By Greg Ball, President of Ball Media Innovations

Business videos done right are so effective for marketing. Many businesses use video. Often, it’s part of their overall marketing strategy. Applications would include social media, web videos, explainer videos and enhancing inbound marketing programs. They’re also used to showcase their operation to potential clients or promote new products or services to existing ones.

Some companies are not in a position to hire a crew to shoot new video footage.

For some businesses, it can simply be too costly. For others, unfortunately COVID has made it difficult at times to shoot original footage. The risk, along with mask requirements and social distancing has made shooting some scenes impossible.

Can you create a business video without shooting new footage? Yes!

Companies have discovered that there are workarounds to shooting original footage. This includes using stock footage and animation. Both options can produce exceptional business videos while saving companies gobs of money. Let’s take a closer look at these options to see what might be best for your company.

First we'll cover using stock footage and then using animation.

The Beauty of Using stock footage to create your business videos

There are many companies that offer stock footage at very reasonable prices. By using stock footage, we’re often able to put together a great video that includes quality visuals, music, professional voice talent and striking graphics. These videos rival those that were shot with original footage. For example, take a look at one we created for ERI Global. This was made completely using stock footage.


You could see that the footage was high quality and the spot was really compelling!

Another option: We’re able to include screen grabs from company websites.

This lets us show various aspects of your company in action. We’re also able to take a client’s still photos and video shot in house and incorporate them into the videos. Finally, we can add graphics as well.

One example of using screen grabs and client images would be a video we completed for Quote Rush/ This is a software company that provides all types of insurance quotes for agents. We took a subject that could be rather dry and we made it exciting using fantastic stock footage combined with screen grabs and client images.


What Are The Advantages of Using Stock Footage?

1. Using stock footage can save you time!

Shooting video can be time consuming. For example, there can be location scouting, coordinating crew availability, and of course there's lots of equipment to transport. With stock footage, you choose the video shots you want and move on to editing.

2. Stock footage can save you money.

Depending on the source and the quality level, stock clips tend to run from $75 -$250 on average. Some specialty clips can go higher. However, since we have access to a huge library of stock footage, we're often able to save our clients money. What it comes down to is this. For most projects, if you must shoot original footage, it tends to cost more than buying stock footage.

3. Stock footage tends to be of high quality.

Stock footage is available in high quality resolution, all the way up to 16k. Since the creators of these clips are trying to sell them, they tend to be nicely shot.

4. Stock footage can be used to tell your story effectively.

There's a huge variety of clips out there. With so much to choose from, you can often find a stock clip that helps tell your story. Because there are many different sources for clips, we're usually able find the right clips to complete our clients' videos beautifully. Plus, you won’t have to pay to shoot a single clip.

 Are there Disadvantages to Using Stock Footage?

1. For some topics, you just really need original footage.

Sometimes you must show video of your specific topic. For example, some clients need to show their products or services. Sometimes a photo would work. However, sometimes they really need to show them in action, or show the results in action. If this is the case it might be better to spring for a video shoot.

2. There is still cost involved.

While stock footage can save you money over a traditional shoot, it can get expensive. This is especially true if you must use a lot of different clips. However, as mentioned above, since we have access to a huge library of stock footage, we're often able to save our clients money.

 3. Sometimes there's no stock footage out there that would be perfect for your video.

There's so much stock footage out there that this is not usually the case. But if it is, you'll need to have original footage created with a video shoot.

4. You may find some of your shots in on other videos.

There’s no control over who can use the various clips. You may find your competitor has had a video created using the same footage. However, this is probably a rare circumstance.

5. Some stock footage looks like, well, stock footage.

Stock footage must be chosen carefully. There are important things to look for. For example, some clothing may be out of date, and background images and technology can look dated as well. But the biggest issue is when the clips don’t match the look or feel of your edit. Stock clips from one source may not match clips from another. This ends up making the video look unprofessional. That's why it's very important to have a professional carefully choose the stock footage for your show.

Animation Can Be Used to Avoid Shooting original Footage!

Animation is the other alternative to shooting footage. This works especially well with explainer videos. You can explain complex issues or introduce new products without having to shoot one minute of footage. We use animation on many different projects, like the one we did for our own production services. This one even includes actual video clips, and we can add photos as well.


Are There Advantages of Using Animation? Absolutely!

1. The biggest advantage to animation is that it can be entertaining and fun.

A well produced animation video can take a serious topic and make it much lighter. It can also keep the attention of the viewer when actual footage would have lost them. We find that even adults enjoy animated explainer videos.

2. Animation can make learning easier.

Many companies use animation for training and eLearning. It's a great way to get and keep your viewers attention. It can also be used to break down subjects and explain them in a way that's easier to understand. You can use visual aids to show what you're talking about with animation. You can show things you'd never be able to show by shooting video. Animation can be very helpful for effectively breaking down complex subjects such as medical videos.

3. Speed: Animation can sometimes be created in a shorter time frame when creating professional videos and presentations.

Sometimes you need something quickly. Having to set up a video shoot and edit can sometimes take longer than just getting right to the animation. For example, we've completed several great animation videos within a week to two weeks time.

4. With animation, the sky's the limit when it comes to creativity!

With animation you can create any type of world your imagination can dream up. And it can often be done without the excessive costs of set building and computer effects. Another advantage is that animation is easy to understand. That’s why it’s used on many types of explainer videos.

5. Changes to your video can be easier.

One other major advantage of animation is that you can change or update content without having to reshoot the entire project.  This helps to keep your content fresh. You can also change your messaging to meet new or different audiences.

 Are there Disadvantages of using Animation?

1. Animation takes skill and knowledge.

Unless you use an outside vendor, it's a complex process that takes skill, talent and experience. It takes the right software as well, and the mastery of that software. The animation artist and director should have a strategic approach, as well as business, marketing and training knowledge. Without that you're shooting arrows all over the place instead of at the target.

2. Sometimes it's an advantage to have real people on screen.

For some projects, it's better to use video. Having a real person with emotion and personality talk about your company might be more appropriate in certain circumstances. It can be a more effective way to convey various human emotions like love. And of course, for videos such as testimonial videos, you'll want to use real people.

So to summarize: Stock footage and animation can save you money and time, while getting you highly effective videos!

As you can see, it’s possible to create powerful business videos without having to shoot any footage. We’ve worked with many companies creating both animated and stock footage videos, and I’d be happy to share them with you, along with some of our success stories. I’d also be happy to provide you with a cost estimate, with no obligation of course!