In the digital age, marketers must use images on blog posts, social media, and other marketing collateral in order to get the attention of their potential clients. However, marketers on a budget would run into cost issues if they had to buy a new image each time they created a series of blogs. In these cases, the marketer benefits from using media that allows for multiple uses. If you’re in that boat, then here are some ideas about how you can secure media for your marketing pieces without going broke.

Use Creative Commons

Creative Commons gives budget-strapped bloggers, marketers, and collage artists access to millions of free-to-use images on the web. However, if you do use CC, then you’ll want to keep a few tips in mind. Be sure to search for images using the filter “Use for commercial purposes” if you plan on making money on the project you’re working on. That could be direct profit, as in a gift book of images, or indirect profit, as in the case of brochures or other work-related collateral.

Finally, be sure to check the attribution requirements. Some creators will allow people to use their images for free, but with a caveat. That is the creator wants either a link back to his/ her website or some sort of written acknowledgment.

Private Label Rights

Private Label Rights or PLR allow you to buy a series of images, blog posts, photos, etc. for a small price. Once you pay for these items, you’re free to use them on your marketing items, on your blog, in coloring books, etc. Further, PLR gives you the right to use the images or content to make money.

That said, PLR does have some drawbacks. Other marketers and bloggers can buy the same content that you did and use it on their products. You also don’t have unlimited use of the PLR items, meaning that while you can make money on it potentially, you also may have restrictions. For example, the PLR creator may not allow you to sell these items to other marketers as your own work; the works must be used specifically on your blog, in books, etc.

Repurpose Your Own

If you have any artistic leanings whatsoever, then you may just want to create a series of images or blogs of your own. Unless you’ve sold those pieces as “work-for-hire” pieces, you should have full rights to use them again and again. Digital tools like Photoshop or the free equivalent GIMP allow you to alter your images slightly. Doing this allows you to reuse the same image and yet have it still look free and relevant.

When in Doubt, Work with a Lawyer

Sometimes, you may not be sure if the media you’re using is media that allows for multiple uses. While some types of reusable media like PLR or Creative Commons tell you up front how you can use the images, other types of media may not be as clear cut. If that’s the case, you may want to hire an attorney whose law firm services include copyrights and trademarks. These legal professionals can keep your marketing firm out of copyright hot water, so to speak and are worth the expense if you’re going to be using a lot of different types of media in your marketing.

Thankfully for marketers today, many sources of multi-use media images and blogs exist. These resources allow marketers to create collateral that has visual appeal, an important consideration in the digital-media age. Resources like Creative Commons, PLR, or even your own work can provide you with plenty of media for your marketing pieces. Additionally, law firms that specialize in copyright law can help you steer clear of using media that may not be earmarked for multi-use purposes.

By Lizzie Weakley

Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and walks in the park with her three-year-old husky, Snowball.

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