Stock is a great way to diversify your income streams and hey, who doesn’t like some extra money. While the demand for stock is greater than ever, people are also getting pickier with what stock has to offer. And while it is a great alternative (or primary) stream of revenue that once only is almost a passive income, there are ways to min max your profits. Here’s a list of 10 commandments of what you shall do in order to make it rain.
Stock is evolving. Videos that are on stock markets are no longer amateur grade but are becoming incredibly complex and well done. It is no wonder that even big studios are buying stock footage for their project, like Netflix often does. New marketing ideas are also pushing the industry into creating stories instead of just commercials, which means marketing agencies look for creative high end stock footage. Even marketing divisions in companies have begun implementing stock footage for their social media reach and content creation.
That is why in order to stand out, quality is important. While some claim HD is enough, it isn’t. You should shoot in at least 4k, while it is even better to film in 6k and downscale to 4k for export. As new markets pop out on mobile phones, like TikTok, there suddenly is a need for vertical video. That means shooting in high resolution enables you to provide stock footage for several different aspect ratios:
16:9 stock for TV and Youtube
1:1 square videos for Facebook, Instagram, Twitter
and lastly for mobile only TikTok which is a vertical 9:16 video.
If you do not have a camera that makes 4k videos, that is the first place you must invest in. Quality is highly important, because it sucks to lose a sale just because your video quality wasn’t that great.
Now that we have quality and crisp picture, we need creativity. Because there is a constant need to tell stories, companies search for narratives that fit the story they wish to tell. If they want to gain attention on social media, they usually go for funky, crazy short clips with a lot of colors and people in it doing funny things. When they tell a story to captivate people, they need people in your clips. Why people you ask? Because when we see people doing stuff, we can connect with them.
That is why you should strive to create content that stands out. The best way to do that is think about what you can shoot or what you like to film, go to a stock site like Adobe Stock or Pond5 and take a look what other’s have filmed. Research what market is already offering and then think how you can upgrade it.
The markets that are over saturated are nature videos (without people especially, since it’s easiest), while drone shots is also a very competitive place since there are so many clips online. Your best weapon to fight being a commodity is to think about creativity before you film.
Include people #3
To expend on what we talked about in tip #2 which is Creativity, you really should include people. If budget is a problem ask a friend that wants to be filmed and wishes to go into a career of filming. If you can afford it, using professional models or actors is the way to go. Making creative and story based stock footage requires actors to really invest themselves in order to make it look authentic.
When you film people, you need to make it look organic, natural, authentic. A chef cooking must look like they actually know what they are doing. A business woman looking like the part, focused on what the story is about. Working with professionals will be much easier and they will also commit to what you want them to show, as emotions go.
Just remember to get them to sign a model release form before you let them go from the set!
Pick a niche #4
A good way to stand from the crow is to pick a niche and specialize in it. As you became a specialist, people start noticing your content more. It will also help you get better in doing your niche, which means the quality of your stock footage will increase as well. As for what niche to pick, that is entirely up to you. Do you do anything special, like hiking in cool places? Maybe you do parachuting? A great niche to focus on is also family stuff. Generally what you should pick is something you like and feel comfortable with.
If you are living in a tourist spots, you could always start shooting the amazing landscapes or city monuments. A great tip is also to shoot it out of the tourist season, because you offer something different than what everyone else is putting on.
Avoid branding #5
And by that, we mean remove it. Exclude it. Stock market does not like branded stuff in their videos. While you can still put branded stock footage on the market, it will have to be marked as “editorial” instead of “commercial”. While the temptation will be there to film someone using an iPhone, stock market will tell you that’s a big no-no. The idea behind this is because companies buying your clips won’t like advertising Apple for free in their videos. You could argue that someone want’s that specific Apple logo in a video, but it is as it is, so no branding.
It might be hard sometimes to remove or blur out brand logos, you should do your best. And if you’re in an environment where there are many branded things (like in cities or events), then just put it online as editorial, and don’t lose to much sleep about it. What matters is still the quality and the story behind your stock footage.
Use trends wisely #6
There are many trends that are ripe to be used in stock footage. For instance, 360 footage is highly popular currently and the cameras in the market are extremely affordable. If you’re creative, you can do a lot of highly sought out stock footage that will sell for years. There is always something happening in the world that is either constantly popular or becomes popular in certain months or days.
Predictions for stock footage trends in 2020 and 2021 are:
Black lives matter
Animal care and well being
Home entertainment during covid
Home exercise during covid
Upload content regularly #7
Doing too much too fast will drain you of energy quickly. If you have a lot of clips, don’t try to upload all at once. Instead break it down into manageable pieces so you can focus on properly exporting clips and writing the best keywords for your stock footage clips. Since some stock footage sellers have a “Fresh” category for uploaded content, you might be seen there which in turn might lead to a sale. So it’s best to put clips in a constant, regular timeline in order to further increase your chances of selling the good stuff you do.
It’s a good idea not to put all of the content you’ve made online at once. Put it on one at a time since the search algorithm will favour that more, making your clips more searchable.
Take advantage of social media reach #8
Social media is a great place to gain more traction and make people see your work. If you show short clips on what you do on Youtube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or Linkedin, people will notice you more and visit your stock footage profile. Don’t stop there! Put your clips in stories as well, but don’t forget to tell your audience where they can find your amazing stock footage work.
The point of doing this is to maximize your reach in order to attract potential customers into looking, and even better yet, buying your content. It is imperative that you spread your fame far and wide and use the amazing potential of social media. While we’re at it, don’t ignore TikTok even if you might hate it. Perhaps there’s a majority of kinds there for the moment, but they still show content to their parents who might be interested in what you do. A cool fact is that a lot of agencies look at what’s up on TikTok so you might get a sale from them.
Slow motion #8
If you have the gear and the skills to make slow motion videos, then you might be able to capitalize on the ever growing demand for stuff in slow motion. Or you might film everything in high frames and export both slow motion and normal speed stock footage clips, so you make 2 videos while filming. Slow motion is getting more and more popular with companies since it’s always interesting to see things happen in slow motion.
Good examples for this is industrial work, such as CNC where we can see how it works in slow motion. Or chainsaw cutting a tree in slow motion. Possibilities are almost limitless, so get that creativity going (which is another tip) and make some dope slowmo Matrix clips to sell on stock footage markets!
Don’t be impatient #10
Biggest mistake we see from people selling stock footage is that they want to get rich quickly. It’s a marathon and you need to see it as such. It takes time for the stock selling algorithms to show you clips to people searching for specific keywords and even them they like to mix thing up. You should take stock market as a learning experience and constantly experiment what works for you specifically. What works for someone else might not be what works for you so be sure to constantly learn and progress in your stock footage shooting.
What matters is that you don’t get too impatient too quickly and remember that it takes time for your clips to be shown to people. Focus on quality, story, make it interesting and the sales will start rolling in!
In case you don’t know us, we’re Spartaq video production. We love making videos and we’re really happy if you could drop us a like/follow/subscribe on our social media such as Facebook, Instagram and Youtube. The links we use for gear in our review articles are affiliate links so if you’re planning on buying anything, we’d really appreciate buying through our links since it helps us write more reviews and articles. Have fun browsing our website and see you soon!
Oh and subscribe to our newsletter while you’re here!