Online Marketing, Licensing & Distribution
Everyone said it wouldn’t work, starting a narrow niche stock media licensing company in 2008 during the historic global economic crash.
That’s what I did, and it works.
Being the founder of izmostock was a great journey. From 2009-2012 I learned a tremendous amount about online marketing and selling RM (rights managed) imagery, as a Stock Media Director. In a down economy I took an unknown stock agency from zero to almost seven figures. This was achieved with organic search only–no PPC or paid advertising anywhere. Search marketing is an amazingly powerful tool for content producers.
Around the beginning of 2008 I pitched the business idea of building a stock agency to sell the automotive media assets produced from izmostudios, the parent company already licensing to car dealers and automotive portals like Yahoo. I was confident from my research that a much broader international market ready to license car photos was there.
Most of 2008 was spent building a new post-production line in Bangalore (Bengaluru), home of the parent company Logix Microsystems, and refining the business model. The existing media assets the company was producing were low web quality and too small. I assembled a team of digital artists in Bangalore to start post-production on 5,000 pixel images of all makes and models. This team of fine people was amazingly talented and dedicated. They were also just a bit crazy to believe in my idea.
I’m glad they did, though, and hope they are too. In three short years we surpassed the competition with one transportation stock photo agency giving up and the other completely overhauling their business model and tag lines to mimic ours.
By late 2009 our QA was on target and we reached a couple thousand images. This was no easy task at 5,000 pixels wide with pictures of cars. If you have ever retouched shiny reflective products you can appreciate the amount of work this kind of high quality post-production takes. But that’s the catch with stock photography production.
The final digital images had to look good in both a PowerPoint presentation and on a 30-foot wide trade show graphic. So, with confidence in our production QA, the website was launched and the next phase of online marketing work began.
By the first quarter of 2010 I had first placement on Google, Bing, and Yahoo for the highest volume search terms in automotive photography. Then the phone started ringing and inquiry emails became regular. I licensed imagery in 18 countries at all hours of the day and night. In 2011-2012 I was receiving inquiries and closing several deals with the likes of Hertz, Priceline, Google, MSN, Continental, Yakima, and many more.
As of mid December 2012, I’m no longer working on izmostock. However, I do remain an image-maker and supplier to the best agencies in the world.
My focus now is on motion control video footage and multimedia production.