Protect your brand from online pickpockets

You’re a product manufacturer – picture the following scenario. A start-up in your industry commissions a web designer to build them a website…

The web designer thinks:

I could do with a few images

They head over to Google and search: ‘your product

Ah, they look nice – I’ll use them

I can’t tell you how many times I have seen this scenario over the last ten years. Images stolen from a manufacturer’s website to promote product sales by another manufacturer.

Yes – Unbelievable Jeff.

How to take back control of your brand

If you work for a small to medium sized business (SME), chances are you have a varied job role (an understatement for most of us!)

We don’t have time to spend hours trawling the web looking for these online pickpockets. (I have tried this before – even though it’s easier now than 5 or 6 years ago – it’s still a shitty job!)

So, I wanted to share a super tool to help other Brand Managers save precious time and take back control of their brand.

Allow me to introduce Image Raider.

This gem of a tool searches the web for your images on a regular basis and requires little effort to set up.

If Image Raider finds new domains hosting your images you’ll receive an Email alert direct to your inbox.

Set up Image Raider for your business in 6 steps

Let’s not jump too far ahead. Here are 6 simple steps to setting up Image Raider for your business.

1. Head over to Image Raider and Register an account

Image Raider - Register Account

Your password will be send via Email shortly after this.

2. Login and discover 300 free credits to get you started

NOTE: Image Raider works on a credit system. Each image search is 1 credit so, if you add 50 images and check these once a month, that’s 50 credits per month.

Credits are super cheap to buy E.G. 2,000 credits for £10 – with 50 images this will last you over three years!

3. Click Add Images

Image Raider - Add Images

Depending on the size of your product portfolio, your next choice may differ to mine here.

I prefer to add images to Image Raider via the Image URL option. This gives you total control over the images included in the search.

4. Select Image URLS – then, On-going Monitoring

Now complete the fields on this next page, here’s an example.

Image Raider - Add Images by URL

TIP: To find the image URL, right-click on an image on your website and choose the option ‘Copy Link Location’ or similar. This option may vary depending on your browser choice.

Paste image URLs on individual lines as per the example above.

Give your project a Name, and set the check frequency to Monthly.

Hit Add List

5. Double-check your selection on the next screen

If all looks good – Add Selected Images to Account

Image Raider - Review your images

6. Last thing before sticking the kettle on…

Set your Emails to Monthly Digest as highlighted below. Then click Set.

Image Raider - Email Frequency

Pickpockets or potential partners?

Now Image Raider will do it’s thing and Email you if it finds new domains using your images.

Image Raider - Email Results

Here’s a sample result from the three images I set to track in this example.

Image Raider - Results

Of course, most of these domains will be OK. You may have given permission to use the images or added them yourself to a product directory for example.

TIP: Not all stolen images will be competitors. Bloggers or news sites may have swiped your product imagery. Think about this a little differently. Could you highlight what they have done but say – OK, how’s about crediting us for the image and providing a link back to our website?

How to deal with online pickpockets

A strongly worded Email / letter usually does the trick. I would recommend doing everything in writing from the word go in case you need to escalate the case further down the line.

There have been cases where I’ve had to use a Trade Mark Attorney to add weight and expertise to a case. I can recommend a specialist should your business need to take this route – drop me an Email.

More often than not though your Email / letter will be enough to get the images removed. Business owners usually don’t realise (or turn a blind eye to) what the web designer has done. Most will cooperate when asked to remove the images.

So, what are you waiting for? Protect your images with Image Raider and take back control of your brand.

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