If you are doing internet marketing or any type of online branding and development, the use of images and videos in your content is no longer optional.
The more interesting, creative, unique and vibrant your content is, the more likely you are to grab the attention of potential customers long enough to read your message.
Many people would rather see than read. Using videos and images in your marketing content gives your viewers what they want. Remember that people are bombarded with emails and ads every day, so you want to do your best to get their attention.
Unless you’re a photographer or videographer, finding HD images and videos can be a challenge. You don’t want to use everything you see on the internet because it most likely belongs to someone else and could give you problems with copyright infringement laws.
Hiring a photographer or agency to create a video can be very expensive. Fortunately, there are several free sites where you can download and legally use both videos and images for your online content. Before downloading and using any image or video from a “free” site, be sure to read the licensing information.
Sites in the Creative Commons public domain are not subject to copyright restrictions, while other sites require attribution when using their visual content.
If you’re looking for a site with easy navigation for themed visuals, Unsplash is a great find and ranks among the best free photography sites. Photos are grouped by subject, for example:
- Food and Drink
If you’re not sure which category you want to use, try searching for ideas in their weekly collections.
The license agreement allows you to use any images from Unsplash for free for both commercial and personal use.
Although authorship is not required, it is appreciated by photographers who donate their work.
Videvo offers a large assortment of animated graphics and videos sorted into categories, or you can view all clips
You can sort clips by type, category, resolution and license. Pay attention to the license for each clip you want to use. Licensing information is on the download page.
You can choose from four types of licenses:
- Royalty Free: Free to use for your projects without attribution. However, you are not allowed to re-upload clips or make them available for download elsewhere
- Creative Commons: Can be used in any project, but credit or attribution must be attributed to the original creator. For more information on Creative Commons, see here
- Videvo Attribution License: You can use clips with this license in the same way as with royalty-free clips, but you need to assign the clip to the creator. You are not allowed to re-download these clips or make them available for download anywhere
- NASA Recommendations: More information on clips from the NASA collection can be found here
As with many free sites, Videvo offers premium upgrade options for those who need or want to access more video clips.
Burst is a Shopify powered resource that provides free stock photos for commercial use, including the use of images on promotional items such as mugs and t-shirts.
You can use the images for free and you are allowed to crop, edit and modify them in any way you like. No link required.
All videos on Coverr are free to use for commercial and non-commercial purposes. No link required, but always welcome.
You are not allowed to use videos for brands, trademarks or logos. For more information on their license, see the Frequently Asked Questions section.
You can sort videos by last word or by categories such as:
If you have videos of your own that you would like to contribute to the Coverr community, you can submit them to the website.
Once reviewed, if accepted, they will be available for download by other users under the Coverr license.
If you are looking for unique, creative or unusual free images, you should visit Gratisography All images are high resolution and completely free with no copyright restrictions.
Since highlighting your content with engaging visuals is the name of the game, using images from Gratisography is a great place to start.
Clipstill offers both free and paid stock videos for your digital online projects. Although the number of free clips is relatively small compared to premium clips, they are of high quality and change every month.
It’s worth taking the time to check back monthly to upload new video clips for current projects you’re working on or for future ones.
Attribution is not required, but as with other image and video sites, it is always encouraged. There are circumstances in which you are restricted from using their video, for example, if you are using a clip as the main attraction for a commercial project. Visit their licensing page for clarification.
Freerange requires you to sign up for a membership in order to download their vast collection of free high definition photos.
You can use the images for both commercial and non-commercial purposes. Choose photos or illustrations from various categories such as:
- Art & Music
- Animals & Insects
- Flowers & Plants
- Food & Drink
- Health & Fitness
Life of Vids offers free clips with no copyright restrictions for commercial and personal use. However, they don’t want anyone to use their entire video collection on one site. Hence, distribution is limited to 10 videos on other sites.
Another great site for finding high resolution photos is Kaboom Pics. Search in categories such as:
- Beauty & Fashion
Stock shots for free
Stock Videos For Free is a site that hosts professional quality stock videos and videos. All clips come with a free license.
This means that you can use all downloads for commercial and personal use after registering a free account.
Some of the sites listed above have smaller collections than others, and some specialize in certain types of visual effects.
Having multiple sites with free images and videos can help you find the perfect visuals for all your digital marketing projects.