Easy ways for businesses to use stock content for social media

Using stock content for social media is a great way to streamline your creative processes and help your brand stay competitive in the ever-changing digital landscape. Let’s take a look at how stock media can make your social media content more engaging and eye-catching — and save you time, money, and resources along the way.

Social media platforms are key for connecting with your audience and building your brand — but businesses are struggling to keep up with the amount of social media content required to engage and grow their online communities. Using stock content for social media is a great way to streamline your creative processes and help your brand stay competitive in the ever-changing digital landscape.

Let’s take a look at how stock media can make your social media content more engaging and eye-catching — and save you time, money, and resources along the way.

Why use stock content for social media?

If you’re wondering what stock is, in the simplest of terms, it’s content (images, video, or audio) produced by artists — and anyone can license it for creative use. Stock video, in particular, has become extremely useful for marketers as they search for ways to create and distribute content in an increasingly video-first digital world.

There’s thousands of talented creators out there who specialize in producing ready-to-use and  high-quality content for stock media libraries. In fact, you’d be surprised at how much stock media you consume on social media every day.

If you don’t notice that it’s stock media, that means the brand is doing something right.

Let’s explore some of the benefits of using stock media in your social media efforts:

1. It’s affordable

Video production is expensive (from the equipment to the software). So, it’s not something every company is willing to invest in, especially at the rate needed to keep up with today’s video content demands. If you’re looking for courses on video marketing for business, check out our post on the best options available.

In 2022, 93% of brands say they got new customers due to the videos posted on their social media accounts and more than half of marketers say that video is the type of content with the best ROI. (Hubspot, 2022)

No matter your role, whether you’re a social media manager or a big-time producer, your creative projects will always be constrained by budgets.

Stock media is an affordable tool that can elevate and fill in the creative gaps of your existing social media content. Stock audio, dynamic footage, and animations can give your content that extra level of creativity without a hefty price tag.

2. It’s dynamic and easy-to-use

Once you purchase a clip, it’s yours to use as you like — as long as you partner with the right stock provider. And that one clip can provide a lot of value. Build a library of stock footage that vibes with your brand, and you’ll have the fuel to create a ton of video content with the help of the right video editing tools.

Storyblocks’ Maker for Teams, for example, allows anyone within your organization to create eye-catching videos, even if they’re a video production novice. All while tapping into Storyblocks’ vast stock library of high-quality and diverse media.

In a world that’s constantly expecting fresh, new content, stock media helps you spend less time collecting the assets you need to finish your projects. When you pair that with an intuitive editing software like Maker for Teams, you’ll be able to differentiate your social media from your competitors in no time!

3. It puts a wide variety of high-quality creative assets at your fingertips

Stock media libraries grant you immediate access to thousands of high-quality and ready-to-use creative assets that you don’t have to worry about producing yourself.

In fact, Storyblocks offers more than a million assets in our library. That includes videos, audio clips, imagery, templates, transitions, and more to help you fill in your creative gaps, elevate your videos, and create higher-quality content.

If your team is editing with Adobe Premiere Pro, the new Storyblocks Plugin for Adobe Premiere Pro brings our entire library right into your preferred editing software. So you can stop toggling between programs during your editing process. 

In the past, some brands steered away from using stock in their social media efforts because  stock media had a reputation for being “generic” and “cookie-cutter.” But as the demand for video content has continues to rise, stock media companies are filling their libraries with more dynamic, high-quality, and versatile footage than ever.

4. It improves your content’s authenticity and inclusivity

Inclusive content is no longer considered a “nice to have” for video marketers. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) is an integral component of an effective video content strategy.

According to Facebook Advertising, 64% of audiences in the US, UK, and Brazil said they would like to see more diversity. And Deloitte’s Heat Test Report found that 69% of brands with representation in ads saw an average stock gain of 44%.

Check out the Storyblocks Diversity in Video Report here

More and more stock websites are rapidly diversifying their stock media libraries, and marketers should utilize this type of content into their strategies. It’s clearly the right thing to do from a public purpose standpoint, but studies show that investing in diversity and inclusion initiatives, both internally and externally, is a key growth driver for businesses, too.

Sannchia Gaston’s stock collection for Storyblocks’ Re: Stock initiative

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What can you create on social media with stock media?

The best way to use any visual stock media is to brand it. By “brand it,” we don’t mean slapping a logo on a stock image of a tree or a puppy and uploading it to your company’s Instagram, though.

Instead, be intentional with the stock you use on your social channels. Whether it’s B-Roll for a YouTube video, an overlay on an IG Reel, an ad for your social commerce business, or background audio for a LinkedIn ad, make sure the stock you select feels on-brand for your business. That way it will organically integrate with your content (and it won’t look or sound like stock).

Here are some examples:

Backgrounds and overlays

Video backgrounds and overlays are a great way to give your video a more intentional, on-brand look and feel. In addition, stock backgrounds and overlays save you a bunch of time by eliminating the need to create your own from scratch.

Storyblocks’ Senior Video Production Specialist, Kyle Miller, used Storyblocks overlays to create a Euphoria-inspired video editing tutorial for Instagram.

Social media graphics

You can also use stock media when creating social media graphics — like LinkedIn infographics or YouTube thumbnails. However, rather than posting a stock image as standalone content, try integrating these images into your branded templates.

Pro tip: If you can’t find what you’re looking for in a stock image library, try searching in the stock video library and screengrab a portion of the video to use. (Just make sure you have proper licensing permissions to do so).

Using stock can elevate a social media graphic and illustrate the story you’re
trying to tell.

Video ads

Audience fatigue is real — especially with paid ads. So, it’s important to constantly create and test different ad content on different platforms. That way, your target audiences won’t get sick of seeing the same thing repeatedly. And you get to learn what types of content resonate best on each channel.

With a plethora of creative assets available within a stock library, it’s a lot easier to create new video ads just by making minor edits and swapping new stock media into your existing ones.

There have been times where I needed a quick edit done to a video to test out a different B-Roll clip. Having access to unlimited downloads in the Storyblocks library, plus Maker for Teams, I’ve been able to swap out footage clips quickly, export and have new video creative that’s ready to publish.

For example, take this Colin & Samir ad. The original version was great for desktop viewing, but the stock media chose wasn’t optimal for mobile viewing. I was able to quickly resize it and swap out a different giraffe video from the Storyblocks library for a better mobile viewing experience.

How to find the best stock assets

There are tons of stock websites with varying pricing, licensing rights, and the number of assets available to download.

When you’re selecting the right vendor to partner with, you’ll first want to determine how much stock media you’ll need. Suppose you just need one image or video for a single project — in that case, a pay-per-clip model is probably worth going for. This model is quite limiting, though and it can get expensive fast. Especially if you decide you’d prefer a different clip or need more stock content than you initially estimated.

If you are constantly using stock media in your projects, consider Storyblocks for Business. Your plan will grant you access to unlimited downloads from our entire royalty-free library for your team to use in their creative projects.

Tips for selecting the right stock media partner

  1. Keep your brand in mind — you’ll want to make sure that whichever stock content you choose will integrate seamlessly into your brand’s existing content, including your social media.
  2. Search by tone — define the mood and tone you want your content to convey and find stock media to encapsulate that. You can also utilize stock templates and overlays to achieve a specific look and feel.
  3. Define your storyline first — make sure you have a general idea of the story you are trying to tell, and find stock media that helps elevate and support that.

Ready to get started with stock media?

When you partner with Storyblocks, you’ll gain access to more than one million royalty-free assets, from video footage to templates, music, and photos. And with unlimited downloads, you’ll be able to download new video footage whenever you need it. 150,000+ creators and businesses are using Storyblocks, so what are you waiting for?.

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