This article aims to help marketers find the right stock videos faster. We put a big emphasis on our content strategy so I fully understand your frustrations. I look for stock images and videos on a daily basis for our YouTube channel and it’s often an uphill battle.
I frequently have to approach my search query from an entirely different perspective to find just one asset. There’s nothing wrong with that, but…
A clever twist on a concept can be misunderstood. The thing that I think represents my message really well might not resonate with you. And creativity takes time. Every now and then, we just want to find the right video and do it fast.
Most articles like this simply give you a clever description of what the sites offer.
They offer videos, duh. And for free. Wow!
Reading those just feels like hearing 50 different marketers trying to sell you the website.
Instead, I’ve analysed top stock video websites in a somewhat scientific fashion. Before you jump in to discover my opinion, please read about the methodology to decide if the ratings are useful for you.
Since paraphrasing ideas with clever visuals is highly subjective, we can’t put ourselves in your shoes. But we’ve worked with many clients and as mentioned, we use these websites every single day. That’s why we analysed the stock footage websites based on the hypothetical requirements of our clients and our agency. This covered topics and industries such as:
With that out of the way, we then aggregated how effective these searches were to give you a final rating in the form of a write-up. As this is a highly subjective matter, I won’t attempt to rate it on a scale of 1 to 5, or 1 to 10. You’ll learn far more from a few sentences. Let’s get to it then!
The first look at Pexels is exactly what you’d expect: plenty of consumer-focused, lifestyle stock footage.
This is a good sign for ecommerce businesses and those dealing with commodities.
The search engine is satisfying, though it tries hard to show you something – even if it’s completely inaccurate. Searches for “SaaS” will return vaccination footage, while “B2B” shows… babies. Full disclosure: I didn’t expect decent results for these vague queries, but I’d prefer just seeing a message that nothing could be found!
More than 85% of our searches resulted in a satisfying outcome. Considering the wide range of topics, this is impressive.
A first look at Videvo doesn’t give me much hope. The featured footage is generic, full of animated and abstract stock footage. It feels cheap at first glance.
It gets better when you search, though – but the quality is noticeably lower than Pexels. You have to be very specific with your queries. If you’re looking for something a bit vaguer and inspiring (say, web design), the results are terrible.
It does a good job of not forcing results your way. While some searches will understandably be inaccurate, it’s rare for them to be a complete miss.
Coverr feels like it could be a paid video library. The footage is definitely among the best when it comes to quality.
The no-fuss search engine is upfront with you when there are no results, which is a plus. It does lack filters though, so you’ll have to do a bit more work to find the right footage.
The biggest gripe is the variety and size of the library. This is a side effect of high-quality footage and accurate results. At times, you’ll be presented with just a few results or none at all. It’s better than useless results, but the site lacked videos for simple queries – especially for B2B companies.
Take a look at our previous article about royalty-free images.
And if you know of any other stock multimedia websites that we should review, let me know in the comments.
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Originally published Dec 08, 2018 1:08:43 PM, updated July 21 2023.