Should you create your own healthcare imagery? An honest review.

27 Jun 23

Are you tired of using stock images that don’t quite fit your brand? Do you want bespoke images designed just for you?

Stock images are a great way to save time and money, but they can also be limiting. If you’re looking for an image that truly represents your brand, you may want to consider creating your own healthcare imagery.

We’ve created many impactful and beautiful images for our clients and learned a lot along the way. In this article, we’ll discuss the pros and cons of creating bespoke imagery for your healthcare marketing campaigns and give you tips on how to get started to create custom images of your own.

What is healthcare imagery?

What do we mean when we talk about healthcare imagery? Healthcare imagery is any visual content that helps your audience understand your device. We typically work with 5 main types:

  • Photography

    This can come in many forms, such as photographs of your device, patients and HCPs, or photos of your team at work. They are very versatile and can be used in a wide variety of campaigns, from social media to website design.

  • Anatomical drawings

    Anatomical drawings are internal or external drawings of the human body to help explain how your device works. These are often created in a series of drawings to outline the stages of a procedure for healthcare professionals or in a simpler form to help patients understand the next stages of treatment.

  • Computer-Aided Designs (CADs)

    CADs or Computer Aided Designs are created on a computer. Usually, these are created to showcase a device or medical scene to help explain, teach and educate. These images are often called renders, referring to the computer process of creating the final image, called ‘rendering’. Click here to view a case study.

Looking for help creating high-quality medical device imagery?
  • Line drawings

    Line drawings are simple 2D drawings used to convey a message. They’re good for IFU’s (information for use) booklets as they visualise how a device should be used to improve the clarity of meaning. They aren’t very detailed, so they are often only used in regulatory settings rather than being in more promotional marketing materials, wherein you’ll probably want to create something more eye-catching.

  • Computer Generated Images (CGIs)

    CGI stands for Computer Generated Images; they’re like CADs in that it’s a completely digital 2D or 3D image. However, CGI graphics tend to be artier and less photo-realistic.  As easy as it is to get caught up in the technical information, you want your marketing assets to be beautiful and impressive, and CGI can be a great way to do this.

    A great example of a CGI image is the main header on Cipher Surgical’s website, which shows a scope in the abdominal cavity clearing away particles.

    If you’re interested in incorporating custom-made healthcare imagery into your marketing but want to learn more about the different types, have a look at our article on Everything you need to know about types of healthcare imagery in our Learning Hub.

The positives of creating your own healthcare imagery

Creating your own imagery can be a great asset to aid your marketing efforts and can help elevate your materials to new heights.

We’ve put together a list of the major benefits that come from creating your own brand imagery:

  • Ownership

    When you create your own imagery, it’s unique to your brand and specifications. You’ll never have to worry about your competitors or another brand outside of healthcare appearing at an exhibition with the same person running up a hill.

  • Freedom

    Once your images have been created, you’ll have the freedom to use your images however you want. You’ll never have to consider copyright again.

    As you may be all too aware, the cost of stock imagery depends on how and where you use it. The more freedom you want, the more you’ll pay. For example, using stock images in social media or print advertising will cost more than using them internally.

  • Brand consistency

    Bespoke healthcare imagery will always be aligned with your brand guidelines.

    It can be hard to find a stock image that conveys your brand in the way you want. When you create your own imagery, you can capture this expression so your materials are brand-accurate and consistent.

  • Total creativity

    Commission healthcare imagery means you can design it your way, with total creative freedom. You can make your ideas a reality without compromise.

    However, when relying on stock imagery, you may find that the ideas in your head do not match what’s available.

The negatives of creating your own imagery

While there are many benefits to creating your own imagery, it’s not always smooth sailing.

Here are the main considerations when creating your own imagery.

  • Time management

    Creating healthcare images takes time and effort. The process can take weeks or months, depending on the type of imagery. If you need images right away, you may want to consider using stock images.

  • Cost

    Creating custom imagery can be expensive, especially depending on the type of image you need. The upfront costs will likely be significantly higher than stock imagery, but the final product will be exactly what you need and will effectively convey your brand message.

    However, if your budget doesn’t stretch to bespoke imagery, stock imagery can be a great solution. With a talented designer, you can adapt stock imagery to match your brand and still achieve great results.

  • Team resource

    Depending on the type of imagery you want, the specialists creating your imagery will need some help from your team members. For a successful project, your team will need to be able to:

    Set the brief: This includes defining the purpose of the imagery, the target audience, and the desired outcome.
    Review the work: This means providing feedback on the imagery as it’s being created so that the specialists can make sure it’s meeting your needs.
    Participate in photography days (if required): This could involve providing props, modelling, or simply being present to help create a positive and productive environment.

Your next steps

Developing your own healthcare imagery can be a great way to achieve brand specificity and creative freedom. However, it’s not the right choice for every company, as it can be time-consuming and expensive.

The decision of whether or not to develop your own healthcare imagery ultimately depends on your individual needs and resources. If you have the time and budget to invest in custom imagery, it can be a great way to stand out from the competition and connect with your target audience. However, if you’re on a tight deadline or working with a limited budget, stock imagery and a talented designer may be a better option.

Ultimately, the best way to decide is to weigh the pros and cons of each option and choose the one that best suits your needs.

Still curious? Explore our other articles on healthcare imagery and marketing to continue your learning:

The different types of social media visuals and when to use them

How to come up with fresh, new content ideas

Working with Podymos

Do you want to communicate more effectively with healthcare professionals and patients? Do you want high-quality marketing to support your larger multichannel marketing strategy? You’ve come to the right place.

Podymos is a healthcare marketing agency specialising in downstream Medical Device marketing.

We’re more expensive than non-specialised agencies and freelance teams because we only work in the Medical Device space so we have specialist knowledge and experience that other agencies may not be able to offer you.

If you want high-quality, compliant campaigns that help achieve your business goals, we’d love to hear from you. Simply leave us your contact details below, and we’ll get back to you very soon for a no-obligation chat.

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