Gazing at your computer screen, you’re poised to create another viral video for your brand.
The blank canvas of Pictory’s editing suite beckons.
And a host of high-quality visuals from the extensive Getty Images and Storyblocks libraries awaits.
The seemingly simple task — selecting free stock footage — feels impossible as you aim to choose visuals that reflect your brand while engaging your audience.
If this situation sounds familiar, you’ve come to the right place.
Choosing the best visuals for your videos isn’t just about picking stunning images or free video clips.
It’s about creating an authentic connection with viewers.
One that ultimately uplifts your brand through visual storytelling.
This quick guide is designed to simplify the process, helping you navigate the huge selection of royalty-free music and video footage available through Pictory’s subscription service.
We want to make sure every clip contributes effectively to tell your story.
Understanding what makes a video project great is like knowing how different spices enhance a dish.
The goal here?
To give you a recipe for choosing ideal stock visuals while adding flavor to the user experience.
Throughout this guide, we will explore how to master the selection of visuals for your stock videos:
1. Understanding Your Brand and Message
2. Mastering Keywords
3. Balancing Familiarity and Uniqueness
4. Quality Over Quantity
5. Creating a Storyboard
6. Matching Visual Styles
7. Relevance to Your Story
8. Customization and Editing
9. Testing and Iterating
Understanding Your Brand Visuals
The first rule is alignment.
Every stock video or image you choose from the collection in Pictory’s libraries should echo your brand’s vibes.
Is your brand about outdoor adventures?
Try rugged landscapes, thrilling sports, and wild weather in your free stock footage.
Producing content for an eco-friendly lifestyle company?
You’ll find green spaces, renewable energy, and recycling projects among the choices.
When you dive into Pictory’s ocean of free stock videos for commercial projects, keep your brand’s essence in mind.
Ensure each visual connects to viewers’ emotions from the first few seconds.
Mastering Keywords for Free Stock Videos
If visuals are the ingredients for your project, keywords are then the recipe directing you to them.
A precise keyword can lead you right to the creative goldmine of perfect AI-generated clips with Storyblocks.
This simple process opens a whole new world of free stock videos without endlessly scrolling through irrelevant visual salads.
Answering “How do I choose the best image for a video?” begins with honing those relevant keywords.
So, instead of rushing head-first into search bars, take some time out to brainstorm.
What words encapsulate your video’s theme?
The answer will escort you directly to exceptional free visuals to download, each perfect for personal and commercial projects like music videos.
Balancing Familiarity and Uniqueness within your Visuals
We’re all drawn to the familiar, yet our attention is captured at the sight of something different. This is a big part of the careful balance to strike when selecting your imagery.
Relatable visuals help establish an instant connection with your viewers.
A teenager using a smartphone. A bustling cityscape. Families around a dinner table.
These scenes are universal in their appeal because they mirror everyday life.
However, you might want to steer clear of generic content.
If you must use it, always add an element of uniqueness to make your production stand out.
Quality Images Over Quantity
Pictory’s free stock video footage collection is so vast that it becomes overly tempting for many producers.
But remember, the goal should not be to make a jam-packed montage.
It’s to produce a gripping visual narrative that enhances your video project’s theme.
Say you’re creating short promo videos for a music festival.
Clipping scenes of crowds dancing, artists strumming guitars under spotlights, and fireworks illuminating the night sky might seem right.
But if you overdo it, you risk overwhelming the audience.
They might not assess the significance of each in the video frame like you intended to.
The saying “less is more” rings especially true here.
Plus, Pictory allows options to use the same visual across multiple scenes by linking them together.
This means fewer visuals to download, but you can weave them into your overall storyline in many ways.
Creating a Storyboard for Free Stock Videos
Storyboards serve as a roadmap for your free videos, giving you a clear game plan of what you need to do and how you need to do it.
In short, they simplify the selection process of free stock videos.
Sketch out key scenes first, as this gives you a starting point.
Then, note any motion direction and text overlays.
Matching Visual Styles of Your Stock Footage
One of the key attributes your access to Pictory’s collection offers is its variety of clips with different visual styles.
However, consistency is vital.
A sudden switch from documentary-style footage to an animation clip can be jarring for viewers.
Of course, it can work in some cases if it’s done intentionally, but it’s never guaranteed that every viewer will understand your artistic vision.
Instead, pay attention to aspects like color grading, lighting, and camera angles.
Even the attire worn by characters can play a part in keeping things uniform.
Customizing and Editing the Video
Now that the above is complete, you might realise that choosing your visuals was only half the battle.
The rest consists of customizing the video to fit your narrative.
Good news: Pictory’s editing tools are built for this exact purpose.
You can add voiceovers and branding elements to all scenes to personalize your project.
Plus, our library of royalty free music tracks can help create the perfect atmosphere to complement your visuals.
With these minor adjustments, you’re actually telling YOUR story instead of a generic one.
Relevance of the Image to Your Story
Our next tip is often overlooked but just as important.
Always search for a stock video that directly contributes to your story.
The most stunning imagery will fall flat if it doesn’t amplify your narrative.
Think of stock footage as the visual vocabulary used to express your script ideas.
If you’re producing videos about global warming, free video clips of melting ice caps are visually striking.
They convey the theme without needing commentary.
Conversely, a clip of a busy metropolis won’t resonate with viewers unless you’re making a connection between emission levels and urban traffic.
Testing Stock Images
At last, you are ready to hit that mighty and elusive publish button.
However, there’s one crucial step left to complete before you can share your creation with the Internet—testing.
Yes, gather some feedback.
Your friends, family, or employees serve as fresh-eyed viewers who can help refine rough edges from stock footage choices.
A scene that makes perfect sense to you may confuse others.
Not everyone responds well to criticism but now is the time to put that ego aside and ask for honest feedback.
Invite critiques in these early stages, iterate based on the feedback received, and then test again!
This feedback loop could truly separate good free videos from great ones.
You’ll also have a chance to iterate once the content is posted based on comments you receive from viewers.
Of course, it will have to be for your next project, but that’s part of the fun.
Get Started With Free Stock Video Footage Today
Selecting visuals for your stock videos shouldn’t be the root cause of that nagging headache.
You’re all set when you combine a keen understanding of your brand’s essence, mastery of keyword usage, thoughtful creation of a storyboard, and careful attention to visual consistency!
Our AI-powered software not only lets users search for their own graphics; we use your script to find visuals we think you’ll love.
Read our full step-by-step guide to the Auto-add Visuals to Video feature.
And Premium and Teams plan members get access to 10 million quality graphics with Getty!