, though will require a little more organisation), or use someone in your team who is really into photography.

When Stock Photos Work

Stock photos can be used to represent ideas that you can't really take arty shots to represent in your own facilities. If you are a beauty salon and you want a picture to represent a holiday to promote your new tanning product, for example, a stock photo of a beautiful tropical beach can be fine. Just stay well away from anything that feels cheesy or over done to you (for example close ups of handshakes to express that there will be a contract) – if it seems clichéd to you, it definitely will to your customers.

For the most part, people do prefer to see 'reality' images to stock photos, but well used stock images can fill in where you can't get the right picture yourself!

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