Be honest. How many YouTube videos of cats have you watched this week? And, when was the last time you actually read instructions for putting together something from IKEA? Hilarious animals and flat-packed furniture aside, audiences respond well to easy-to-digest video formats.
Video marketing has become a sure-fire way to expand reach and engagement, as websites with embedded video are 53 times more likely to show up on page one of Google. YouTube has become the second largest search engine on the net, and collectively banks up around one billion hours of watched content per day.
While it’s always better to shoot your own pictures and footage, or hire a specialist to do it for you, stock images and stock videos can help any filmmaking novice start creating brand content. Here are seven free stock video sites that you need to know about right now.
Pexel Videos, sister site to Pexels, is a free high definition video source. The videos are licensed under the Creative Commons Zero (CC0), and are free to use commercially. You can search videos by category such as technology, timelapse, festive seasons or animals. Need footage of a sheep dog herding cattle for your rural sector video urgently? Fear not! Pexel Videos has got you, friend.
We like to think this is what the gates of heaven look like. (“Dogs Playing” video courtesy of Pexel Videos.)
Videvo is a simple and hassle-free way to download free stock footage for your next commercial video. The platform hosts around 8000 free stock footage and motion graphic clips that don’t need crediting, as well as music and sound effects upon subscribing to Videvo Plus or Videvo Pro.
Video and music are added daily to the Videvo platform, so you needn’t worry about reusing the same content over and over again. The platform also encourages you to upload your own footage to their archives, giving you the decision on how your content is licensed and if your property is credited by users. It also helps others with their own creative projects, too. It’s a great way to practice your video content skills and get your name and artistic work out there if you wish. We say go for it, it is the season for giving after all.
Videezy is a creative community of footage derived from Eezy, both paid and free, that is contributed to by artists all around the world, including After Effects templates, aerial shots, and abstract imagery. The platform hosts a range of licenses such as Standard, Pro, Creative Commons, and Editorial, as well as a range of resolutions from SD all the way to 4K and Ultra HD.
If you’re in the market for artistic slow-motions of forests, extreme close-up shots of dragonflies, or even Alphabetti Spaghetti having a party on a speaker –– Videezy offers you a range of footage styles and inspiration to take your project to the next level.
Don’t forget to get involved in the Videezy discussion online, where you can interact and find answers from like-minded filmmakers.
If your content is a little lacking, then Coverr has got you covered. Coverr is a free stock video site that focuses on quality video production that will introduce or wrap-up your video perfectly. The creators of Coverr believe in creating and sharing quality videos to the public that help small businesses create their vision, and filmmakers and film students work with great businesses that will continue to get their names out there.
Coverr is simple and user-centric, with easy to navigate categories including new content that’s added weekly, so you’ll never have to reuse the same video.
Mazwai is a contemporary and atmospheric platform that’ll take your videos to a whole new world. The site works under the Creative Commons 3.0 Attribution license and requires permission from the author to be posted onto the Mazwai platform.
Think thundering clouds rolling in over a field, misty waves breaking in the afternoon sun and a glittering night sky filled with thousands of stars. Mazwai footage will add an element of artistry to your content that leaves your viewers mesmerised.
This humble stock video site serves content that complements simple video content creation. The variety isn’t huge, but it’s just enough to find that one piece that will fit perfectly into your next content video.
Themed videos around education, people, architecture and buildings should be just enough to polish off your commercial project. The stock videos are free, and you don’t need to attribute the artist.
There’s nothing like a good GIF – am I right? Giphy is our go-to source for quality movie scenes, funny cats (they’re back!), and viral memes.
Although this “video” platform doesn’t technically count as stock video, it’s still a useful tool to jazz up any video, animation, or blog.
The site is community generated, so if you fancy yourself a bit of a GIF-making extraordinaire, upload your GIF to Giphy and watch it go viral.
Paid Stock Videos
With great payment, comes great exclusivity – so these platforms host stock videos that you can’t find anywhere else, and have been used by the likes of MTV, National Geographic and the Discovery Channel.
The content ranges from cinematic videos to ambient clips that’ll provide impact without words. These sites work on pay-by-video and subscription terms, so if you’re considering using them, make sure you have your pennies ready to go.
Side note win: If you’re working for a not for profit, you can apply for free footage through the Dissolve site.
How did we do?
These stock video sites are a community of creators and artists hoping to share their best work with the world. And whilst there are many opportunities to snag a free stock video win, we always recommend crediting the work of the author as a little way to say “thank you” for their content awesomeness.
If stock videos don’t make the cut for you, and you’d like to create your own footage, we’d love to hear from you. LEP Digital are experts in beautifully crafted content, both in the art of word and video. Whether you need an animated explainer video, a high-definition how-to, a testimonial or perfectly framed product shots, we’d love to speak to you and share our showreel.
If we’ve missed any sites that would make Spielberg himself squeal with glee, please leave the link in the comment section below.