Five Tips for Selling Stock Videos

Selling Stock

There are millions of stock photos out there but only thousands of stock videos. It’s a much smaller pool from which buyers can draw. So, stock video has a lot less competition and it’s fun to do.

In many ways, video is easier than photos. And knowing just a handful of simple tricks can make video easier still. Here are five tips to get you started:

  1. Video is all about movement.

You can take a photo of a static subject. Say, a basket of berries or the Eiffel Tower. But with video, some action must take place.

I often act as my own model. (This is something that’s EASIER to do with video than it is with photos!) Just set your camera on a tripod, hit record, and step into the scene.

  1. Keep it Short and Sweet.

These aren’t feature-length movies. The shortest that stock agencies want for videos is five seconds, but the maximum is only 30 seconds. The sweet spot is about 10 seconds.

This means that you won’t need more than a few minutes of raw footage. I rarely shoot more than a few minutes to get around 10 seconds of finished video. And sometimes I’ll get more than one 10 second clip.

  1. You don’t need a lot of space or a complex setup.

The videos I shoot are super simple. You can use very small sets and improvise with what you have around the house.

To give you some examples, I shot a whole series of myself washing dishes. A telephoto lens gave my camera a narrow angle of view. You can see the sink, the drain board, and my hands and arms. That’s about it.

I let the video run for maybe five minutes or so. From that, I got clips of me washing a soup pan, a bowl, a drinking glass, and some utensils. That’s four separate stock videos from about five minutes of raw footage.

I shot another one with the camera pointing down at my dining room table. All you can see is my hands as I cleaned my eyeglasses. Or another of me watering my houseplants.

For editing, Windows comes bundled with a program called Windows Movie Maker. Mac users can get iMovie for free. Both of those programs will do everything you need for stock.

  1. Don’t Turn Your Camera Sideways

It’s important that stock video be shot only with the camera held horizontally (i.e. landscape orientation). Stock agencies will not accept any video shot with the camera in portrait orientation. So always keep your camera horizontal for video.

  1. Keywords are So Much Easier

Titles, descriptions, and keywords are exactly the same for videos as for photos. And they’re just as important.

There’s more opportunity when adding keywords for video because you can include keywords for every scene. You can also describe the action that takes place.

With more than just a single frame, it’s easy to come up with a lot more keywords.

Businesses want to get a message across, and they buy video to help convey that message.

Give it a try today and see for yourself why I think stock video has so much potential!

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