You already know stock photography can work wonders for your small business, whether you're using images for brochures, your website, or designing large scale prints for your storefront. Stock video can add an additional layer of cool to your brand. It can also be a real 'no brainer' approach to upping engagement on your website, in your store, or at your event, especially if you're on a tight budget.

There are loads of creative ways for small businesses to use stock footage. To help get your ideas in motion, we thought we'd set you up with some inspiring ways to use video.

Segue Footage

Even if you have the resources to create a great custom video, you can use stock footage for the "in-between" shots - the bumper shots that help you transition from one scene to the next, or one point to the next. This could be, for example, a clip of traffic to show you've changed (or added) locations, or a walking shot of a row of storefronts to show you've arrived. You can also use beach and other industry-style clips to set the tone for what kind of city you're in.

Ambient Footage

First, you can replace those old header shots on your homepage with short video clips to breathe some life into otherwise static website imagery and backgrounds. Instead of a friendly image of a customer service representative for your brand, have that face actively smile at your site visitors. Overlay some text, and you've got yourself a living, breathing header image.

Are you the owner of an edgy clothing store? Create a montage of street scenes, kids' skateboards, and stylish people doing stylish things, and loop it behind your homepage's tagline.

Press the "play" button to watch this clip at Bigstock Video.

Press the "play" button to watch this clip at Bigstock Video.

Mood Footage

Inside your physical location - and especially during an event you're hosting - you can keep a running loop of stock footage meant to communicate a specific vibe. A hip downtown bar, for example, could have some fun by running ironic clips of people conducting meetings and closing deals with handshakes - could be particularly effective as video installations during a night of punk bands.

Faux Behind-The-Scenes Footage

Putting together a web video to show off how your product gets from the warehouse to the customer? String together a series of clips and narrate it. You can show a warehouse worker picking a product off the shelf, a forklift moving it from one place to the next, an 18-wheeler on the open highway, a sorting facility, a delivery person handing a package over to a customer, etc. Showing "the process" with high-quality stock footage saves you time and money vs. having to capture these day-to-day business scenes on your own.

Press the "play" button to watch this clip at Bigstock Video.

Press the "play" button to watch this clip at Bigstock Video.

Vlog Post Intro Footage

Got a blog? Video posts are a great way to take it to the next level. You could interview one of your customers, for example, or do a video tour of your business, or of an event you hosted. Then you can use stock footage to create an intro montage for the post - like you'd see in the opening credits of a TV show or movie - and use it on every company video you create. Having a consistent video introduction adds familiarity to your brand.

Stock footage opens up all kinds of possibilities for improving the look of your brand, adding new visual interest to an event, and bookending those interview clips you've been wanting to put together.

If you're looking for great stock video clips, why not try a 7-day Free Trial of a Bigstock video subscription? You'll be able to download up 35 free video clips over the course of your trial. Happy downloading.

About the Author: Robert Hoekman Jr is the author of acclaimed books and articles on UX for the web. He's also a columnist and editor for Iron & Air magazine.

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AuthorRobert Hoekman Jr