With most of us working from home, it becomes increasingly difficult to capture original photos and videos for our business content. Fortunately, this does not mean we have to limit content creation. It just means we may have to go about it in a different way.
Many businesses large and small use stock imagery. Stock imagery consists of photos and videos that can be used for various purposes depending on their licensing. The cost of stock imagery ranges from free to thousands of dollars depending on how that footage will be used and who the seller is.
Stock photos and videos are an efficient and cost-effective way to create high-quality content without the need of hiring a full crew. And with the number of stock photos and videos available, you should have no trouble finding imagery that represents your brand.
Before we dive into stock photo and video resources, let’s go over the pros and cons.
- Unlimited Options: There are thousands of stock photos and videos to choose from online. You have a high probability of finding something that will work for your brand.
- Cost-Effective: Stock photos and videos can be very cost-effective with free and low-cost imagery available.
- High Quality: There are many high-quality stock photos and videos that can visually elevate your brand.
- Time Efficient: Stock photos and videos help you use your valuable time efficiently. The process for selecting stock imagery can take as little as ten minutes from search to download.
- It’s Not Original Content: Arguably the biggest con for stock photos and videos is that it isn’t original content. Stock photos and videos can many times be used multiple times depending on the license. This means you may see some of the photos you use displayed in other content.
- Low Quality: Just as stock photos and videos can be high-quality, they can be low quality as well. Watch out for low-quality images and videos that will negatively impact your brand’s visual aesthetic.
Here are five stock photo and video resources:
Unsplash offers thousands of free high-quality photos. Photos can be downloaded in various file sizes and come in a variety of aesthetic types. Some of Unsplash’s features include saving images to your own collections and an organized menu bar with pre-determined categories for easy searching.
Canva offers a variety of design features ranging from stock photos to branding tools, app recommendations, and templates. Canva’s content ranges in price starting at $1. Canva also offers a limited selection of free photos.
iStock offers one of the largest selections of content with dependable quality and options. Thanks to iStock’s monthly membership, they are a great resource for businesses that frequently use stock imagery. iStock’s content can be purchased individually or as part of a membership plan.
Shutterstock is similar to iStock in its offerings and library size. Shutterstock boasts unlimited high-quality options which include access to stock music. Shutterstock offers a monthly membership plan for active stock imagery users. Content can also be purchased individually without a membership.
Pond5 is most well-known for its large selection of stock videos and music. Pond5 also carries high-quality photos and illustrations. Pond5 offers three types of accounts: the Free Account, the Pond5 Membership, and the Creative Solutions account. Sign up with a free account to purchase content individually, or sign up for one of the membership accounts if you are planning to purchase a large amount of content often.
Quick Tip: If you want to create a brand video using stock footage, check out Fiverr.com. Fiverr is one of the largest freelance marketplaces online and offers access to low-cost high-quality designers. There are many designers on Fiverr who already have a large library of stock footage available. Working with a designer on Fiverr means you only have to pay for the design, not the footage.