Facebook is prioritising video content in the NewsFeed, video ads are cheaper than many other formats, social videos engage consumers and social media audiences and your video product reviews and demos are your most effective marketing tools. In this day and age, we need videos to communicate, engage, persuade, entertain, and build trust. And when you need videos, you need royalty-free footage…
If you’re not yet familiar with the websites selling royalty-free video, this article is for you. It’s a little map to guide you from one video content provider to another, allowing you to make the best choices for your brand, your business, your budget.
So, let’s start with the big ones:
I didn’t necessarily want to start with Shutterstock, but since it’s the largest stock photography and video database in the world, I thought I had to write down their name first. They host 9.5 million videos you can buy in various formats so there’s basically nothing that you cannot find on their website. If you don’t want to use multiple websites for your video needs, Shutterstock is your best bet for finding all the content you want under one (virtual) roof.
#2 Adobe Stock
Adobe takes great pride in their curated collections and I have to give it to them – they do host some good royalty-free footage on their website. They’re also among the few that try to promote individual contributors, which is important if you like an artist’s style and you want to buy more of the footage they create because it aligns beautifully with your visual identity.
Istock has over 160,000 contributors from all around the world and thanks to the fact that they actively build a collection of bold and expressive creations that can only be purchased from their website, many marketers like you and I stop there for a quick search every time they want to create a special video.
#4 Video Blocks
Video Blocks has a quite interesting business model. When you get a membership you get access to a Member Library but also to their Marketplace. What that means is that if you don’t find what you need in the Library, you can always take a look in the Marketplace and buy what your project needs to be truly amazing.
They’re also one of the biggest stock footage websites with almost 6 million clips for you to choose from.
Well, Bigstock is not playing around. They want you to know you’re in the presence of a stock photo giant. They have over 61 million pieces of content on their website, and a good chunk of those are royalty-free videos.
Pond5 have one of the largest royalty-free video databases in the world, with over 8 million clips. And they’re not bad ones. They’re HD or 4K or even 360 degrees videos.
A really cool thing that I’ve always appreciated about their website is that they have many categories, that are very well assembled. For example, they have a GoPro category filled with almost 50,000 individual videos, and another one for green screen videos. Basically, you can just have a fairly general idea about what you’d like to include in your video marketing clip and then just browse a category, find the clips that have the potential to help you tell an engaging story and work on your script with them in mind.
Dissolve is the place where you’ll find exceptional footage. If you’re working on something like a commercial for television or a TV show or a documentary, anything more complex than the average web video, Dissolve is your best shot at finding amazing clips to integrate into your project.
Dreamstime is another giant. It’s the second largest stock photography website in the world, and although its stock video database isn’t as epic as the photography one, there are amazing gems waiting to be discovered by a curious and creative marketer like you. One little thing that bugs me a bit about Dreamstime is that they’re very proud of their search functionalities but sometimes they don’t work that great, so you’d have to equip yourself with some patience when searching for the perfect footage for your video marketing content.
123RF works with over 300,000 creative asset creators from all around the world, so it’s no surprise they host over 95 million creative works – photos, videos, sounds, motion graphics. Their clients include Apple, Amazon, Google, and Microsoft. To buy stock videos you’ll have to initially buy credits – which is a fairly standard practice – but they’re valid for a year, which is an advantage.
Now, let’s look at the worthy mentions and a few specialised websites.
#10 Video Hive (Envato Market)
If you’ve ever searched for a WP theme online, you’ve probably heard the name ‘Envato Market’ before. Well, they now include Video Hive – one of the Internet’s favourite stock video websites. What you’ll find there? Well… lots of good things – almost 600,000 of them. Their marketplace is packed with royalty-free video footage and video effects and templates that will save you time and money, as many of them are actually designed to be used by marketers.
#11 Pro Video Factory
Pro Video Factory also offers royalty free licences for over 150,000 short videos. This is where you have a good shot at finding footage from hundreds of cities from all over the world, from Atlanta to Salzburg. Their content categories are also very generous – lifestyle, business, timelapse, medical, sports, travel, aerial, etc.
#12 Motion Elements
Motion Elements is an important name amongst video creators and editors based in Asia, but the company offers worldwide stock videos available in full HD & 4K resolutions. And that’s not all, you can also use Motion Elements when you need to buy 3D models, After Effects or Apple Motion templates.
What’s cool about Stockocity is that they offer customers lifetime access to their royalty-free stock videos. You pay for your membership once and you can use the stock footage anytime you need it. Just type in what you need in the search box and use the videos that match your needs.
Listen, Helifilm won’t be your first or second or even third choice for a royalty-free stock video provider because their videos are on the pricey side, but you’ll be happy you found this company on this list. Their footage is breathtaking, beautiful, outstanding from a technical point. They offer high-quality aerial footage, and even if they’ve shot their clips in Scandinavia, there are many videos you can use in your video marketing that can help you position your high-end brand or engage your high-ticket clients.
As you probably know by now, stock footage is not all you need for engaging and effective videos, you also need graphics and templates and video effects and this is where Rocketstock comes into play. They offer the video elements and After Effects Templates to take your videos to the next level.
There’s no reason to be embarrassed by the fact that you might not fully understand the terms they use to describe the products they’re selling, few people who aren’t videographers do, but check out the demos – you’ll quickly figure out what effects you like and how you could use the to improve your videos.
Stepping into the world of video marketing for the first time can be a bit intimidating but if you’re clear on what sort of footage you need for your video marketing needs and you identify the perfect royalty-free stock video provider, you can become a video marketing superstar in no time.
Please take the time to let me know which are your top 3 favourite royalty-free video websites.
Why did you choose those 3? I’ll be keeping an eye on the comments section to see your thoughts on this.