How to boost video marketing with stock footage.

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You’re a budget-conscious business with little or no footage pertaining to the subject you want to talk about. How do you motivate stakeholders to do what you want in a way that is genuine, visual and inspiring? Roll out the stock footage.

It may be an approach you haven’t yet considered, but one we used recently with a client just starting out on their video marketing journey. There was no time or budget for shooting new content and they needed to motivate viewers to take action quickly.

Rather than scrabbling to recycle what limited B-roll footage they had, we took an unconventional approach: weaving random stock footage together to create a video that the community hadn’t seen before.

And most importantly it worked: driving traffic to their website in a flurry they hadn’t witnessed before.

Whether you’re a business owner or marketer, you don’t have to film everything from scratch to get your brand noticed. And nor do you have to rely on live action footage specifically of or about your brand, product or service to attract attention and drive leads.

Sure, creating video from scratch is preferable, but sometimes time and budgets mean it’s just not possible. Or limited footage has had eyeballs time and time again and is stale. Instead, you can buy pre-made imagery and footage from stock libraries and edit them to create a bespoke video with your desired message.

So if this tickles you’re fancy, here are some elements to consider:


Thinking “outside the box” creatively to source pre-made stock or library footage can create highly visual and quirky campaigns to promote your brand. Look at the video as a way to invoke emotion, to build connection, to inspire or motivate. Using innovative search terms and spending the time to scroll down lists and not just grab the first thing you find, can yield great results.


Sure there IS a load of cheesy content out there in stock video land, but largely the quality is of a high standard. And who doesn’t need a bit of cheese occasionally – this off-the-cuff, tongue-in-cheek footage can strike a cord, grab attention and add humour to your message


Sometimes you may want to give the same message but to multiple different audience segments. Stock footage can provide opportunity to create multiple versions of videos efficiently.


A strong editor should take your preferred stock footage, add motion graphics and music (or even some original client footage) and transform it all into amazing videos that tell story, deliver emotion and build a buzz. Heck you might even go viral. Either way, using stock footage can make it look like a business is batting way above its’ video pay grade.


Don’t be embarrassed about using stock. Between you and us, more and more marketers are using stock visuals, both stills and footage as part of their content strategies. A stat from Venngage claims 40% of marketing teams said they use stock images for their content marketing)


Take advantage of stock media trends and search terms can also give you clues to what audiences are looking for. What is trending? Using these insights means you can strengthen your video strategy and ideas and create videos audiences want.


Using stock footage is particularly powerful for cause- related campaigns by using empathy and emotion to bringing a sense of empathy to campaigns. And stock media searches have skyrocketed for these themes. Shutterstock, for example, reported a 660% and a 540% rise in searches for stock media related to “International Women’s Day” and “activism,” respectively.


Yes in spite of the fact the footage was not specifically created by your business, using stock footage can actually help make your business more relatable and real. Real footage as opposed to filtered, curated, marketing-type content can help you earnestly connect with your audience.


Using stock libraries can yield high quality, quirky and often comedic footage, the likes of which would cost a fortune to create from scratch. It’s an easy way to breathe life into your brand’s personality and boost your profile beyond the usual corporate nature. Try and out different videos, footage and styles, have fun and play around and if it doesn’t work, re-edit and try again. Or go back to the drawing board, there’s still thousands of clips you haven’t discovered yet!


We regularly hark on about how businesses should become You Tubers. Not only are viewers actively seeking out through search content that helps them make, do, practice and succeed but they’re more likely to engage with longer form content on the platform than elsewhere. Plus it’s home to far more than music videos and inane Gen Zers showing off their blessed lives. So if this is content that works for your audience and you’re lacking of footage to use, head to a stock footage site to access footage that you can use to demonstrate what – and what not – to do in your How to video.


Where can you find footage?

There are plenty of sites available to download footage and whilst some re free or offer free downloads, the choice is limited. For quality and diversity you should expect to pay. Someone has gone to the effort to shoot the footage, catalogue and upload so deserves payment, but it will be at a far lower cost than commissioning a shoot yourself.

Luckily most sites enable you to try before you buy, meaning you can download a low resolution or watermarked preview file to use in your edit before final sign off.

When you know what you want to buy, most sites charge a fee per clip, with the amount dependent on the quality or file format, eg HD vs 4K or widescreen vs 4 x 3, so be sure to compare like to like. Many also offer bundles, bringing down the-per unit cost.

Because of the volume of footage we use for clients, we prefer an annual subscription-based service. Videoblocks is our favourite, but there’s a whole heap of places to check out.

  • Shutterstock
  • iStock
  • Videblocks
  • Vimeo
  • Pixabay
  • Pexels
  • Pond 5
  • Adobe Stock
  • Envato
  • Dissolve

Where ever you get your stock footage from, you’ll find that with a clear message, quality graphics and tip top editing, you’ll be able to easily and affordably create professional video, that delivers emotion, is memorable and helps you earnestly connect with your potential clients or customers.

So what are you waiting for…

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