Why It's Okay to Use Stock Footage in Your Video Content Strategy
Creating high-quality video content is essential for any successful content strategy, but it can only be challenging with access to a vast library of resources. One of the most useful tools for content creators is stock footage, which provides a cost-effective and efficient way to enhance your video production.
While some people may view stock footage as a shortcut or a less authentic way to create content, it can be an incredibly useful resource for many projects. This article will explore why it's okay to use stock footage in your video content strategy and how it can benefit your brand.
Why some people might hesitate to use stock footage
There are a few reasons why some people hesitate to use stock footage in their video content strategy.
Some people may worry that using stock footage will make their content look generic or unoriginal, as many other creators may use the same footage. Using stock footage may not allow them to create unique content for their brand or message.
Some people may be concerned about the stock footage's quality. They may worry that it may not fit well with their own footage or that it might not meet their standards in terms of resolution, lighting, or composition.
Some people may feel that using stock footage is a lazy shortcut and that it doesn't allow them to showcase their own skills as video producers. They may believe that using stock footage goes against the creative process and needs a personal touch that can make a video more engaging.
Finally, some people may have ethical concerns about using stock footage, such as whether the footage is legally obtained, whether it represents the right message, or whether it may be culturally insensitive.
While these concerns are understandable, they don't necessarily mean using stock footage is bad. In fact, there are many benefits to using stock footage that can outweigh these concerns.
What is stock footage?
Stock footage, also known as stock video or b-roll, is a piece of visuals, a clip or shot (often less than one minute, but there are exceptions), that is incorporated in larger video production and was not produced particularly for that project.
These clips might be outtakes from previous productions or archive footage. Yet, an increasing number of people are generating shots solely to sell the rights to other artists for inclusion in larger projects.
These videographers shoot footage with a more basic perspective, shots that might be used in various themes and styles, and then license the clips for usage in larger projects. That's stock footage.
Even movies use stock footage!
During a recent interview with Filmmaker Magazine, Peter Deming, the cinematographer for The Menu (2022), disclosed that the close-up of the main character’s face at the beginning of the film was not original footage from the Sony VENICE camera they used… it was stock footage.
The original shot captured by Deming and his team was complex and difficult to obtain. It depicted a 45-degree downward angle shot of a pier with fish oil around it, along with the reflection of people in the water. However, it did not make it to the final cut, as Deming speculates that it may have been off-putting or unpleasant for test screenings.
Deming admits to having concerns about the stock footage used in the film's opening shot, but he also acknowledges that, thematically, it was an ideal way to start the movie. He believes that the technical issues with the footage are not noticeable to the average viewer, and even he did not spot them until the color correction phase.
The use of stock footage is a common practice in the film industry, as it is inexpensive, convenient, and can save time and resources for filmmakers.
Rather than viewing it as a shortcut or a dishonest approach to filmmaking, it should be seen as a valuable resource for filmmakers with limited budgets and tight schedules. Stock footage can provide a safety net for filmmakers, allowing them to focus on more significant aspects of their films.
Why it's okay for you to use stock footage
Creating high-quality video content can be expensive, especially for small businesses and startups with limited budgets. Using stock footage can be a cost-effective way to enhance the quality of your videos without breaking the bank. Stock footage is often priced affordably and readily available from various sources.
Producing original video content from scratch can be time-consuming and may require specialized equipment or expertise. By using stock footage, small businesses, and startups can save time and focus on other areas of their business, such as marketing, product development, or customer service.
Stock footage libraries offer a vast selection of footage from various categories, such as travel, lifestyle, business, and technology. Small companies and startups can add diversity to their video content without creating everything from scratch.
Stock footage is often shot by professional filmmakers and videographers, meaning that the footage is high quality and can look just as good as the original footage. This helps small businesses and startups to produce professional-looking video content that can compete with larger businesses.
Stock footage can be used in various ways, from background visuals to b-roll footage to establishing shots. This versatility allows small businesses and startups to create dynamic, engaging videos that can help them stand out in a crowded marketplace.
Great stock footage libraries
Pexels is a popular free stock footage library that offers a wide range of high-quality videos that are licensed under the Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license, which means they can be used for personal and commercial purposes without attribution. Pexels has a user-friendly interface that makes it easy to search for and download footage, and their library is constantly expanding with new content.
Videvo is another free stock footage library that offers a vast collection of footage, motion graphics, and audio tracks. Videvo has a mix of CC0, and Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) licensed footage, which means that some of the footage requires attribution. The library is easy to navigate, and you can filter your search results by resolution, frame rate, and duration.
Shutterstock is a well-known stock footage library that offers millions of high-quality video clips, images, and music tracks. Their library is one of the largest in the industry, and professional videographers and filmmakers shoot their footage. Shutterstock offers a subscription-based model that allows users to download a set number of footage clips per month or purchase individual clips as needed.
Adobe Stock is a stock footage library that is integrated with the Adobe Creative Suite, making it easy for users to search, preview, and license footage directly from their favorite Adobe applications. Adobe Stock offers a vast collection of high-quality footage, including 4K and HD footage, motion graphics, and templates. Adobe Stock offers both subscription and on-demand pricing models, depending on your usage needs.
Using stock footage is a great way to enhance your video content strategy, regardless of the size of your business. With a wide variety of stock footage libraries available, it's easy to find the right footage for your needs, whether you're looking for travel, lifestyle, or business footage.
Still want original footage?
We understand that some brands might hold convictions against using stock footage but still want an easy way to produce high-quality video content. Look no further than Videohaus, which provides services from pre-production all the way to post-production, in addition to video strategizing and optimizing!
Book your studio space now, or get in touch to learn more about our video packages!