ad creative for startup

Low-Cost Ways to Source Video Assets For Your Startup

ad creative for startup

If you’re running a startup, you need quality assets without breaking the bank. On average, video content tends to lead a higher conversion than static ad creative, however, it can also become the most expensive. 

As a startup marketing agency, we’re always on the hunt for scrappy ways to make awesome assets. Here are some effective workarounds we’ve found that help us (and growing businesses) make great, effective video assets without hiring an expensive agency or souring a costly freelancer.

UGC Content

Do you already have client testimonials? People who are willing to speak about their experience with your service, product or brand? Creating UGC style content is simpler than you think. Reach out to people that have a powerful testament to your brand and coordinate a Zoom call to ask them a few questions. This doesn’t have to take more than 15 to 20 minutes, and ask their permission to record the call. Pull the recording and splice up the clips to a 0:30 – 2 minute video for YouTube, or edit together the most impactful clips to create grabbier clips for social channels (just don’t forget the captions!). One of our strongest performing ads using this technique showcases a genuine and powerful story of Sebastian and how Multiverse truly changed his life. We have also found success in incorporating branding elements into video ads like our All Together Compilation for Multiverse. 

TikTok Creative

TikTok specific creative is among some of the most top performing creative not only across TikTok, but also Facebook and Instagram. But, hiring influencers to create content can be expensive. If someone on your team is up for the task, creating your own TikTok video can be a great way to test to see if this channel/creative format will drive results for your company without expending the time and budget to track down an influencer – and, it can be a great exercise in learning the platform (proof here!)

However, if you’re a bit camera shy, there are also simple ways to mimic the feel of the TikTok platform without using the app. There are a ton of royalty free stock video resources that require no attribution. Sourcing videos that feel commonplace and overlaying copy similar to the native TikTok platform leaves a high impact at a low-cost investment. This TikTok style compilation video highlighting the benefits of Nova Credit, was developed using only stock video and a quick voiceover for audio. Here are our favorite go-to sites to source free stock videos:

  • Unsplash – A site for the creator, Unsplash offers free images touching a variety of categories. Unique in style, there’s bound to be something that fits your brand identity. We love using this site to find less curated professional photos that appear more raw and real.
  • Pexels – This site offers high-quality stock photos and videos. 100% free, no attribution required.
  • Pixabay – An excellent resource of copyright free images, videos, and music, this site also requires no attribution.
  • Coverr – Hello, high-quality free stock video. No sign up or attribution required.
  • Envato Elements – A paid membership service, this site offers a wide collection of resources from stock photo and video, fonts, music, to web templates and more. There’s so much on this platform to take advantage of. It’s definitely worth the investment, and it’s the site we find ourselves using the most. 

And, ultimately, if your TikTok ads end up driving great performance and you’re looking to produce more videos with a more diverse set of creators, consider making a small investment into a creator sourcing platform like CLLCTVE. For a small monthly fee, CLLCTVE allows us to input our requirements/requests for the type of creator and their team will put in the legwork to match us with 5-10 creators that match our specifications. Then, we’re free to reach out on our own time, negotiate our own budgets and terms, and provide our own creative briefs to produce fresh made-on-TikTok ads like this one

Simple GIF-Style Motion

Perhaps the simplest way to incorporate motion into your ad is to take static content you already have and compile it into a simple animated ad by importing them to Premiere, After Effects, or any other video editing software—and, if you’re new to the game you can even do this in Photoshop!. Take your top three to five static assets and create a simple .mp4 allowing one to two seconds on each image before switching to the next (this may sound tricky, but here’s a simple YouTube tutorial that breaks this down in four minutes). To elevate this content further, add some headline copy along with your brand logo for awareness and you have an inexpensive animated ad ready to launch! If you don’t have existing content, utilize stock photos in the same manner. We have found success with super simple assets like this

Another approach that has worked well is taking written testimonials and utilizing stock video to elevate movement within the ad. We love grabbing testimonials from partners’ direct websites or TrustPilot and making the text front and center with stock video blurred for the background like this Betterleap Testimonial. We have also used this same concept and spliced up longer testimonial copy using multiple stock footage clips so the content is easier to consume. Sometimes it’s great to showcase where the testimonial came from, like our testimonial ad for Nova Credit recreating the feel of the TrustPilot platform to build trust with the viewer.

Lastly, let’s not forget audio! Even though most users on mobile view content with no sound, it’s important to keep this audio component in mind when designing an ad. Sometimes if a user is scrolling though with sound on, the audio can catch a viewer’s attention. It’s worth the investment in subscribing to a royalty-free music site to source thousands of audio tracks. Here are our recommended sites for music:

  • Envato Elements – Our favorite investment for all creative resources, Envato provides thousands of licensed audio tracks for royalty-free commercial use of every genre. 
  • AudioJungle – This is a service through Envato Elements offering more than 1.8 million royalty-free audio tracks. Individual tracks start as low as $1. Personal subscriptions via Envato Elements are $16.50/month, team subscriptions start at $14.50/month per member.
  • Storyblocks – Library of over a million royalty-free music, footage, photos, and templates with unlimited downloads. Subscription includes an easy-to-use video editor. Individual subscriptions range from $10-$30/month.
  • Epidemic Sound – High quality background tracks with a library of 35,000+ tracks updated weekly.

Feeling inspired to create? Great! Feeling a little overwhelmed by the options and not quite where to start? Let’s chat.