Marketing Smarter With Video: Surprising Uses for Stock Media

VideoBlocks user Patrick Frank on using royalty-free downloads to add value and build viewership.

If you’re following our blog, you’ve read how The Wall Street Journal uses VideoBlocks and how our slow-motion footage has appeared in epic summer blockbusters like 21 Jump Street.

You’ve also read our tips for using stock video to get funded on Kickstarter.

But what if you don’t have the established audiences of such venues and lack the budget to cast Jonah Hill, Dave Franco, and Channing Tatum?

You can cast the dice on YouTube and hope for more than fifty views—or, like one VideoBlocks user, you can up your marketing game and start working with the likes of MSNBC, CNN, and golf legend Jack Nicklaus . . .

Marketing Leads to Viewership, Viewership to Value

A patchbay, for those unfamiliar, is a piece of studio equipment that acts as a jack to connect varying types of inputs and outputs (microphones with amplifiers, instruments with equalizers, etc.). It’s also a piece that, for VideoBlocks user and Patchbay Media founder Patrick Frank, holds a great deal of symbolism for connecting brands with audiences.

However, he didn’t always see the piece—or the industry—so symbolically; after graduating from the music technology program at the University of Michigan, Frank’s first few jobs were producing audio and video for employers who placed a lot of emphasis on content—but very little on actually connecting it with audiences:

“At the small businesses and nonprofits I worked at as an employee, I’d slave over videos. Then they’d go live and most of the time get under fifty hits on YouTube; I was a frustrated man!”

That was before he struck out on his own and learned that the best way to promote the value of online video was to start learning how to successfully market it; it’s a waste of money, Frank now tells his clients, to “spend money on video (or anything for that matter) with no attention to the return-on-investment.”

In pursuit of such returns, he dove into everything he could find by marketing leaders like Gary Vaynerchuk, Noah Kagan, Derek Halpern, and Seth Godin.

His takeaway after studying video sales funnels, conversion metrics, and pay-per-click strategies:

“You can get a lift to nearly ANY marketing strategy using video. A video isn’t an end-goal, it’s a vehicle to collect an email address, to turn a lurker into a buyer or donor, and to turn [casual users] on social media into users familiar with a company, organization, brand, or product.”

A great example of this is the social media campaign Frank put together for National Golf Day 2014, featuring on-location video they shot, edited, and uploaded on the fly:

“That day we did ten Instagram videos and six YouTube videos. We were running around the Capitol like crazy people and frantically editing, but the client was super happy with the videos and the engagement they got on their various social platforms—a huge improvement over their 2013 efforts.”

Tip: If you’re too short on time to read through everything Frank dug up, give a listen to Seth Godin’s fantastic TED Talks on digital marketing. We recommend starting with his talk on sliced bread and the spread of ideas, which translates rather seamlessly to the pursuits of viral video and customer loyalty.

Marketing With a Marker (and Stock Audio)

Still, even the most viral videos rely upon strong execution and sound efficiency—two reasons Frank joined VideoBlocks to indulge in unlimited downloads.

“One thing it’s been great for,” he says, “is video around holidays . . . using VideoBlocks is way better than staging your own Thanksgiving dinner!”

The Thanksgiving messaging he produced below shows the result of this—while also showcasing Frank’s earlier point on using video to craft personal, and familiar, social media engagements.

The same goes, of course, for using stock video to get around having to stage video of Christmas morning or high-definition fireworks for Independence Day.

Similarly, stock audio has also played a key role in Frank’s work—accompanying the freehand skills of his award-winning illustrator in whiteboard explainer videos.

“It’s really incredible,” he says. “We’ve done some amazing stuff mixing his illustrations with After Effects [and stock audio].”

Patrick Frank is the founder of Patchbay Media, a multimedia marketing company specializing in online marketing, short films, and explainer videos.

Matt Siegel writes about stock video, technology, and media for VideoBlocks.