Pro tips for using stock assets: How to find the best assets for videos

Mattison Hofstedt


June 10, 2024

June 10, 2024

Happy man searching for stock images.

Table of contents

Thoughtfully chosen stock assets can convey emotions, support your message, and elevate the overall production value of your videos. 

Here are some expert tips for selecting the best stock assets for your videos and searching for them effectively.

4 best practices for choosing stock assets for videos

When creating videos, it can be tempting to simply search for assets that match the words you're saying and use the first result, like “marketing person” or “social media feed”. 

While this approach might occasionally yield acceptable results, there are several strategies you can employ to enhance the quality of your stock images and significantly improve the storytelling in your videos. 

Here are some best practices for using stock assets effectively.

1. Limit the number of assets

If your video is in the one minute range, aim to use no more than three to four different stock assets. You don't need a new asset for every single topic or point. This helps maintain a cohesive and professional look throughout your video and avoids overwhelming your audience with constant visual changes.

INSTEAD of doing this: Piecing together a lot of different background assets to tell your story...

DO this: Use one or two and drag them across storyboards to create a smooth flow of information.

2. Choose calm and uncluttered assets

Select backgrounds and images that are not overly busy. Your visual content should complement your message, not compete with it.

INSTEAD of doing this: Instead of choosing backgrounds with too much action or detail that could distract from the text or main subject of your video...

DO this: Choose calm and serene visuals to help maintain focus and make your content more engaging.

3. Match the tone, not necessarily the exact content

Your assets don’t have to be literal representations of your content. For example, if your video is about the stress of marketing, opt for soothing backgrounds that counterbalance the stressful topic. This contrast can create a more balanced and appealing visual narrative.

INSTEAD of doing this: Using "literal" assets that match what you're saying in your script...

DO this: Choose visuals that support and enhance the story you’re telling. They don’t need to be a literal translation of what you’re saying. They should be consistent with the tone and message of your script.

4. Opt for high-resolution and quality

Always use high-resolution assets to ensure your video looks professional. Poor quality or pixelated images can detract from your credibility and viewer experience.

INSTEAD of doing this: Downloading and inserting low-quality stock assets to your videos...

DO this: Use Storykit's high-resolution stock image library to insert assets directly into your videos, enhancing their visual quality and storytelling impact.

Further reading: Craft engaging videos: The key dos/don'ts for impactful results

Effective stock asset search terms

To find the best stock assets, use a variety of search terms that align with the themes and aesthetics of your video. Here are some useful keywords to consider:

  • Society: Images depicting community, culture, and social interactions.
  • AI: Graphics related to artificial intelligence, technology, and innovation.
  • Technology: Futuristic or modern technology-related visuals.
  • Digital: Content that represents the digital world, including internet and social media.
  • Environment: Nature-focused visuals that emphasize sustainability and ecological themes.
  • Nature: Serene landscapes, forests, and natural elements.
  • Forest: Specific natural environments showcasing trees and greenery.
  • Sustainability: Images promoting eco-friendly practices and green energy.
  • Landscape: Wide shots of natural or urban landscapes.
  • Skyline: Cityscapes and urban horizons.
  • Office: Professional settings, workspaces, and office environments.
  • Team/Teamwork: Groups of people working together, collaboration scenes.
  • People/Face: Human elements, expressions, and diverse faces.
  • Drone: Aerial views and perspectives.
  • Slow Motion: Dynamic visuals that emphasize motion and detail.
  • Buildings: Architectural structures, both modern and historical.
  • City: Urban life and bustling cityscapes.
  • Business: Corporate settings and business-related imagery.
  • Economy: Financial and economic visuals.
  • Happy Face: Positive emotions and smiling faces.
  • Colors: Vibrant and varied color schemes.
  • Color in Water: Artistic and abstract visuals involving water and color.
  • Gradient: Smooth color transitions and modern design elements.
  • Abstract: Non-literal, artistic visuals.
  • Ink: Creative and artistic visuals involving ink in various forms.
  • Transitions: Visuals that can be used as transitions between scenes.
  • Particles: Dynamic and visually interesting particle effects.

The easiest way to add stock assets to your videos

Adding stock assets to your videos and testing out different ones in normal editing software can be a pain. First, you have to find, download, and save the assets, then you need to upload them and hope they work. If they don’t, you need to start the process all over again. However, Storykit simplifies this process by providing access to a number of high-quality stock libraries, such as:

  • Getty Images
  • Videoblocks
  • Pixabay
  • Pexels
  • Unsplash
Storykit's Video Library

In Storykit, you can search directly within the tool across all these libraries to find what you are looking for. If an asset is too short in length, it appears in red, so you don’t waste time adding the wrong ones. 

Additionally, with Storykit’s AI capabilities, when you generate a video, it will automatically suggest assets that work with your script, saving you from having to start looking from scratch.

Martin Svensson, Communication Manager at Länsförsäkringar, struggled significantly with creating videos due to the lack of readily available assets. They had just started a magazine for their customers, which contained a wealth of material that could be used in educational videos, such as interesting facts about their county and articles to promote Västerbotten. However, the lack of a proper photo library made the process time-consuming and frustrating.

"One of the videos we wanted to make was about snow scooters, but we didn't have any photos of snow scooters in Storuman Municipality. I played with the idea of building a photo library with our photographers, but the IT department warned that it would be difficult to control the security of such a library. At that point, I was almost ready to give up on my video efforts."

That’s when Martin came across Storykit. He explains:

"I received a demo and quickly realized that Storykit had all the features we needed, plus a really good photo library."

Read full case study: How Sweden's largest insurance company increased its video production by 300%

By leveraging tools like Storykit, you can streamline your workflow, ensure high-quality results, and focus more on crafting compelling video content rather than getting bogged down in the technicalities of asset management.

Ready to create high quality videos?
Try Storykit today.

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