As a small/medium sized business, often owner managed, it can be quite overwhelming to not only supply your product or service to your existing customers, but also work on marketing your business for growth.  One area you don’t have to worry about is using stock content legally if you follow our tips below. 

A good way to start marketing your business is by creating a website, using a free platform such as WordPress or SquareSpace, and setting up one of the many free website templates available.

With creating (or updating) your website comes the task of building your content, the text and images you would like to use on your website, to represent your brand and your business.  Understanding copyright and how to avoid infringements is a really important factor in creating your website content.

Quick tips to help you develop your own original content:

Social Networking – Next time you’re out at an event, talk to your contacts to understand the types of questions they are being asked in the industry.  With this information you’ll be able to quickly understand what problems you’re geared up to solve, and what areas you may be of help to others.

Industry relevant publications/magazines – Read books and publications related to your industry and understand the issues your customers face daily in their jobs.  Summarize these into a few relevant points, and use these as your key focus points to create engaging content for your website.

Brainstorm with colleagues/staff – Ask your key staff for their input and ideas on what it is that makes your business unique.  Is it the expertise, the quick turnaround times, the product quality or the great customer experience?  Once you’ve established what makes your business unique, highlight these strengths in your content.

Story writing – Create a story around your brand and business using the information you’ve gathered from the above.  Decide what web pages you’ll have on your website and where the story content will be placed within your website layout. 

Check spelling and grammar – Once you have your story and website layout together, double check your spelling and grammar.  It’s also useful to have a colleague or family member proof read your content through another set of eyes.

Sourcing images for your website:

When you are ready to start adding your content to your website, images work as a great addition for storytelling.  Choose images that will be appealing to your customers, relevant to your product, service or industry, and most importantly, are in line with your brand image.  Sourcing “free images” on the internet can be like negotiating a copyright minefield. The best solution is to make use of one of the online stock content websites available, such as iStock by Getty Images, Shutterstock, or 123RF .

A recent blog article posted by the 123RF outlines some good tips on how to ensure you are using stock content legally and provide a useful guide to help you navigate image copyright:

In this copyright guide eBook, we cover the following topics:

  • Things You Need To Know About Copyright
  • 5 Rights For Copyright Owners
  • How Does A Stock Content Provider Ensure That Content Is Safe For Commercial Use?
  • Getting To Know Stock Content Licenses
  • Is There Any Content That I Can Legally Use For Free?
  • What Should I Do When I Receive A Notice Of Copyright Infringement

Key takeaways available in our eBook:

  • Learn what Rights-Managed, Royalty-Free and Creative Commons licenses are
  • Learn how to use images without infringing copyright
  • What to do in the event you receive a copyright infringement claim

Download The 123RF Almost Complete Guide to Image Copyright here

Launching your website:

Once you have your website all set up, it’s time to get the word out into the market.

Soft launch within your business – Show your employees the website, how to navigate around it and explain your story.  Discuss any questions or concerns they may have.

Advertise your website – Include your website link at the bottom of your email signature, and on any advertising you currently do.  Also include it on your business cards, business stationary and your marketing materials and signage.

Tell your customers about your new website – If you have a database of current customer emails, send them a launch email using a service like MailChimp, announcing your new website going live. Encourage your customers to visit your website and send you any feedback they may have.

Social Media – If you have any social media accounts set up, share your new website on your social media.

That is a wrap of using stock content legally and creating your own original website content.  If you have any questions, or would like to see more similar articles on this subject posted on our website, please get in touch by email at