BLOG. SMART PRACTICAL BUSINESS ADVICE

No Budget, No Problem: 10 Free Sites That Will Improve Your Small Business Marketing Material

Just because you don’t have a massive budget doesn’t mean you can’t market your content effectively. Add some extra oomph to your marketing efforts at no cost with these free image resources.

3 Shares
WORKetc CRM Small Business Marketing ResourcesHelp your business leave a mark for no extra cost

The human brain is a grey mystery wrapped in a squishy enigma.

We can’t even really say with any certainty how much we know about it.

After all, how can we be sure we know 10% about the brain if we have no idea what the full picture even looks like?

One of the very few things we do know about it is that it likes stimuli.

The Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics notes that 30% to 40% of the hundreds of billions of neurons in our brains are devoted to making sense of the images we see.

That’s one of the reasons why images have always been key components of successful marketing. We’re wired for visual content.

Consider this: adding an image to even something as bone-dry as a press release can increase readership by up to 40%, according to a PR Newswire report.

PR Newswire also found that the more images you add, the higher readership climbs. Add six images, and that 40% jumps to 240%.

And when it comes to articles, the importance of images become even more apparent. According to Kissmetrics, articles with images get 94% more views.

No Marketing Budget? No Problem

With all the information people take in on a daily basis, businesses need an eye catching image now more that ever to entice people into actually reading their content.

Of course, not every business can splurge on a top-flight photographer or even a premium stock image, but there are free alternatives. And by free, I mean really free, with absolutely no strings attached.

This is where the Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license comes in.

Any work released under the CC0 license has essentially been put by its creator in the public domain, meaning you’re free to copy and edit it to your heart’s content, even for commercial purposes, without asking permission.

For a small business with a super tight marketing budget, CC0 images (as well as music and video) are a veritable treasure trove.

Here are some of our favorite CC0 image sites:

Unsplash

WORKetc CRM Small Business Marketing ResourcesFree stock image site Unsplash

What started out as a simple Tumblr has since grown into one of the best free stock image sites today (the header image in this post is actually from Unsplash). Unsplash’s collection of over 300,000 high-resolution photos is completely searchable and completely free. They also have photo collections curated by some of the most recognized online brands today, including Spotify, Slack, and Product Hunt.

Death to Stock

Sign up with your email and you’ll receive a free set of high-quality images every month. They also have a “graveyard” area where you can download some older photo packs. The site’s entire collection is searchable only if you sign up for their premium service ($12/mo billed annually for an individual account), but be that as it may, Death to Stock still has, hands down, one of the highest quality free stock image collections online.

SplitShire

WORKetc CRM Small Business Marketing ResourcesFree stock image site Splitshire

Every photographer has at least a few good images sitting in their hard drives for which they’ve never found a use. Upon realizing that he had thousands of pictures that would otherwise never see the light of day, the photographer behind SplitShire decided to just make them available to everyone for free.

StockSnap

StockSnap has thousands of high quality public domain images submitted by photographers, with hundreds more being added weekly. Their archive is easily searchable, plus you can sign up to get a collection of curated images sent to your email, completely free. If you don’t want another newsletter subscription cluttering up your email inbox, you can download their weekly photo bundle directly from their site as a zip file.

LibreShot

Design-wise, LibreShot looks like most other image aggregator sites, but don’t be fooled. Every single photo here is the work of photographer Martin Vorel, who has chosen to basically give them all away free for any kind of marketing use. The collection is categorized and comes with a search function, which can also be used to search a number of other free stock image sites including some of those listed here.

Gratisography

WORKetc CRM Small Business Marketing ResourcesFree stock image site Gratisography

Gratisography by Ryan Maguire is yet another collection of absolutely free stock images with more photos being uploaded on a weekly basis. What sets this site apart from other similar collections is that it celebrates quirkiness; if you’re looking for something a bit more offbeat and humorous than usual, you’ll probably find it here.

Pixabay

Pixabay is another CC0 image aggregator. As of last count, the site already has over 1.3 million images (and quite a few HD and 4K videos), all free from copyright restrictions. You can also choose to filter results according to image type, i.e. photos, vector images, or illustrations.

Pexels

You’ll find a growing collection of around 40,000 tagged, searchable, and completely free images (and some videos) here. Pexels is notable in that it offers a free Photoshop plugin that’ll prove useful for creatives who want to search for free images without leaving Photoshop.

Visualhunt

WORKetc CRM Small Business Marketing ResourcesFree stock image aggregator Visualhunt

Visualhunt is a CC0 image aggregator that gathers free public domain images from a wide variety of online sources, making it easier to find the image you need. They also allow you to embed their photos instead of downloading them, in case you want to cut down on loading speed. Note that not all images here are under a CC0 license, so make sure to check an image’s license info before you download.

Flickr Commons

Flickr may have shed some popularity points in the last few years, but it remains one of the best sources for Creative Commons images. The site has pre-built filters for each flavor of Creative Commons license, but if you’re looking for the totally free, no-restrictions images you should check the “Public Domain Dedication (CC0)” collection or set your search filter to “No known copyright restrictions”.

Marketing takes effort, but it doesn’t necessarily take a lot of money. Even if you don’t have a big fat budget, you can still put in the time and market your brand effectively.

Give the sites we’ve listed a browse and chances are, you’ll find something worth using or at least saving for your next big marketing push.

How do you market your small business more effectively even without a big budget? Share your tips in the comments.

3 Shares
See all

Featured Posts

New Gmail is Coming For Everyone. What You Need to Know.

Google’s new Gmail redesign packs plenty of productivity-focused features. If I were to describe Gmail’s new design in one word, it would be “divisive”. Some users have praised the clean new interface, while others have condemned the exact same thing for wasting too much screen space. Part of the pushback comes down to a simple […]

One Small Change. 22 Extra Days Per Year.

HOCOA San Diego reclaimed up to a month’s worth of extra work days with WORKetc CRM. Any project manager worth his or her salt knows that communication is key to a successful project. And in today’s world, “communication” usually means email. HOCOA San Diego has built a name for itself as something of a concierge […]

How WORKetc is Helping This Small Business Help Other Businesses Grow

Staircase based on the number sequence introduced by the man Filius Bonacci is named for. Hiring a consultant used to be prohibitively expensive. Unless you were running a multi-million-dollar company yourself, chances are you wouldn’t have pockets deep enough to engage the services of a then-typical consulting firm. But with technology helping small businesses grow […]

4 Tips for Maximum Timetracking Efficiency with WORKetc

Ditch the hourglass; maximize your timetracking efficiency with WORKetc CRM. Timetracking used to be a pretty painful affair, and I admit: I used to hate doing it. I remember this really old timetracker that I used well over a decade ago. All it could do was create a text file of everything I entered into […]

The Secret to Keeping Remote Workers Connected Using One App

From time tracking to collaborations, here’s how WORKetc helps you manage your remote teams. According to the latest State of the Remote Job Marketplace report by remote jobs search site Flexjobs, one thing is clear: The traditional office is dying; the future of business is remote. The report found that 43% of U.S. workers now […]

How To Handle 4X the Support Calls with One Simple Change

IT firm tekRESCUE keeps IT support at “a manageable level of insanity” with WORKetc. IT can be a messy business. Just ask Randy Bryan, the founder of San Marcos, Texas-based IT firm tekRESCUE. “There are a lot of emergencies; always a lot of unknowns,” he told us last year, “A lot of messiness comes out […]