How to Create the Perfect Marketing Video with Stock Video

Video has consistently delivered high returns on investment. Here’s a step by step guide to creating the perfect video for your next campaign. 

Table of Contents

Why Use Video?Know your audienceChoose a type of video based on goalsMatch visuals to the right emotionsPutting it together in a video creation tool

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Why use video?

Video continues to effectively deliver business results. Research shows that a page with videos can generate 66% more qualified leads per year, drive a 54% increase in brand awareness, and including video on a page makes it 53X more likely to reach the front page of Google.

Moreover, stock footage can facilitate the video creation process so marketers, creatives, and brands can launch video campaigns faster with a wide variety of high-quality content.

In fact,, a video marketing platform that helps users create engaging videos and ads in minutes and a Shutterstock partner, shares:

77% of all ready-to-use (rendered) videos contained stock videosStock visual assets were used 78,6000 times in 30 days by users

To help you reap the benefits of video marketing, and Shutterstock joined forces to put together this guide for using creating the perfect marketing video with stock footage. 

Know your audience

Understand who your audience is based on persona profiles  and marketing analytics software for demographic and segmentation support

Getting baseline insights on an audience’s demographics, lifestyle, hobbies, and preferences help businesses understand their motivations. It also helps with searching for specific clips that reflect your audience to create deeper emotional resonance. 

Choose a type of video based on goals

Once you know who you’re speaking to, you need to define what exactly you’d like them to learn, feel, or do. Below, we matched different video types based on the goals for the three different stages in the marketing funnel.

Match visuals to the right emotions

Copyright holder: Machine Elf 1735. Copyright terms and license: Public Domain.

Video is a great way telling a story in a short amount of time. Part of its effectiveness is because videos can quickly tap into emotions by presenting a dynamic capture of a moment in time.

When you combine emotions in videos, you’re using a highly effective storytelling medium to relate to your audience on an emotional level to make a strong impression and guide them to take action.

How to pick the right emotion for your video

There are many emotions on the spectrum that you can evoke to make your video resonate with your audience. It’s important to select one that supports your goals and carry it throughout your video to stay consistent.

Below are some suggestions for powerful emotions along with some keyword suggestions and examples to help you refine your search. 

Happiness: happiness encourages sharing and is a good choice for campaigns that seek to raise awareness and drive engagement.

Some ways you can capture a sense of joy through visual representations is by looking for clips that capture laughing people, open spaces, and freedom of movement.

By fizkesBy risteski goceBy Jacob Lund

Sadness: this emotion taps into our empathy and is commonly used for social awareness campaigns for humanitarian causes or to build a sense of community through hardship.

Representing sadness can be done with dark tones, solitary figures, shadows, and empty spaces that are normally filled with life.

By Media Whalestock.By Sasin Paraksa.By DenisNata.

Inspiration and Passion – Inspiration and passion create a desire for belonging and a sense of awe which makes it a popular choice for launch announcements and brand awareness campaigns.

You can create a sense of awe by showing people overcoming difficult situations like climbing a mountain or reaching a professional milestone. Or you can use panoramic views that show off the grandeur of nature.

By maxim ibragimovBy FlashMovieBy imtmphoto

Surprise/fear: the shock factor of surprise and fear creates a sense of urgency that can be very effective for motivating your audience to quickly change their thinking or behavior.

It’s a good idea to exercise caution here to avoid being inflammatory or insensitive. A good way to tone down the intensity is to relieve the viewer’s surprise or fear by positioning your brand or product as the solution that can take away their discomfort. 

Videos with color explosions and showing shocking scenes like a forest on fire can be used to invoke surprise and fear. Alternatively, you can neutralize the fear and surprise with a surprised animal instead of a person.

By HefrBy apiguideBy correct pictures

Adventure and Curiosity – inspires people to get out into the world, a sense of exploration, and curiosity (creates a cliff-hanger effect that encourages content consumption and click-throughs to resolve curiosity).

For this purpose, video clips of people engaging in any “extreme” sports like surfing, mountain biking, or scuba diving is is very effective. Additionally, you can choose a video clip with someone exploring a new city or show a clip that captures someone experiencing a sense of wonder.

By FlystockBy Gonchar EvgenyBy Evgenyrychko

Comfort and Nostalgia: This set of complementary emotions is soothing to watch and gives people a moment of reflection during their busy day. Comforting clips are good for keeping people’s attention because it creates a pleasant state of mind. 

Comfort and nostalgia can be represented by family moments that feel familiar, traditions, sleepy animals, as well as childhood memories like reading under the blankets.

By FizkesBy apiguideBy Vadiar

Putting it together in a video creation tool

As said earlier, on different stages of the customer journey, marketing videos vary. But some best practices are common to all marketing videos. Hence, before we delve into details, I’d like to offer some tips that are relevant for all video-making efforts. 

General video creation tips

1. Leverage video templates

If you’re new to video creation and don’t aim to master it professionally, use pre-designed video templates. 

Video templates are semi-ready videos crafted by pro-designers and your shortcut to great-looking videos. They are carefully calibrated and feature hand-picked fonts and nice-matching colors. 

Find a template that you visually like. In’s library, you can select from over 1000 templatesReplace the sample footage with your own clips or other stock assets from the library

Here is how you can fully transform the template to your message: 

2. Design for sound off

Today, when people consume videos on the go, they tend to watch it with the sound off. Forbes reports that 69% of US consumers view video with the sound off in public places.

Text overlay can make a big difference in the way your videos perform. It makes the watching experience more convenient and attention-grabbing. What’s more important, it helps you to deliver your message regardless of the sound settings.

The number one tip on how to better apply the text on the video is to ensure its legibility. There are three options for ensuring legibility.

Option 1. Place the text on a free, non-cluttered part of the visual.Option 2. Add a plain background color to the text itself to make it readable. Like this:Option 3. Place the text aside from the video to the lower-third.

3. Optimize for the target platform

When you map out the customer journey and plan your video content, keep in mind that different platforms have their specific requirements.

Thus, to reuse the same video on a range of channels, you need to have it in multiple formats. You can easily adjust your video according to the use case with’s built-in auto-resizing tool.

4. Apply your branding

Be consistent with colors, fonts, logo usage and other small details that form the impression of your brand and make it distinct. Here’s a guide to learn more about how to apply your branding to any stock footage.

5. Make efficient thumbnails for your videos

Never leave it to chance. Your video thumbnail is the first thing to appear in the feed, so it’s vital to make it thumb-stopping. 

How to create a marketing video for the awareness stage

At the awareness and engagement stage, the prime goal of the video is to make a remarkable first impression of your brand and leave a certain emotional imprint. 

As you already know, human memory is mostly driven by the sensorial experience with what we see, hear, smell, or taste. Again, what makes video format so powerful is that it appeals to 2 main channels of perception – vision and audition – at once.

Keep in mind that the time limit to grab attention is minimal. If your video doesn’t hook the audience within the first 3 seconds, most likely it will be scrolled away the next moment.

To get the advantage of time, explore your audience and their pain points. Make it clear from the second one: you have a solution to their problem.

Let’s sum up the above. To make a memorable video for the awareness stage, you need to make it:

Eye-catching: Use contrasting colors, unusual shapes, and emotional footage.Ear-pleasant: Pick a relevant soundtrack that supports the visual part.Brain-friendly: Make the message short and legible. Add a clear call-to-action.

Here is an example:

Click expand below to explore the anatomy of this video from the marketing perspective.

Target audience and pain pointThe young mom is struggling to multitask at home and maintain her healthy diet due to the lack of time. It’s quite a common situation for a certain audience segment. Key factors to address: zeitnot, care for wellness, healthy food.

MessageFrom the very first frame, the video addresses the audience with a hooking question naming the problem clearly. The solution comes fast bringing in the desired benefits: healthy meals + quick delivery.

Stock footageThe chosen footage supports the message by showing circumstances and emotions that are very familiar to the target audience and resonate with them.

Length17 seconds to tell a whole story which includes all three steps:– Name the problem– Offer the solution– Call for action

FormatTo create this video, we used one of’s layouts that fit the video in a circle. It is an unusual video format, therefore, eye-grabbing and memorable.

ColorsThe red color used on the ‘problem’ frame is very eye-grabbing and is usually associated with some emotional tension.The ‘solution’ frames feature the joyful orange color that is associated with healthy food and stimulates appetite (source).

Call to actionAt the awareness stage, it’s too early to call for immediate purchase. The main goal at this point is to attract as many people with the same problem as possible.

Thus, your CTA should be asking for click-throughs to your landing page or some other resource where people can learn more about your offering.

BrandingRemember to make your logo and company name clearly present on your video.

How to create a marketing video for the consideration stage

Once your audience is aware of what you do in broad strokes and keen to learn more, it’s time to nature them with useful content and tell about your business in detail. 

At the consideration stage, your prospects already know their problem and seek a helping hand while comparing their options. Your current goal is to build trustful relationships with them and foster this linkage.

Here is when educational marketing with valuable content at the core comes into play. To win the audience’s trust, be generous to share your knowledge, explain complex topics, and support with useful tips. 

There are many types of videos that work great to deliver free educational content:

Live video broadcasts on social mediaWebinarsOnline coursesVideo tutorialsShort how-to videosStep-by-step guidesComparison videos, etc.

Let’s explore a couple of examples of how you can create a pro-looking educational video with the help of stock footage.

Intros & outros for live event recordings

Live-streams work great to foster relationships with prospects, humanize your brand and speak directly to your audience. Live events are authentic, ‘raw’ and real-time – that’s why people like them.

But once the broadcast is over, don’t call it a day. You can turn your live event recording into a great piece of educational content for further distribution. It just needs a bit of polishing.

Give it an extra shine by mixing it with pro-looking stock footage, i.e. create an intro and outro for your raw video file.

Thus, you can enhance your own media by combining it with stocks from the library.

How-to videos

You are likely exposed to a lot of how-to videos in your life, so there is no need to explain what they are. 

Let’s go through some features that are specific for how-to videos.

RelevantEven if you know 15 ways to fold a serviette, your audience might not need it if you run a bike-repairing business.

BriefFor educational videos you can go longer than for awareness ones, but make sure the length is justified by value.

Topic-specificFocus on the topic and solve one problem at a time.

StructuredEducational content is easier to consume when delivered in small bits and pieces like ‘5 easy steps’, ‘7 simple ways’, ‘3 short tips’.

ConversationalAgain, know your audience and speak the same language. Avoid complicated terms and jargon, no one likes feeling silly.

PracticalIdeally, after watching your video, it should be elementary to apply this knowledge to real life.

How to create a how-to video using stock footage

Before you put your hands on mounting the video itself, start with a video storyboard.

Define all steps/tips that you want to show in your videoWork on a text copy for eachThink of the visual images that would support the text message.Put together a table with text and visual ideas side-by-side.

The storyboard is the backbone of your video. It gives you a clear outline of your video and an idea of what to look for in the stock library to find matching illustrations.

For example, here is how the storyboard looked like for a video called “5 tips to create efficient thumbnails”.

Here is the result:


Don’t try to find visuals that literally show what you are saying with text. To make the video more interesting, use associative search and non-obvious illustrations to complement the verbal part.

How to create a marketing video for the decision-making stage

At the decision-making stage, you and your audience already know (and like) each other quite well.

Now you want your potential customers to realize how it feels like to actually own your product. In their turn, your prospects need some final justifications to be certain that your product and expertise will ultimately solve their challenge.

It might be social proof or some extra value (special deal or discount) that become a turning point. Let’s take a look at both cases.

Customer testimonial/case study videos

Social proof is a remarkably profound psychological phenomenon that drives human behavior in many areas, including buying decisions – especially buying decisions.

“It doesn’t matter if that social proof comes from friends or strangers. What matters is that we’re seeing evidence from our peers – in this context, other consumers – that the decision we’re about to make is the right one.“

Content Marketing Institute, 9 Strategies for Using Customer Testimonials in Your Content

Social proof might come in various forms such as word-of-mouth, case studies or customer testimonials. However, the goal is the same – to showcase the positive experience from your services and highlight the pleasant emotions that come along. 

Earlier in this article, we’ve talked about video format being a powerful tool to convey and provoke emotions. Thus, it’s a good idea to turn a customer testimonial to video format.

Ideally, it would be a video featuring your smiling customer talking on the camera about your awesome product and its positive impact on their lives. But this could be difficult to obtain.

If you don’t have an opportunity to get your customer on the camera, you still can turn their statement into a video using stock footage.

For example, make a quote video. Put animated text on top of a clip that is relevant to the topic, and conveys the right mood.

Special deal promotional videos

Exclusive offers, limited discounts and all other sorts of incentives are integral to any marketing funnel. These special campaigns are designed to make the final push in the decision-making process towards purchasing.

Extra value offered via the most captivating format is a surefire way to success. Here are the key features of a good promo video:

BriefAt this point, prompt messages work the best

StraightforwardMake it clear what you offer and what makes it unique.

EmotionalAgain, your video should make one feel something. Use emotionally charged visual clues.

Focus on a single goalBe very specific about the action that the viewer needs to complete in order to get what you offer. For example, use CTAs like Shop now, Get free trial, Save your seat, etc.

Creates a sense of urgencyInduce the watcher to take action with no delay. For example, 3 Days only, Valid until the weekend, or Over in 24h.

Here is an example of a special deal promotion crafted from Shutterstock’s stock footage.

We hope these video-making tips were useful for you and you won’t postpone your next video project. Keep on practicing and see your results improving!

Featured image by Garfieldbigberm

The post How to Create the Perfect Marketing Video with Stock Video appeared first on The Shutterstock Blog.

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