News Video, Video Inspiration, Video Marketing

How to choose the best stock video footage for your next project

By Erik Mathes | Apr 30, 2019


The popularity of video is soaring and only set to grow, so companies need to leverage this powerful medium as much as possible. Looking for a simple way to do so? Stock video footage.

You may cringe at the word “stock,” but times have changed. Savvy content creators know where and how to search for the best stock footage to drive their messages without creating something that looks too…“stocky.” Plus, with over 110 million media assets available in the Wibbitz platform from leading providers like Getty, Storyblocks and Pond5 , finding the perfect piece of stock footage for your video is easier than ever before.

If you want to know how to choose the best stock video footage to ensure your final video products look as sharp, seamless, and on-brand as possible, keep reading ‘cause we’ve got you covered.

1. Optimize your stock video footage search with specific queries and filters

Before you start putting your videos together, you need to find the best stock footage to make your ideas and messages come to life. That’s where having a strong search strategy becomes crucial.

When searching for the best stock footage for your videos, the queries you use to source content can help shorten the process significantly. That’s because the more specific you get with your search terms, the more relevant the results will be.

And since consistency is key when sourcing the best stock footage for impactful, on-brand videos, you’ll be able to stitch together similar clips from the same filmmakers to help your videos feel more cohesive.

Consider using descriptive words in your search queries that highlight your brand’s aesthetic, color palette, or mood. Think search phrases like “man running on beach” when looking for the best stock footage for a fitness video; “burgers cooking on grill” for a video on summer eats (or unhealthy food!); or “romantic beach engagement proposal” for videos promoting a coastal jeweler’s new ring collection. This Tony Robbins video created with Wibbitz showcases just how easy it can be to find stock footage that wraps around your video’s theme while still being engaging.

The more detailed your search, the more likely you’ll find exactly what you’re looking for — fast.

2. Compose your video with a mix of shot styles

The secret sauce for a remarkable video is to splice together a variety of stock footage so that it doesn’t feel boring or redundant.

While viewers love to see people in videos, a good practice is not to show humans in every scene. Instead, diversify your clips with product, landscape, and/or aspirational shots, along with simple color backdrops with text overlay when it makes sense based on your video script.

For example, a lifestyle brand making a video about healthy breakfasts could use stock video footage of a person eating fresh fruit, relevant stats about eating early in the day displayed over a light, airy color, and a picturesque table spread showcasing low-calorie foods.

Another goal when aiming to source the best stock footage for your videos is to find videos from the same creator’s video series that showcase the same thing from at a different angle. Juxtaposing a mix of shot angles will make your videos more interesting and cohesive, and will help cement your brand’s video identity the more you do it.

3. Find the best stock footage for communicating your message

It may sound obvious that the types of stock video footage you choose to source depend largely on your company or brand’s message. But what exactly does that look like?

In a general sense, you want to find stock video footage that matches the subject being discussed and the tone of your business’ communications.

If you’re creating video content about news, politics, or business, you’ll want stock video footage of the people involved, some shots of the setting involved, and some text with quotations or statistics concerning the subject matter.

For example, a video about a breaking news story concerning a new political poll, the best stock footage to use would contain shots of the politicians being discussed, political structures in Washington, D.C. (the settings in which they work), some pulled quotes attributed to certain politicians or reputable sources, and the most important stats from the poll.

Promotional videos, on the other hand, should contain images of the product you’re selling, along with people using the product, and aspirational imagery associated with your product. Consider using stock video footage that uses metaphors and allegories that convey feeling and emotion about the product (or what the product will do for customers/users).

A sunscreen company might collect stock video footage of people laying out on a beach or playing volleyball, a person applying sunscreen, and some stats about UV protection and its benefits displayed over footage of happy people in swimsuits.

In addition to finding stock video footage that relates directly to your subject matter, don’t forget to use symbols and emojis to represent feelings and ideas. Using hearts to showcase love and positivity or a skull and crossbone to signify danger can be some of the best stock footage for making a quick impact on viewers.

4. Use fonts that match your subject matter and brand

The font you use to communicate information when adding text to videos can subliminally give off an impression to your viewers. And since people are likely to watch videos without sound on certain platforms, choosing the text that’s on-brand and on-message from the first frame forward is key.

Script fonts like Pacifico look awesome for lifestyle brands and offer a unique aesthetic appeal. But, since they can be hard to read in large amounts, it’s advised to limit your use of these fonts to titles and headings.

Serif fonts like Merriweather, which contain small lines extending from the edges of letters, have a smart, formal appearance, making them ideal for breaking news, business, or political videos. However, like script fonts, serifs should be limited to titles and headings if possible since they’re more difficult to read in longer blurbs.

Sans-serif fonts like the one you’re reading now are best for long blocks of text overlay of your stock video footage. They’re also ideal for all-caps text, as well as adding a modern look for titles and headings. This US Weekly video takes advantage of a sans-serif font to give it a modern look, all while maintaining consistency with US Weekly branding.

Taking the time to find fonts that best fit your stock video footage and using them consistently will pay immeasurable dividends in your branding efforts.

5. Find the best stock footage for each channel you promote on

People treat video differently depending on where they consume it. That means your content will benefit if you create custom videos for each platform you’re promoting on.

For example, videos on social media get more engagement when they contain more people and less text. This video from iHeartRadio makes sure to keep the text concise and have interesting images to go along with the topic of the video.

On top of that, people are known to have even lower attention spans when it comes to video on social platforms like Instagram compared to videos on YouTube and other dedicated video platforms. So, your Instagram and Facebook videos should be created accordingly, emphasizing humans, only using text when necessary, and generally not exceeding one minute in length.

Also consider sourcing stock video footage that is adaptable to different video sizes for different channels. You may decide to create specific videos cropped in the ideal size for each social platform to optimize UX, and by having the same stock video footage in each version, your brand cohesiveness will stay strong.

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Erik Mathes, Content Marketing Strategist
Erik Mathes

Content Marketing Strategist

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