As many contributors know, downloads for specifically-themed images spike during certain times of the year. For example, Bigstock buyers are most likely going to be searching for summer-themed images during spring (or in some cases, even earlier).
When to upload particular seasonal or other “timing” based images is a popular question, and while there’s no clear cut answer, the good news is that we do have some tips you may find helpful.
Plan – and upload – ahead of time.
For holidays, a good rule of thumb is to plan about four to six months in advance and continue to upload until about a month before your target holiday, event, or season. Establish a calendar that shows national and international holidays.
In most cases, it’s a matter of “the earlier, the better.” As obvious as this sounds, do not underestimate the benefits of planning ahead. If you’re preparing winter holiday-themed images, for example, it doesn’t hurt to begin uploading them in June, July, or August. If you’re still doing so the week of Thanksgiving, that is probably too late.
Think of it from the buyer’s perspective. Most designers and photo editors work under tight deadlines, and projects are often initiated months in advance. Few professional buyers are going to need an image of a menorah in late November (unless they’re planning for the following year).
Not all image demands are timing-based. Often newsworthy events both big and small make headlines that can cause a sudden demand for quality stock imagery. Whether it’s good news, such as birth announcements or local sports victories, or bad news, such crime or oil spills, as a visual content creator, it is up to you to be ready. Whatever concept you have in mind, produce the most high quality image you possibly can, from planning to execution to post-production. Be ready, and your images will get downloaded.
Be aware of trends.
Over the last eighteen months, the concept of “going green,” i.e. being environmentally conscious, has been adopted by thousands of corporations worldwide. While trends can be difficult to predict, there are things you can do. A great thing about photography and illustration is they encourage not just creativity but curiosity about the world around you. Such awareness can help you predict, and stay on top of, trends. Take an active interest in a wide variety of fields and read up on them – you never know when or where the next “big thing” will occur.
What else can you do? Consider the following:
- Watch the news.
- Keep an eye on Google Trends.
- Create a notebook of popular topics you see online, in advertisements, and in magazine stands.
- Check out popular videos on YouTube.
- See what images are "Most Downloaded" in search results.
Hone your craft.
Let’s face it, trying to calculate the best time to upload your images to maximize their download potential is an inexact science at best. While timing and luck are certainly factors, they can be quite difficult to control.
So why not focus on the things you can control? Whether you’re a photographer or a digital artist, practice constantly, take risks, try new things. It will show in your work, and buyers will notice.
Photo: © Kinetic Imagery/Bigstock