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Unpopular Opinion: Your Videos May Need Stock Footage—Here’s Why

9 Min Read

Stock footage, also known as stock video, is comprised of short video clips that were specifically created by filmmakers for general use. Stock footage helps to enhance any video production in a time- and cost-saving manner. It also provides filmmakers access to shots they are unable to capture themselves, whether it’s a shot of an iconic building halfway around the world or footage from an important event in history.

 Stock footage has a bad reputation, but it can actually be highly useful for video projects. People often think that stock footage is poorly filmed and only added in as a last resort. In reality, however, there are many benefits to using stock footage, especially when it comes to video marketing.

With video marketing, you have about seven seconds to connect with your audience successfully. The pressure to engage quickly is even more intense for small or medium-sized businesses, as they don’t have as many resources. Stock footage provides access to high-quality video clips and reduces overall cost, making it a great option even for large-scale video marketing campaigns.

Here are the top reasons why you might want to use stock footage in your next video production.

Stock Footage Enhances Your Storytelling

Stock footage helps you tell your story and increases engagement with your audience. One of the major uses of stock footage is to include a clip showcasing what the narrator or interviewee in your video is speaking about. This enhances your story and visually supports the narrative.

For example, your narrator may be talking about Paris. You can insert stock footage of the Eiffel Tower at the moment they mention Paris. Another common example is to show melting ice caps as the narrator talks about global warming. The visual impact of stock footage enhances your audience’s experience of the video overall.

Stock footage also helps fill in any gaps that may be in your video. It can be challenging to bridge scenes, and you may find that you don’t have any footage that helps the story flow. Stock video clips are especially helpful in transitioning between scenes.

Stock Video Provides Access to Niche Footage

Stock footage provides a wide range of impactful shots that you may not have the capability to film yourself. From snow-capped peaks to historical materials, stock footage is a great solution for clips that are difficult for you to obtain otherwise.

A similar benefit to stock footage is that filmmakers can access clips from all around the world. You can purchase clips of the Taj Mahal, for example, without actually having to travel to the Taj Mahal. Or, if you need snow in one of your shots but don’t live in a place where it snows, stock footage makes it easy for you to include snow in your video. You can even download stock videos of wildlife or unique animals that may be dangerous or difficult to film in person.

Stock footage also importantly provides access to historical videos of past events. Examples of historical stock footage you can download include presidential speeches, major events, and war footage. This adds to the value of your video production and saves you from having to recreate the event with CGI or actors. 

Stock Footage Lowers Production Costs

By using stock footage, you don’t have to go on location to get a specific shot. Although shooting on location can have amazing results, it is expensive and requires a lot of planning. You’d have to transport your cast and crew and ensure you secure all required permits. On top of this, shooting on location is usually very limited as you’ll only have a certain amount of time to shoot.

In many cases, it is much cheaper to purchase a stock video clip than film on location. Stock video is especially cost-beneficial if you use royalty-free clips because a royalty-free license means that you pay a one-time fee for unlimited usage. Stock footage is typically available as either royalty-free or rights-managed.

Since stock footage is generic, you can also use it more than once. This means that you can feature the same royalty-free clip in multiple video marketing campaigns without having to budget for the clip over and over again. Suppose a specific shot is important to your overall business and showcases the core of your products or services. In this case, stock footage is a great option for securing that all-important shot so you can feature it multiple times.

Stock Footage Saves Time

One of the main benefits of using stock footage is that it’s a big time-saver. As long as you know what type of shot you need, finding the perfect footage and downloading it into your video production is quick and easy. Typically, footage can be purchased and downloaded immediately, so you don’t have to wait very long.

Whether you’re running behind on your shooting schedule or a hard deadline is coming up, stock footage enables you to get that perfect shot and deliver your project on time. Then you can focus on other things such as the post-production process, so you have plenty of time to successfully bring the entire project together.

It can also be a life-saver if you realize you didn’t quite get the right shot during production day. Rather than having to figure out how to re-do the scene to get the perfect footage, you can replace the intended clip with stock footage for a low-cost, last-minute change that keeps your production on track.

Stock Footage Can Be Very High Quality

Last but not least, you may think stock footage is all unprofessional or cheesy looking, but there’s a ton of stock footage on the market today that’s completely professional and high-quality. In many cases, real filmmaking professionals create stock video clips that they then offer on footage sites, which are available in two types of resolution: 2K or 4K. These clips can be inserted seamlessly into various video productions and feature stable, well-lit, and well-composed shots.

You can also match stock footage to the resolution of your video production. For example, suppose you need a lower resolution so the footage matches the rest of your video. In that case you’ll usually have the option to downsize the clip’s resolution. Whatever your needs, you’ll be able to find stock footage that’s perfect for your project.

Conclusion

Not only does stock footage provide you with a wide variety of options for your video marketing projects, but it also provides a variety of benefits. With stock footage, you’ll be able to quickly find and download those perfect shots that fit in seamlessly with the rest of your video—including the shots that are otherwise difficult to obtain. Using stock footage can save time and help you stay on budget as you produce a professional video project.

If you still have a personal vendetta against stock footage, hopefully this article helped change your mind. Next time you have the opportunity to incorporate stock clips in your final video, you might rethink your position.

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