Get expert advice on every topic you need as a small business owner, from the ideation stage to your eventual exit. Our articles, quick tips, infographics and how-to guides can offer entrepreneurs the most up-to-date information they need to flourish.

Subscribe to our blog

Why Stock Media Is A Must-Have Tool For Startups

Posted by Tasnim Ahmed

December 17, 2020

We’ve all heard the quote “If you build it, they will come.” That can apply to a lot of life situations, especially in the startup world where we’re building businesses for untapped niches. When it comes to video marketing, that overused phrase changes to “Build it fast because they’re already here!” Cisco predicts that by 2022, watching video will make up at least 82 percent of consumer internet traffic. That is an absurd level of demand for a specific type of content. Video has become an influential force in the marketing world. At the start of 2020, 85 percent of businesses were using video as a marketing tool. And 52 percent of marketers list video as the type of content with the best ROI. Those numbers are music to the ears of any startup. Finding a new channel with high ROI can feel like summiting a mountain. But it’s hard not to think about video marketing and see dollar signs: expensive gear, specialized positions, production budgets, etc. At least, that’s what you might think. It’s possible to pull together different web-based video tools and cut down a lot of the requirements for making video content. But one of the biggest alternatives — and a must-have resource for any startup — is integrating stock media into your production.

Stock Media In A Nutshell

We won’t spend too much time on textbook definitions, but it helps to at least cover the basics. The life cycle of a stock media piece is pretty straightforward, even if it seems convoluted at first. A creative produces something. It might be a piece of video footage, a song, an edited photo or even a sound effect. Then the creative licenses that piece of content to a marketplace, agreeing that the marketplace can then license the legal rights to use that content in other projects. In other words, someone shoots and edits video footage, a company pays to license that footage and then you buy a license so you can use that footage in your next video ad. Stock media gives you access to professionally made content that you can pay to use for a fraction of what it would cost to create that piece of content yourself. And that is just the first in a list of benefits for why every startup should be using stock media to level up their content game.

Benefits Of Using Stock Media

At face value, getting access to high-quality content is a big benefit on its own. But the biggest benefit of stock media is that it streamlines your budget, and specifically your production costs. The stock media industry is almost tailor-made for startups who want to stay lean but still make content that has that big-budget, professional feel. Let’s loop back around to the topic of video marketing. Think about the sort of success stories you could experience if you were able to create good videos, regardless of the costs associated with this type of content marketing. Using videos on your website can increase organic SEO traffic by up to 157 percent. And since 85 percent of people want to see more video content from brands they’re interested in, getting into the video game addresses both the “build interest” and “nurture leads” tasks on your marketing to-do list. But it doesn’t matter how great those statistics are if you can’t afford video production that meets your quality standards. After all, most startups can’t afford a full-time filmmaker to produce marketing and/or social media videos. And my guess is you probably don’t have $10,000 to license a Billboard Hot 100 song for each project. Even if you step back from video and think specifically about banner ads on Facebook, YouTube or any other social platform, the production costs can become a HUGE obstacle for startups. That is, assuming you don’t have a team of graphic designers or illustrators on staff. Stock media gives you access to all of those tools — tools that can turn your content into something you’re proud of. And you’ll get access to everything (stock video, music, images, etc.) for less than you would pay a single new employee on your team. If you play your cards right, those media licenses will last in perpetuity, meaning any project that includes those pieces will be protected from copyright claims forever. It’s a one-time investment for content that you can reuse and recycle as you need.

Getting The Most Out Of Stock Media

So far, a lot of the facts and data have revolved around video marketing. (As a startup, any channel that can boost your lead generation by 66 percent is worth its weight in gold.) While video is a great place to take full advantage of stock media, you don’t have to be restricted to just that medium. “Stock media” includes music, video and images, sure. But it also includes After Effects templates, fully programmed animations, 3-D models and so much more. Most sites offer watermarked versions of files so you can test them out. Whether you grab music for a social video, an Illustrator file for a web banner or a video clip to play on your homepage, you’ll be able to try the stock media and make sure it’s actually what you want before you invest. And if it’s not right? Well, then you pick another one. Contrast that to asking an employee to completely rework, recreate or reproduce something. Don’t think of “stock media” as a library of boring content that’s free. While most stock media sites do have a library of stuff, the best stock media sites collaborate with professional artists and creators to get access to top-shelf media. Then they license it to people at a fraction of what you’d pay directly to the creator, or to find something similar from a big-name brand or production house. So at the end of the day, stock media can save you time, effort and money — an easy win for any marketer, especially one who’s part of a startup. About the writer: Drew Gula is the copywriter at Soundstripe, a royalty free music company that provides creators and businesses with radio-quality music for video.


Tasnim Ahmed
Tasnim Ahmed

Tasnim Ahmed is a content writer at Escalon Business Services who enjoys writing on a multitude of subjects that include finops, peopleops, risk management, entrepreneurship, VC and startup culture. Based in Delhi NCR, she previously contributed to ANI, Qatar Tribune, Marhaba, Havas Worldwide, and curated content for top-notch brands in the PR sphere. On weekends, she loves to explore the city on a motorcycle and binge watch new OTT releases with a plateful of piping hot dumplings!

We provide you with essential business services so you can focus on growth.