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Why Diversity and Inclusivity in Your Stock Photos Matter

Whether we’re talking about age, gender, gender identity, size, race and ethnicity, sexual orientation, spiritual beliefs, disability, or anything in between, it matters. All of it.

Representation throughout your public facing content (including marketing materials, your website, social media, etc.) is key in continuing to help normalize diversity across the board.

To be clear, this isn’t about diversity and inclusivity just for the sake of being politically correct. It’s also good for business. Your potential clients want to see themselves represented in your content. Even in—or especially—a subconscious way- seeing someone who looks like you being unashamedly represented, celebrated even, will do wonders to immediately establish trust and a feeling of acceptance and safety, between you and your potential clients.

“A 2019 consumer survey by Google…revealed that 64% of respondents took some action after seeing an ad they considered to be diverse or inclusive.” – source.

This is to say, inclusiveness and diversity in the imagery you share on your website, in blog posts, on social media, and other public facing mediums, will help expand your audience reach and give you an opportunity to “speak up” in the name of underrepresented communities. Even if it feels relatively subtle, it still matters. Big time.

Plus, who doesn’t want to give a child or young adult the feeling of “I belong here” when they see your ad or post in passing? It’s about time, eh?

“In a survey of 1,000 US consumers…Sprout Social found that most consumers want brands to speak up about social issues, “People want brands to use what they don’t necessarily have—power and money—to drive change at scale.” – source

If you’ve ever had to source stock photos before you likely know the struggle of finding even a little bit of diversity and the inclusivity among the options.

Thankfully businesses and individuals are doing something to help change this. Check it out- here are some great resources that serve to provide more diverse and inclusive imagery within the land of stock photography:

It comes down to the fact that people want to see imagery that represents them in real life scenarios- using your product, receiving virtual support or consultations. You name it (the industry, the business, the product) and people are more likely to respond, think positively of, and want to work with your business as a result of seeing themselves on your materials.

In a world where we speed read (if at all), swipe quickly in this direction, or scroll past in that direction- photos become essential in helping people quickly determine if they’re a good fit for what you do or what you sell.

Simply put, representation through imagery affirms their belonging. And we all want to feel like we belong. It’s a basic human need.

The best part of all this is, it’s time to get excited. You have a tangible opportunity to, at the very least, demonstrate allyship. If not start important conversations, land the most amazing clients, and feel good that you’re taking part in critical—and even life saving—messaging today.

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