In the 56 image banks listed in this post, you can find almost any type of image you want. Use your creativity and good research
Image banks are places where you can obtain ready-made photos and images that can be used in graphic materials, websites, social networks, general design, and advertising. There are paid and free image banks.
Finding images on the internet is not a difficult task. The number of image banks to use on websites and blogs is today, quite extensive. But what can be difficult is choosing which are the best options, among so many available.
In this post, Blue World City will show you 56 free and paid image banks that you can use to choose the best graphics option for your content. Most of these sites have high-resolution images for download.
Keep in mind that file size (weight) impacts the load time of your website, post, or ad. So, be sure to check out our post that explains how to compress images without losing quality.
Taking the cue, it’s worth putting a little into context about how:
- images can seriously influence (for better or for worse) the quality of your content ;
- use these images without infringing copyright and license types (copyright, copyleft, creative commons and public domain);
- make good use of visual material on your site, using images that are contextual to the content.
The initial idea of the post was to bring a big list so that you have several options for searching images. You can find this list below. Before going straight to the point, it is worth reflecting a little.
Image is very
Image is not necessarily everything. But it’s too much. Very much. It would be contradictory to place all responsibility for the content on the images and prove it by writing a… text.
We always talk here on the Resultados Digitais blog about the need to, above all, produce quality content. And among all the items that need to come together for the content to be effectively of quality is the good use of images in blog posts and on websites.
Think about your online browsing and try to identify some sites that are purely text blocks. Are there still? Yes, they do exist, but they are not the ones that promote the best visitor experience.
Think about the internal links on these pages. Are there image blocks targeted for new or text-only links? If you take a moment to reflect, you’ll easily notice that, in recent years, the use of internal links such as blocks of images, or thumbnails — and not text — has risen considerably.
Even Google, which in its results basically shows titles, links and descriptions, has the famous image search. And no, it’s not such a new service, it was implemented in 2001, three years after its foundation. In the version of the search engine for mobile devices, it presents many results with an image to illustrate the content.
Images on social networks
Another cool factor for you to reflect is also the content shared on social networks. Think of a link shared on Facebook and how powerful the thumbnail image is. Placing the right image in that field is critical to increasing your click-through rate.
Other social networks based primarily on imagery appeals — such as Instagram and Pinterest — have grown by leaps and bounds. Twitter itself, which started as a purely textual tool, has already made serious changes and with each update, it becomes more visual.
This contextualization is important for you to understand and reflect a little on the importance of using images in content published on the internet and on how spending a little more time on this aspect can generate better results.
Images on Landing Pages
Landing Pages, in short, are conversion pages where you capture your visitor’s contact in exchange for an offer of value – like an eBook, spreadsheet, or webinar. The image is an important element of them, being able to make clear what is your offer to direct the user’s eyes to the Call-to-action.
The ideal is that you avoid generic photos, so it is very important to know good image banks to have more options. And it’s nice to be able to preview the Landing Page, something you can do with RD Station Marketing’s drag & drop editor. This way, you can get a good idea of the combination of all the graphic and text elements.
You can try the tool for free – and without obligation – by leaving your email address below. During testing, you can build Landing Pages with the editor, so you get an accurate sense of the possibilities.
Ranking with the 11 best-paid image banks you can subscribe
In the list below, we have made a ranking with the 11 best-paid image banks we found. The chosen criteria were: database size, image variety, and file quality.
All ranking sites provide images, videos, audio, and vectors for download. Check out!
Shutterstock – http://www.shutterstock.com/
More than 125 million files are split between images, videos, music, and vectors. It is one of the largest image banks in the world and has a plurality of plans for large and small companies.
Fotolia – https://www.fotolia.com
Adobe Image Bank, has more than 7 million subscribers and 92 million images, vectors, illustrations, and video clips.
iStock – http://www.istockphoto.com/
A Getty Images company, istockphoto sells photos, illustrations, videos and music. It has a collection of millions of files for purchase and also offers some free photos weekly to subscribers.
Getty Images – http://www.gettyimages.com/
Getty Images is a leading photography agency, founded in 1995, and one of the world’s leading journalistic image and editorial providers. It has an archive of over 80 million images and illustrations and over 50,000 hours of footage.
123f – http://br.123rf.com
Commercial and editorial image bank with more than 80 million files. It also has videos and audio for download.
Dreamstime – http://www.dreamstime.com/
An extensive image bank with over 61 million images and 18 million registered users. It also has free options, but registration is required.
Deposit Photos – https://br.depositphotos.com/
Deposit Photos offers over 60 million photos, graphics, vectors and videos. It was founded in 2009 and has clients in 192 countries.
Bigstock – http://www.bigstockphoto.com/pt/
More than 50 million images in the database. Bigstock was founded in 2004 and purchased in 2009 by Shutterstock. Provides photos, videos, and vectors.
500px – http://500px.com
Online community of photographers with over 80 million images in the cloud. A kind of social photography network, with the difference that the images can be sold.
Canstock Photo – http://www.canstockphoto.com/
Photography agency that releases 22,000 new photos every day. It has more than 64 thousand employees and more than 700 thousand subscribers.
Creative Market – https://creativemarket.com/photos
Over 900,000 photos from independent photographers are available for purchase.
Ranking with 20 free image banks to download images and videos
Paid image banks are excellent platforms for image research. But, if you don’t have a budget available for that budget, you can also work with free image banks.
Freepik – http://br.freepik.com
A website with over a million free resources such as photos, icons, illustrations, vectors and PSD files. It also makes vectors and images available for premium users.
Pixabay – http://pixabay.com
More than 990,000 free images to use anywhere with a search engine that differentiates photos, illustrations, vectors, and videos.
Free Images – http://www.freeimages.com
Getty free image bank with over 300,000 download options. The premium option offers over 2 million photographs and illustrations.
Unsplash – http://unsplash.com/
One of the most accessed free image sites in the world, Unsplash started in 2013 as a Tumblr and today has one of the largest free photo banks. According to the website, more than 3 photos are downloaded per second. Unsplash also has API for developers. More than 9,000 apps are integrated with Unsplash (Trello, Momentum, Slack, and Weebly are examples).
Pexels – http://www.pexels.com
More than 30,000 high-resolution photographs, all free and with permission for personal and commercial use, without the need to assign credits.
IM Free – http://www.imcreator.com/free
I’m a Creator site creator resource, with free images for common use by everyone. It also offers templates and icons to be used on any website.
StokPic – http://stokpic.com/
A giant free photo download site, created by photographer Ed Gregory, is growing and consolidating as a great platform to encourage photography, with new contributors.
Wikimedia Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/
Media Wikipedia has a database of over 39 million files available for use. Not all are for commercial use, it is necessary to note what the description of each image says.
Freerange – https://freerangestock.com/
Freerange has a large database of photos and illustrations divided into several categories. Useful for different types and themes of content.
Refe – http://getrefe.com/
Photo files of different categories for free download. It offers a paid option as well.
Jéshoots – http://jeshoots.com/
Thousands of free photos are distributed in various categories and with an efficient search system.
FreeJPG – http://en.freejpg.com.ar/
More than 11,000 images for commercial and editorial use. The site also has a blog with photography tips.
Kaboompics – http://kaboompics.com/
More than 4000 free high-resolution photos for any type of use.
Negative Space – https://negativespace.co/
Negative Space makes new free photos available for download weekly. The site only has photographs, but the categories are very varied and the quality is very high.
Death To The Stock Photos – http://deathtothestockphoto.com/
The project delivers free photos to you monthly in your email. There is no download option, only registration. It also has a premium paid option, with extra perks and free access to all images on the site.
ISO Republic – http://isorepublic.com/
The site was founded in 2014 by English designer and photographer Tom Eversley. It has more than 2,000 images of different themes free for personal and commercial use.
Magdeleine – http://magdeleine.co
A collaborative project that posts one high-resolution photo per day.
Picjumbo – http://picjumbo.com
Hundreds of totally free photos of the most varied themes.
Raumrot – http://raumrot.com/
Site with more than 600 photos from different categories available for free download and free use.
Ultra HD Wallpapers – http://www.uhdwallpapers.org/
Public domain and creative commons photographs and wallpapers brought together in a single site.
More: 4 multisite image banks
This category refers to platforms that bring together other free image search sites and that don’t necessarily host them on their own servers, helping more in search than in image production.
All The Free Stock – http://allthefreestock.com/
A site that brings together several databases of copyright-free graphic material in one. More than just images, here are available icons, videos, fonts, color palettes, email templates, and free sound effects.
The Stocks – http://thestocks.im/
More than 15 free image sites are gathered in a single search engine.
Stock Up – http://www.sitebuilderreport.com/stock-up
High-quality image search engine that joins over 30 other free image banks.
Splashbase – http://www.splashbase.co/
More than fifteen platforms in one search engine. It has free high-resolution videos and photos for download.
Plus: 19 free themed and personal image banks
This category is related to sites that are more closed in relation to the themes of the images, more themed, or personal sites maintained by photographers who share their photographs freely with everyone.
In this list we didn’t make a ranking, because the sites have different proposals and audiences. Use what is most related to your business.
Bucketlistly Photos – http://photos.bucketlistly.com
Free collection of travel photos taken by Pete R., founder of Bucketlisty.
Cupcake – http://cupcake.nilssonlee.se
Images were taken by photographer Jonas Nilsson Lee, all released for free use.
Designers Picks – http://www.designerspics.com/
Site created by Indian developer and web designer Jeshu John. All photos are of your own authorship and are free to be used for personal and commercial purposes. The author asks for credits to be given but does not make this an obligation.
Foodie’s Feed – http://foodiesfeed.com
A resource to find real food images in high resolution.
Free Nature Stock – http://freenaturestock.com
Website created by photographer Adrian Pellert, who uploads one new nature photo per day.
Gratisography – http://www.gratisography.com/
Project by photographer Ryan McGuire. All photos are free to be used for all purposes.
Jay Mantri – http://jaymantri.com
Tumblr by designer Jay Mantri. It basically brings together photos of travel, nature and urban aesthetics.
MMT – http://mmt.li
Website updated weekly with images taken by photographer Jeffrey Betts.
Moveast – http://moveast.me
Portfolio of photos of travels to the Orient by Portuguese designer João Pacheco.
New Old Stock – http://nos.twnsnd.co/
Platform with historical and old photos that are already in the public domain.
Snapographic – http://snapographic.com
Free photos of various categories for personal and commercial use, captured by photographer Thomas Mühl. For the price of 15 dollars, you can download all images at once.
Splitshire – http://splitshire.com
Site run by Italian photographer Daniel Nanescu, full of free images to be used anywhere. There is also a premium option, which offers extra benefits.
Startup Stock Photos – http://startupstockphotos.com
A Tumblr that brings together high-resolution photos related to startups and new businesses.
Super Famous – http://images.superfamous.com
Site with photographs by Dutch designer Folkert Gorter. It has a variety, but in short brings together images of nature, architecture, abstract and aerial.
Travel Coffee Book – http://travelcoffeebook.com
Collaborative Tumblr of travel photos uploaded by people all over the planet.
Life of Pix – http://www.lifeofpix.com/
Website maintained by the Montreal agency Leeroy and its network of photographers. New high-resolution photos are added weekly to the free portfolio.
Barn Images – http://barnimages.com/
A website with high resolution, royalty-free images, launched by Lithuanian photographers Igor Trepeshchenok and Roman Drits.
IRegions – http://www.iregioes.com.br/
IRegiões is a free image bank where you can find photos from various locations in Brazil.
Libreshot – http://libreshot.com/
Image bank with photos fully released for use. These are public domain images, taken by photographer Martin Vorel and his wife.
Question: But if there are a lot of sites that make images available for free, why use paid image platforms?
There are a lot of free images on the internet, it’s true. But compared to paid image banks, this number is more limited. The variety of images also tends to be smaller.
Subscribers to paid image banks have the advantage of having a larger cartel of options and possibly not having a competitor using the same image for a similar matter.
Extra: Finding Free Images on Google and Flickr
To find images that can be used for free by Google, you just need to enter a keyword of your choice into Google Images first. Then click on “search tools”. A new tab will open and will have the option “use rights”. Click there and choose the license filter you want.
Flickr’s search engine has a filter option that shows you images that have been marked with a license for reuse. Do a search normally and, in the upper left corner, change the option “Any License” to the desired option.
Flickr also has a segment called The Commons, which is nothing more than a collection of several images found on the internet that are not copyrighted. Go to https://www.flickr.com/commons.
Copyright: what are copyright, copyleft, creative commons and public domain
One detail you need to pay attention to is the copyright of each image. Although it is a common — and unethical — practice to copy images without the author’s prior authorization, the legislation provides for fines for those who commit the crime.
Disrespecting the copyright of others is a crime provided for by law. Therefore, if you value your business and do not want to take this risk, it is mandatory to know the distinction between the four licenses below:
The license most used by artists and creators of intellectual material. Photographs, illustrations and images of any kind are included in this list. Copyright is a protection so that only the owner of the material can commercially distribute and use the images.
When you come across a copyrighted image and see the need to use it, you will need to buy it. This image can belong to a photographer, an agency or an image bank.
There may be cases where the owner agrees to transfer the images. When in doubt, it is safer to always ask the author for authorization by email.
Copyleft license is the complete opposite of copyright. When an author submits his work to copyleft, he waives all copyright. This includes the free reproduction, distribution, adaptation and modification of the work, or image, in this case.
If you are faced with a copyleft image, feel free to use it as you see fit, including for commercial purposes.
This license can be considered a kind of middle ground between copyright and copyleft and has several subdivisions.
Creative Commons (CC) is a license-produced and created by a non-profit organization of the same name, which was founded in 2001 with the purpose of expanding and spreading knowledge and information through collaborative activities.
There are several strands of creative commons. When the author shares his material in CC, he chooses certain permissions such as commercial use, credit attribution and adaptability.
Be aware of which type of CC the material is attached to. To find out, just click on the creative commons logo and you will be redirected to the page with the permissions chosen by the author.
Images that are in the public domain, as the name suggests, are publicly free to be used, including for commercial purposes.
In practice, an image that becomes public domain is a kind of cultural heritage that an author leaves to humanity after a certain period of time.
Each country has its own legislation for a work to become public domain. In Brazil, copyright lasts for 70 years from January 1st of the year following the author’s death. After these seven decades, every work (and in this case, image) can be used by anyone, as long as the source is cited.
What kind of image to use in a post
There is a detail to be taken into consideration when choosing which images will be posted along with your content. In short, you need to know which type of image is best suited to be placed prominently or in-between text.
But how do I know which image is best suited for my post? This answer basically comes from analyzing your persona, the tone your site generally uses, and the context of your subject.
Do an empathy exercise and put yourself in your audience’s mind. What kind of image would she like to see tied to my content?
- Print Screens?
- Comic strips?
As you watch your audience grow, keep in mind that this is likely a reflection of the quality of your content and the tone you’ve set to drive your site.
If you’re starting from scratch, set a standard not only for the type of content and writing style, but also for the images to use.
What types of images DON’T use on your blog or website
See some types of images – found in these banks or not – that are considered outdated or amateur.
1 – Overly happy people in the office
Are there still people who are misled by these false expressions of happiness?
This does not mean in any way that an office cannot have a harmonious and joyful environment (the RD itself is like that). It means that, passing on an idea of exaggeration can be seen as a pretense on the part of the company. Which is not good.
If you still need to use photos of people working in offices, use those that look natural. Smiles are allowed, but no abuse.
2 – People with laptops working in unusual places
It is possible that you have already come across images of this caliber. People with laptops on their laps on beaches, mountains, fields, yachts and resorts.
As seductive as it may seem, it’s not that comfortable to use laptops in places like these. By the way, have you ever tried working with a laptop on the beachfront? Have you ever seen anyone doing this? Even if so, the probability that it was an exception is pretty high.
3 – In low resolution with increased dimensions
A very ugly practice is to download images in low resolution, increase the dimensions and publish along with content. It’s easy to see when this happens, as the distortions in the image give away that it happened.
This is one of the cases that most demonstrates amateurism on the part of a business. If you liked the image so much, why not buy it in a higher resolution? Or why didn’t you invest a little more time looking for a free and similar high-resolution image? There are many that are equivalent.
4 – Watermarked
This case is very similar to what happens above. Here’s another not-recommended practice: using images that are protected with watermarks rather than actually purchasing them, or asking the author of an image without the watermark for permission.
It is important not to confuse them with the brands of some photographers or agencies, which use this device so that the images are not attributed to different authors, putting some logo or identification of authorship in the corners. The watermark, as the name suggests, is a larger print that usually occupies the center of the image, or all of it.
5 – Much repeated or clichés
Would you like the image that represented your business to be the same that represented so many others?
When this happens, the risk of people mistaking your business for a competitor is quite considerable. Especially when an image has a high degree of cliché.
A tip is to do a Google Images search. On the screen, instead of writing the words you want, click the camera icon and upload the photo. If you use Chrome, you can directly right-click on an image found on any website and then click on the “Search this image on Google” option.
6 – That does not match its content
Just because a photograph is, by itself, fantastic doesn’t mean it should be used for any kind of content.
It is very easy for a photo of a sunset on the beach to be a wonderful image. Or an image of Paris, recorded atop the Eiffel Tower, has the same degree of beauty.
Anyway, no matter how beautiful the image is, context is everything. It may even be an indirect relationship, but it must somehow make sense.
The image is beautiful, but does it add anything to your content?
7 – Blue sky, Windows XP style
The reference says it all. Windows XP wallpaper has become so popular that basically everyone who has lived through this generation will relate this image to the operating system.
Try to avoid photos that have similar compositions, from the tones to the structure of the image. This is not to say that photos of a blue sky are prohibited. None of that. To test this, preview the image and think, “Do I remember Windows XP when I see this image?”. If the answer is no, feel relieved.
Use images that complement your content
The marriage between text and image needs to be aligned for the publication to make sense. Use images that not only look good but also complement your content. Remembering that the reverse path also exists, if the text is based on a graphic, a print screen, a photo or any other type of image.
Do an analysis after the text and image are in place. Forget the text and look at the image. Does it say anything about the content? Does it complement a theme? Does it bring, by itself, the idea that is being raised?
Using the right images is critical for your content to be relevant to your audience. This idea is valid both for images in the content and for featured images, which will be the cover of your website’s internal links and posts published on social networks.
For example, which of the two Facebook link screenshots do you think would draw the most attention and create the most engagement?
By taking the time to take care of the images that will make up your website, you will not be wasting time, but having a valuable qualitative addition.
In the 56 image banks listed in this post, you can find almost any type of image you want. Use your creativity and good research.
Complete guide: everything you need to know about content production
Learn, from theory to practice, how to have successful content production in your company with the tips in this comprehensive guide
Content production is a strategy that consists of creating and distributing materials in text, video or audio — such as blog posts, eBooks, podcasts, and videos — frequently used by companies that invest in Digital Marketing. In order to be efficient, content production must be focused on a target audience and have a defined objective, such as becoming an authority on a certain subject, generating Leads or increasing sales.
When a company is starting a content production strategy, it’s easy to do the job: a single person is able to manage the entire process involving the creation of a blog article or the launch of rich content, from planning to publication.
With more people on the team and a larger production and release volume, this task can quickly become too complicated to manage on paper.
If you’re having trouble getting your content production going, don’t worry. In this article, a complete guide to the subject, Blue World City will talk about what content production is, why have a defined process for it, how to target your content to your personas and much more. Good reading!
What is content production?
Content production consists of planning, creating and distributing materials in different formats to a specific target audience, with a specific goal in mind. Often, companies that invest in Digital Marketing bet on content production, since Content Marketing is one of the pillars of this strategy.
A content strategy can rely on formats such as text, audio and video, which materialize in blog articles, podcasts, videos, infographics, webinars, eBooks, among other possibilities.
What will define the ideal formats for each business are the personas the company wants to attract. If your target audience is interested in a certain type of content, then it might be a good idea to bet on it.
It is also necessary to take into account the company’s objectives. In general, businesses seek, with the production of content, to become authorities in their business segments. This also contributes to increasing brand awareness and bringing consumers closer to the company, as useful and quality content that helps readers to resolve their doubts will certainly not be forgotten.
But content can also serve more specific business goals, such as attracting traffic, generating quality leads and increasing sales.
What is rich content?
In content production, there is a type of material that differs a bit from a blog post, for example. These are the so-called rich contents (also known as rich or educational materials), which address a particular topic in a deeper way.
In general, to access them, the visitor needs to leave, in exchange, their contact information, becoming a Lead . After that, other materials can be used in the nutrition of these Leads.
These rich content can be of different formats. Just to name a few:
- Webinars (live or recorded);
- Free evaluations.
Rich content can be focused on:
- Lead Generation, as they are normally delivered on Landing Pages where to access the content, a visitor needs to leave some data such as name, email and other information relevant to the company;
- Lead Nutrition, because the more content a Lead consumes, the more interested it is showing itself in the company and in matters involving a certain market;
- Profiling, that is, capturing more information about a Lead to understand if it has a qualified Lead profile.
Why have a well-defined content production process?
Okay, now you know what content production is and know some common formats. Now, let’s talk about the importance of having a well-defined process for creating these materials.
Effective content production must have three characteristics: predictability, scale, and error reduction. Understand more about each of them:
In a process, delays are common, and this results in lower quality and depth level of the content produced. Hence the importance of good planning to gain predictability.
With a small volume of content production and only one or two people working on it, it’s easier to keep track of what’s being done.
However, when we increase the volume of content or bring more people to the team, the lack of a place to centralize actions quickly makes the operation become a mess, which will cause a lot of effort to be wasted along the process.
To gain scale without losing quality, it is necessary to have organization and planning.
When you have a process in which each step is well described and the requirements for moving to the next step are well defined, you reduce certain flaws, which are often basic but can compromise a project.
For example: if you run an Email Marketing campaign and do not check if the links are working, it may be that there is a broken link, and this could compromise your action.
For this reason, it is important to use checklists to know what to do next and to avoid failures for any reason.
The project management methodology
Here at Resultados Digitais, to create an effective content production process, we seek to understand more about the project management methodology.
We usually say that each content is a project. They need resources, they have costs, they need people involved, they have a defined scope.
As we are used to working with agile methods, we chose to follow with a hybrid model of Lean and Kanban methodologies, which allow us to give an overview of:
- All steps in the process;
- How many projects (content) are in each stage;
- What remains to be done in each content to move it to the next step.
To do this control, we chose to use Trello, a tool that allows managing projects using these methodologies.
To accompany this post, we created a framework model in Trello where all the steps are described and we put examples of content in each one of them to illustrate the process.
In Trello, you will basically find the following elements:
- Columns: are the steps in the process.
- Cards: are the offers. Each material has a card and it advances to the next columns as production progresses. Inside these cards, there is space for comments, checklists, attachments, delivery dates, responsible people, among other elements that I explain better in the webinar that accompanies the template.
At the top of each column, you will find a card called “Instructions” with checklist templates, supporting content and a description of each stage.
The steps of content production
Now, let’s go deeper into the content production process and explain how each step works.
The content production process is divided into 3 major phases:
- Pre-production: encompasses everything from gathering ideas to starting content production. The delivery of this phase is the content that is scoped and ready to be produced;
- Production: is the stage where we get our hands dirty. The delivery here is the content revised and ready to be consumed (edited video, diagramed eBook, ready-made spreadsheet);
- Post-production: this phase includes all the preparation for the release of the content, the release itself and the analysis of the results. This means that it is at this stage that we produce the Landing Page, do the email campaign, publish on social media, measure the main KPIs, etc.
Going deeper into each of the phases:
Here we have 3 steps to prepare you to start producing an offer.
The step where all content ideas and offers go. These ideas can come from many places, from thinking yourself about something that could become content, to ideas coming from other people in the company, Leads, customers, and partners.
No ideas are discarded and some of them will never leave this stage.
To get out of the sandbox, normally, in planning, we think about content guidelines to be worked on and look at the list of ideas in search of offers that fit with what was planned. In case there is something interesting, we move to the next step (backlog).
There are also cases where content is advanced at the initiative of a third party. The most common are:
- Someone else in the company has started producing the content on their own and it’s an interesting subject for the company personas;
- Another area of the company has ready-made content that, with minor adjustments, can be published (common case with spreadsheets, training and tutorials);
- Some company is producing something and invited us to publish in co-marketing.
In these cases, we assess whether the material makes sense within the company’s strategy and move the content to the appropriate stage.
Here are all the offers that have been prioritized and that will be produced within a defined time scope. The idea of this step is to reflect more on the offer and understand how it can be useful for the company’s personas.
In other words, at this stage, we define “what” the material will be, what problem it will solve and we validate if it makes sense to our audience.
For this, it is interesting to talk to customers who may have the problem we want to tackle. It’s also important to get impressions from people in the sales and service areas about the subject.
Here we also look at past data to see if the material has good lead generation appeal or if there is already something that can or should be revised and released as a new edition.
To decide whether an offer will go forward, at this stage we ask a series of questions about the content that aim to give a better understanding of the effectiveness of the offer and the feasibility of producing it, that is, we think about the format, if there is already similar content, whether there is the possibility of co-marketing, among others.
In the template, on the “Instructions” card for this step, you will find the questions we use to reflect on the offers.
After this analysis (essentially qualitative), we will reach the conclusion about whether it is worth continuing with the production of the content.
In this step, we define “how” the material will be made, what its shape will be and we kick-start production.
The main objective is to deliver the minimum structure to start production, with defined responsibilities and schedules. Anyone reading the information about the content in this step should understand its scope, purpose, deadlines, etc.
In the case of co-marketing, it is at this stage that we decide which partner will be and we do all the necessary alignment.
Each material format has a “done” criterion to advance to the next step.
- eBook: done the outline (skeleton) of the eBook and ready to develop the content;
- Live Webinar: Scheduled broadcast date and confirmed with attendees;
- Recorded webinar: set the theme and format of the webinar (Slides? Chat?);
- Tool or spreadsheet: the MVP (Minimum Viable Product) is done, that is, a draft, functional or not, of how the tool or spreadsheet will work.
With the briefing in hand, this stage is where the content production itself takes place.
Development and review
These two stages contain the contents that are in the production process, whether internal or outsourced.
The way of producing and revising varies greatly depending on the format of the offer. For example, writing the eBook, recording or presenting the webinar, developing the tool, etc.
In the template, each format has its own production and revision checklist and the delivery of these steps is “presentable” content, that is, a diagrammed eBook, an edited video, a spreadsheet with formulas and links made.
This phase involves all the preparation for the launch of the offer, the launch itself and the analysis of the results.
Regardless of the content format, there are many things in common that are repeated with each offer. Therefore, in these stages, the use of checklists is even more recommended so as not to forget any details and thus avoid errors that could compromise the release.
With the revised material, in this step we prepare the release, which usually involves, among other things:
- Make the Landing Page, the thank you page and the thank you email;
- Make the images that will be used on social networks;
- Write the text for the email campaign;
- Make integrations in case of co-marketing;
- Configure Lead Scoring and Automation flows.
Anyway, the idea here is to leave the offer ready to be launched and test and review everything that involves this launch.
At this stage, the offer is promoted in the main acquisition channels, such as email, social media, paid media, etc. — each following their own checklist.
It is important to mention that, if you are a co-marketer, you must ensure that the partner performs the agreed actions.
Analysis and optimization
Here the launch analysis is performed. Ideally, set a default period for the analysis. That way you can get a better basis for comparison between releases.
For example, content that was released two months ago has already been distributed better than one released a week ago.
This period can be defined according to your company’s sales cycle, so you’ll be able to look, in addition to the number of Leads, how many sales were made in the period from the launch.
In this step, you must gather the main metrics of the release and raise what improvements can be made for the next ones.
Evaluating the process
Often, looking at such a process seems to make content production long and bureaucratic.
However, the opposite is true: you gain a great view of what is happening with the production of each offer and the work becomes increasingly agile and fluid.
Furthermore, with this project management methodology, any change in the process can be quickly implemented and applied to the next content.
By following a process, the chances of launching errors are greatly reduced and you won’t need to think “what’s next?” – you simply look at the process, the checklists and move forward.
How to direct content production to your personas
Those who follow our blog and materials know that the main pillar of Inbound Marketing is the production of content – whether blog posts, rich content or even website content.
And to know which themes and approaches are relevant to your persona, it is necessary to identify them through the stages of the buying journey. Designing personas can go deep into discovering what is needed for them at each stage and thus help them progress to the point of sale.
You might be thinking: “interesting, but… how to do this in practice?”.
Here’s an option we use at Resultados Digitais: interview your audience! They can be current customers of your company or even Leads that haven’t purchased yet. Just direct questions that help identify what’s relevant to him, from discovery to purchase.
First, find out about your information consumption habits:
- Channels where he gets information (blogs, social media, newspapers, magazines, etc). This is essential to detect where you can reach him: in which blogs he can try to guest posts, in which media to be present and advertise and even guide press relations actions.
- What topics interest you in general. For example, many people from our base are interested in entrepreneurship. Knowing this, we launched the eBook Digital Marketing for Entrepreneurs.
- Events you attend (themes, duration etc). If your company offers events, this is the chance to have inputs that will help you when setting up one!
Suggested questions according to the stages of the purchase journey
1. Discovery and learning
- How was your situation when you found our company on the internet?
- What content did you look for? And what did you find?
- How did you reach us (through which channel, some specific content)?
- During this stage, was there a theme that was more useful and met your need?
The conversation about this step should clarify the starting point of your persona in the buying journey, which led her to research the theme X that made her find your company, what her situation was.
Most of the time, she’s after content X, but still has no idea she has a pain or need. Here it is interesting to identify which keywords she searched, as they can be a guide for her future content, which will be “baits” to capture this audience.
2. Problem recognition
- What was the company’s situation before purchasing our solution? What was your problem/need?
- When you identified him, what did you do? How did you go about finding a solution for him?
- What contents of our company were useful to “wake up” you about this need?
Here it is necessary to know what were his pains and needs and what he did when he discovered this. Searched the internet? How was this process? This is a good way to know what content to produce to help Lead recognize this need.
3. Consideration of the solution
- When you started looking for solutions, what did you find? (Market competitors);
- What impressions did you have of the information you found about our solution (website, posts, materials)?
- Were they helpful for you to understand our service/product?
- Who in the company did you talk to about the problem and the options you found?
This step is essential to know what to offer to the personas who have already arrived here and are looking to solve their problem. What contents can help you? What are the competitors she finds at this stage and how to “shield” against them?
It’s also important, if your audience is B2B , to know if your persona is a decision maker and, if not, to understand who needs to be involved at that point.
For example, if you identify that your persona needs to prove the value of your solution to the boss, you can build a presentation template that she can use to unlock this step.
4. Evaluation and purchase
- What were the most important points of our solution that led you to become a customer?
- Who needed to be involved in the purchase decision?
- What information about our product/service was the hardest to find?
Knowing the strengths and relevant to your audience, which are not always what your company believes, helps you direct your communication to highlight them (and even make improvements to your product). Also take the opportunity to detect if your persona finds difficulties in this step to find what you need about your solution.
After the interview, try to separate what content and actions can be useful in each of the steps to serve as a guide for your Digital Marketing actions. It’s important to have this material as a permanent reference, so you always keep your persona in mind and start producing content that really matters to her.
How to segment content production to your audience
If you made it this far in the post, you may still be thinking that you will need to “shoot in the dark” until you find out who you are and how to communicate with your audience.
Therefore, in addition to the above idea of the interview, we have selected some tips for you to discover how to produce segmented content, without relying on “guessing”. Check it out below:
1. Know your audience and provide the right content for them
We like to hit this key, but it’s certainly not for nothing: any strategy that starts without knowing its target audience is fraught with uncertainty. So the first thing you need to do is create your personas.
For example, if you have project management software that serves both small and midsize companies, you can create at least two personas: one that represents the small business audience and one that represents the midsize business audience. Include in these personas all the information you can: from the name, age, and title to pains and questions you have about your business.
2. Use your brand’s voice to understand what segments want and need
Do you know what the voice of a brand is ? The brand’s voice is nothing more than the company’s personality and can be described through an adjective. She has several tones of voice, which “refine” the voice. A parallel can be drawn with the human voice: the human being has only one voice, but he has several tones of voice, which change according to the situation in which he communicates.
Once your audience contacts your company, whether it’s already thinking about buying or just consuming content, they expect to engage with your brand — soon or over the long term. But for that, it needs to see itself reflected in your brand. In other words, you need to feel that personality and other concepts close to it, such as mission and vision, are in line with what you believe.
Therefore, make it clear what your brand’s goals and values are, communicate them to your target audience and pay attention to who responds and how people identify with them.
3. Adapt user experience to segments and diversify your content
Have you ever entered a company’s website and felt that that brand wasn’t talking to you? Or that the product or service she offered was not being offered to you in an attractive way, even if it was in your best interest?
If so, it’s probably because a) you weren’t the company’s target audience; or b) the brand’s communication was not aligned with its audience(s).
In order for you to be able to better converse with all spectrums of potential customers, tailor the user experience on your website, rich materials, and blog to their interests. It’s no use overloading your visitors with content in the hope that they might like something. Instead, get information from your visitors about their behavior on your site.
You can check which links and pages are most accessed by your Leads. They can tell you what content is most viewed and what subjects your Leads are most interested in. Also, you may start to notice some patterns: those who access content A the most are also more interested in content B, while people who see content C tend to like content D, and so on.
At the same time, be aware of how you are offering this content to your audience. If part of your audience is not very used to reading, maybe the contents accessed by them should not be worked in text form.
Finally, take the opportunity to produce various content for your personas. Thus, you will have the opportunity to obtain information about your different audiences, generating increasingly targeted content which, in turn, will attract more qualified Leads, from whom you can obtain more information and improve your targeting, creating a virtuous circle.
4. Encourage your visitors to self-segment
It is very likely that you understand your market and your audience well, but surely no one knows your visitors better than they do. So, whenever possible, ask them to self-segment, rank, and objectively indicate their interests.
One way to do this is through newsletter subscriptions. You can place them, for example, on the main pages to encourage your visitors to subscribe to receive news from the site. At the time of registration, you can already ask the visitor about what subjects they are interested in and, if possible, you can even create different versions of the newsletter to serve different segments.
Another way is the Landing Pages forms of educational materials. If a visitor arrived at a Landing Page and is interested in the material to the point of providing information to obtain it, take advantage of this moment and ask for strategic data for your business.
Digital Results, for example, asks in its forms for some information about the visitor’s position, company size, website, etc. All of this helps us to identify who this Lead is, where he works, what your company’s interests are, etc. and thus create more suitable content for this profile.
5. Take tests to find out what your audience likes
Often, a subtle change can make all the difference for content to be more accepted by a certain segment or not. So take tests to find out what each audience likes best.
A good tip is to use A/B tests, in which two variables from the same object of study (which can be an Email Marketing, a Landing Page, a blog page, etc.) are randomly distributed to a relevant sample of people; the one with the most acceptance (more clicks, more conversions, more hits, etc.) is the “winner”.
An example was an Email Marketing that we sent to the Education segment. In version A, we send an email disclosing generic content, which we also send to the rest of the base, with the terminology we use with all our Leads: “customers”, “company” etc.
In version B, we published a similar content but adapted to the Education segment. The text was adapted to the segment, with some terms being replaced to make them more adapted, for example: changing “customers” to “students”, “company” to “educational institution” etc.
The results show us that version B had better acceptance than version A, with 535 email conversions, while version A had 81 conversions.
However, care must be taken not to exaggerate the number of changes in the object of study. Do it one at a time, or you won’t be able to say what caused your visitors and Leads to change their behavior.
6. Segment gradually
If you already have a content production strategy, it’s important to invest in mechanisms to target it — as we did in the case of Email Marketing for the education sector. However, do this work piecemeal, for two reasons.
The first is that, possibly, in the beginning, you still don’t have enough information to create very complex segmentations or that really make a difference. In practice, this means that you may not yet know very well who and how to communicate. So, keep doing the segmentations as you get more data from your Leads.
The second is that if you do it all at once and make a mistake in the segmentations, it will take a lot more work to fix everything. So take it easy. If you try to reach all the targets at the same time, it is possible that you will make the mistake of creating generic content for all of them.
The tip is: understand a segment well and when you manage to segment it correctly, move on to another.
7. Don’t miss the opportunity to use data and technology
In the end, we know that Inbound Marketing is about using a strategy based on data and technology; and segmentation is no different.
This is the typical case where less is not more: the more data you have about your base, the more you can analyze your Leads and understand how to create targeted content.
For example, if your company is B2B, you might feel that you don’t need to get personal data from your Leads. But remember: some personal information can influence work decisions and, therefore, may be important to you.
8. Be aware of changes in segments
The characteristics of the segments are not written in stone: who could say, just a few years ago, that traditional segments such as Education and Real Estate would be so transformed by technology? Or that Commerce would give rise to a segment that grows so quickly, e-commerce?
Therefore, be aware of the changes and consequences they bring to different sectors and their content. This means that just because you’ve managed to create effective targeting (and adequate content for that targeting), doesn’t mean you won’t have to change it from time to time to absorb what’s new.
An interesting and interactive way to track changes and get feedback from your segments: Constantly request information to understand how the industry is changing, ask what’s missing for your content to be more up-to-date, and if you’re approaching the subject correctly.
Once you’ve collected feedback, see how you can apply it to create even better content.
What does a professional gain when producing content for the company?
One way to have quality content is to encourage it to be written by the company’s own employees — not only those in the marketing area, who are already in charge of this work, but also specialists from other teams.
These people, more than anyone else, experience the day-to-day of your business and can contribute excellent content about their area of expertise. All you need is an editor to help collaborators to leave content in the ideal format for publication.
But it’s not just the company that wins. When writing — whether for the company blog, personal project, LinkedIn or Medium — professionals from any field gain learning, recognition and productivity. So it is. Understand each of these points better:
Many people believe that writing is about teaching and informing others. But not only that. Writing has an incredible ability to make you learn and reflect a lot on a particular topic.
Writing organizes and clarifies our thoughts. Writing is how we think about a subject and how we incorporate it into ourselves. Writing allows us to discover what we know—and what we don’t know—about whatever we are trying to learn. (William Zinsser, in Writing to Learn: How to Write–And Think–Clearly About Any Subject at All )
In other words, writing is a two-way street. When producing content, you are, yes, informing or teaching readers about some topic, but at the same time, you are developing your knowledge about this subject.
One of the great advantages of Content Marketing is that, through these contents, the company is able to build an important asset and become an authority in its market.
When we take this to the professional, the idea remains the same.
Associating your name with an idea, good practice, reflection or any other type of content is a small step towards making you also an authority on the subject.
Who wouldn’t want to be recognized? Who wouldn’t want to receive praise for their work? Who wouldn’t like to receive comments or messages saying that your article is helping that person in some way?
Recognition is another priceless value. You don’t buy, you conquer. Once you are a reference in the subject, you gain much more credibility within your market.
This recognition can take place in several spheres. It can start within the area, with the professional becoming a reference among co-workers. It can expand into the company, with the professional becoming a reference among all co-workers. It can expand further and – why not? – reach levels where your work can impact people across the country.
In short, a little authority on the subject can make it easier for you to gain support to do other jobs and projects, as well as improve your relationship and the respect your colleagues and clients have for you.
Everyone has repetitive tasks, right?
For example, explaining the same thing to several people.
Especially for those who work in direct customer service, publishing an article can give your work a good boost.
This is possible because with an article you can impact all these customers and gain productivity by not having to explain the same concepts to several people. Thus, you are free for more specific questions, to ask questions and to act in a more personalized way.
For managers and team leaders, for example, writing a blog post is like writing a playbook. It can save a lot of time in the future by avoiding repetitive actions too much.
Tips for Content Producers: 12 Habits to Cultivate
There are some highly recommended behaviors for every day to be productive when producing content.
Below, we list 14 highly recommended habits for every blogger, copywriter, ghostwriter, freelancer or any professional who works in content production.
1. Write often
The first habit is in virtually every article on productivity: writing a lot.
Only those who write frequently develop writing. Just like any other task, it is an activity that develops over time. If your job is to write, you need to develop until it feels as natural as your breathing.
So, put the ideas that are in your mind in the text editor and worry about making corrections and improvements when it’s time to edit, which by the way is the second habit you need to have and become familiar with.
2. Don’t save time to edit
The secret to a good text is in editing. Nothing goes perfect without being overhauled.
Edit carefully. That way you can write faster and with less worry, leaving it to be polished later. After all, you need to edit anyway.
There are writers who spend 80% of their time editing what has been written. So, know that this function will have to exist. And you’re going to have to play it.
3. Post periodically
To build an audience from scratch, or to maintain it, you need to nurture it. And let her know that new publications will be posted in a pre-defined time frame.
So, make a content plan, deciding how often posts will air.
Decide whether postings will be daily, weekly, fortnightly, monthly, or in the time frame of your choice. The important thing here is to always keep the reader fueled so that they know how often they should return to your site.
It’s very strange for the blog — and also for the reader — to post in very interspersed spaces of time. For example, post every day of the week and then go a month without updating the blog, then post two days in a row and spend another fortnight with no new posts.
Keep a constant interval. If productivity is flying and over articles, save it for later — as long as it’s not urgent. It might be helpful.
4. Read a lot
Reading is the number fuel for those who write. No one becomes a good copywriter without being in the habit of reading.
Create a daily reading routine. Make it a hobby and take a fixed amount of time each day to read. They can be physical books or eBooks. The important thing is to develop this habit.
An hour of reading a day can already bring incredible benefits in your professional and personal life. Reading daily increases creativity improves vocabulary, strengthens analytical thinking and improves focus and concentration. In other words, everything a copywriter needs.
Before starting to write about your subject, do searches in search engines.
It is critical to know if material similar to what you intend to explore has already been published. In addition to helping you think in different ways, research can also bring up issues you haven’t thought of before.
Don’t be ashamed to rely on other content. But, be clear: don’t confuse references with plagiarism.
Pre-searching trusted sources can also help you organize the topics that will be written, giving you greater insight into the subject.
6. Be curious
Writing is a form of learning, so being curious is very important in this regard.
Being curious means being willing to break down various subjects and bring your doubts and solutions to your audience.
It means always being ready to learn and develop further. Even more so when technical and conceptual updates are so constant that you need to study daily in order not to be left behind.
7. Consume information smartly
The volume of information that exists on the net is gigantic. Therefore, it is difficult to choose what to consume. On the other hand, it’s easy to get lost in several parallel issues that kill productivity and add nothing to your work.
In times where there is an excess of information, it is necessary to be selective in what is consumed.
If you’re looking for information by going straight to the sources, create folders in favorites and segment them by categories.
If you use social media for that purpose, create lists so that the essentials don’t get lost in the news feed.
8. Write down everything
Everyone responsible for producing content needs to be creative and gather different agendas and ideas for posts that will be published.
So, whenever an idea comes up, write it down! Don’t fall into the trap of thinking, “I’ll remember this later”. It might happen, but the chances of it going wrong are considerable. Also because good ideas usually come up at unforeseen times, when we are doing other side activities.
Use apps like Evernote or even your phone’s default notebook. Or even pen and paper, if you prefer and if it’s close to you. The preference in the form of annotation is yours. What you cannot do is not write it down.
9. Take breaks
Even if you get enough sleep at night, you need to take some breaks during the day.
Give the brain short breaks so that it keeps functioning clearly.
Some people use production methods that allow these breaks, such as the pomodoro technique.
Breaks can be for naps, meditations, stretching, walking or even a break to talk with a colleague. The important thing is to get off the screen a little bit to keep your mind healthy and not lose inspiration and creativity.
10. Be authentic
Authenticity is another secret to differentiate your posts. How you tell the story, your tone of voice and your communication style are crucial to the success of your publications.
Being authentic means being yourself, without deceiving anyone. Be natural, in short.
People can get information in a number of places, so they need to identify with you, create a connection, and then visit your future posts again.
11. Respond to comments and chat with your readers
Interacting with your readers makes them feel at home or at least part of the discussion.
Answering questions, thanking compliments and engaging in the side conversations that take place in the comments is a way of showing admiration for the audience, which is likely to be reciprocated.
This behavior creates a sense of trust on the part of your readers and shows that you exist and care about them.
12. Connect with other writers and bloggers
Even though there is natural competition, it doesn’t mean that bloggers are experiencing competition.
Connecting with other writers who write on similar—or different—subjects is a healthy way to bond with fellow professionals.
Writing guest posts, as well as publishing guest posts by other authors on your blog, is a smart way to maintain this good relationship, bringing benefits to both parties.
But remember: uniting audiences is a common good, so don’t be selfish. Don’t simply want to capture other people’s audience. This happens naturally, so think of it as a form of collaboration.
What not to do? 11 mistakes to avoid in your content production
Is your content strategy in place, but your results aren’t meeting your established goals?
If your answer to this question is yes, it’s time to rethink the way you’re producing content for your site. Or how other people are doing it for your business, whether the work is being delegated or outsourced.
There are numerous reasons for this failure to happen. On the other hand, the good news is that you can fix these mistakes and get on the right track.
Let’s talk on this topic about minor oversights in your site’s content production that can negatively affect your results.
1. Not having a defined audience
Who do you write for? Do you think, before starting the process, who are the people who will read your text?
This is a fundamental question and not for nothing is the first on the list. If every business has a defined persona, the same goes for content.
But don’t limit yourself. A website, product, or service can have multiple personas, and there’s no mistake about that. However, the content must always be segmented.
2. Write to the wrong persona
This error is a complement to the previous one. Maybe you’ve defined your persona, but maybe it’s not right for your business.
This can happen from the way you write your content to the channels you use to promote it.
Do not save time in research to understand how the audience behavior you want to reach is, in fact, to reach them.
Find out how your audience likes to consume content, what social networks it is present on, what language is the most suitable to generate engagement, what times it is online.
3. Damage your credibility
This is a delicate item on the list. Credibility is not born overnight. But it can be destroyed in the same period.
Be very careful about the information you are passing on to your audience. Spreading false news or inaccurate data are real pitfalls.
Whenever you publish data from a study that is not done by your company or information you discovered by searching the internet, do a careful review to find out if the facts or statistics are true.
It’s by gaining credibility and passing on accurate information that you can make past visitors return to your site later.
4. Do not use internal links
It is important, in the content production strategy, that there is a complement between the materials. Using internal links is a basic way to integrate posts.
You may have noticed that in this post (and in several others on the blog), we use internal links to direct you to related posts that deepen an idea, for example.
5. Produce hard-to-read content
Reading on the internet is not the same as books. That’s because there are countless forms of distraction, and it’s very common for users to jump from tab to tab and forget about your content.
To get your readers’ attention, structure your posts in a scannable way, as that’s how people read on the internet.
Paragraphs that are too long, too dense and confusing, for example, get in the way of the user experience.
6. Not telling a story
It is fierce and natural competition in the market. And one way to stand out, with Content Marketing, is to be original, authentic.
Storytelling is what brings your content to life. So create narratives, try to hold your reader’s attention by doing more than the obvious.
If you want your visitors to convert, they need to embrace the idea of your content first. And narratives are interesting ways to do this.
It is important to remember that, for a narrative to be interesting, it needs to hold the reader’s attention from its introduction.
7. Don’t create catchy titles
Its content is wonderful, but no one is reading it. If that happens, it’s no use blaming people or channels. Perhaps the main problem is in the title.
There are thousands of links popping up all day on social media timeline updates, on news portals, on other blogs, and so on. If your content doesn’t have a killer title, which generates some stimulus for the user to click, it’s no use.
But remember: don’t create titles that have nothing to do with your content. Your audience won’t like clicking a link on a topic and stumbled upon totally different information.
8. Do not use multimedia content
Images help people to read. It’s a feature that complements the text, helps with engagement and makes reading easier, more enjoyable and less boring.
And you can even go further and enhance your content with other formats, such as videos, podcasts, infographics.
9. Focus on quantity rather than quality
Have you ever stopped to think how good it would be for a single post to have the same number of visits as multiple posts?
It’s not a hypothesis, it’s a reality. Focusing on the quality of publications generates more traffic.
This doesn’t mean you should limit the number of posts, or even reduce them. As long as you manage to maintain a high-quality standard, nothing prevents you from publishing as many articles as possible.
10. Play content
Content Marketing is not copying third-party content. This is called reproduction.
Producing content, in addition to helping your audience, is also premised on giving your company an authority status. By playing content from other sources, you are reinforcing other people’s ideas, not your own.
It is important to emphasize, so there is no misunderstanding, that this does not mean that we should not reference other sources or external links in posts. It means that, instead of reproducing ready-made ideas, we can complement or cite them, producing a new publication.
11. Not keeping a tone of voice
Most big blogs have well-defined tone, voice and writing patterns. And that doesn’t happen by chance. It’s much easier for your visitors to frequently return to your site if they identify with the way you write and are sure they’ll find similarly produced content on their next visit.
This prevents the reader from accessing a link on your site that has very technical terms and a very elaborate language, and the next day accessing a link with a text in informal and simplified language, for example.
Standardizing a tone for blog content helps keep your persona as close to you as possible. And it makes her not feel confused or lost.