Now more than ever brands need to walk a fine line between trying to make themselves and their products feel relevant, while at the same time being sensitive with this year’s budget restrictions.

Generally speaking, when it comes to stock footage, you do get what you pay for and if you’re lucky enough to have a bottomless budget you can pick and choose from the top libraries with at will. But in the real world, you’re likely going to need to think carefully about how you spread the cash across your assets – you don’t want to get to the edit scrambling for options because you maxed-out on two hero shots.

Picture by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels

Here are a few tips:

The first tip: ‘Go to’ library list

One way of avoiding this is to firstly identify your ’go-to’ libraries, ranging in quality and price, and make a rough estimate of how many clips your budget will stretch to for each.

Second tip: Define your visual needs

Then highlight the most important moments in your film and reserve those for the higher quality stock websites.

Perhaps you need these shots to land a key message in the film, or maybe they simply need to be visually beautiful. The remaining scenes or shots can then be covered by the ‘less acclaimed’ libraries. However as mentioned in our previous blogs, this doesn’t mean you have to settle for sub-standard footage…there’s plenty of affordable good stuff out there.

PRO TIP: remember to keep a record of your shopping list as you download preview clips so you can track your spending.

Third tip: consider subscriptions

And lastly, you may want to consider some of the subscription options out there to really maximise your budget, especially if you know you’ll need many clips for your edit. Some allow you unlimited downloads and others let you accrue credits each month, which means you can cash in when your next stock-only project comes along.


It’s amazing how when you use a new musical track and powerful script over stock footage, you can tell an entirely new story from those raw ingredients. By chopping and dicing these materials brands can deliver beautiful content with a relevant message for their customers right now.