One of the biggest developments in AI technology has been the creation of image-generating software. With little more than a text prompt, an AI program can turn a simple description into a vivid piece of artwork. What's even better is that these images can take on a wide variety of qualities, such as photographic realism, comic-book style art, and much more.
While it's fun to play around with these image generators, it's also easy to use the AI photos for marketing purposes. That said, the technology is still relatively limited, so you have to know how to use these programs correctly.
Let's break down how you can use AI imagery in your next marketing campaign.
A Brief Introduction to AI-Generated Imagery
For a long time, digital illustration was solely the realm of graphic designers and artists. However, that's all changed in the last year with the release of image generators like MidJourney. These programs work by sourcing photos and graphics from around the web and turning them into something unique based on a text prompt.
The results can vary greatly from one program to the next. Some generators are excellent at producing photo-realistic images, while others are better for more artistic renderings that may look painted or sketched.
Also, because these generators are creating images based on existing artwork, some prompts may work better than others. If you're looking for something totally unique that has never been drawn or rendered before, you'll likely struggle to find the right image.
Top AI Image Generators
Although there are many options out there, most of them are relatively limited and don't generate high-quality graphics. Our top three picks for AI image generators are:
- MidJourney - You will need a Discord account to access this software, but the basic plan only costs $10 a month, and the images are commercially available. Also, MidJourney is developing rapidly, so new features come out all the time.
- Dall-E 3 - This image generator is part of Chat GPT, or you can use it solo for $20 per month.
- Dream Studio - You need to create a Stability.ai account to use Dream Studio, and it comes with some basic editing features built-in for maximum convenience.
How to Use AI-Generated Imagery in Marketing
It's easy to get lost in an image generator and try tons of different prompts. Some of the results will be far better than you were expecting, while others may look far worse. So, here are some tips and tricks on how to use these programs to boost your marketing content.
Understand Their Limitations
Even though AI software is advancing at a breakneck pace, it's still far from perfect (if it will ever be). One of the primary limitations of these image generators is a lack of coherent text. While you can include specific text to include in the image, the software doesn't always put it in the right place or form the letters correctly.
Additionally, generators like DallE 3 have very specific restrictions on sensitive topics. So, if you want to create more risqué images, you'll have to add some of the details yourself.
Finally, it can be next to impossible to generate nearly identical images from the same prompt. For example, if you wanted to come up with a mascot character, you likely won't be able to use the same character in multiple images. Instead, you have to use the original to create the character separately.
Never Use "Stock" Images
Although some of the imagery coming out of AI programs is stunning, you shouldn't post it "as is." Instead, you always want to add flourishes, such as text, your brand's logo, and other elements that may be necessary (i.e., watermarks or disclaimers).
The other advantage of altering AI images is that you can avoid concerns of plagiarism, and it's much harder for others to copy your content. Basically, adding these flourishes helps make your artwork more original and brand-specific.
Double-Check for Plagiarism
Plagiarism is a big concern for all generative AI programs, not just those that create imagery. So, it's best to double-check your AI artwork to ensure it's not too similar to something else that already exists.
A reverse Google image search allows you to take your photo and see if there's anything identical to it online. While this process isn't exhaustive, it can help you spot any potential issues before posting your content.
Don't Over-Rely on AI Images
While AI artwork can be incredible, it's also severely limited when compared to the human imagination. No matter how good you are at crafting descriptive prompts, the program will likely come up with something different from what you expect. Also, AI artwork is often relatively "static." This means the image doesn't use dynamic elements like focal points, active movement, or contrasting colors.
Instead, it's better to rely on human illustrators and graphic designers when the content of the image really counts. A human can create exactly what you want, down to the position of each element within the photo. In some cases, you can use a human illustrator to punch up an AI piece or add extra components that would be impossible to incorporate otherwise.
Leverage AI and Human Creativity With Us!
AI-generated imagery can go a long way toward helping you create content quickly and efficiently, but it's not a true replacement for a human illustrator or graphic designer. Fortunately, you can get the best of both worlds by working with our marketing firm. We know how to leverage the strengths and weaknesses of AI, so you can get more out of each marketing campaign. Contact us today to get started.