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How to Integrate Stock Into Your Social Feeds (Without Anyone Noticing!)

Are you looking to learn how to use stock on social media?  Stock assets can help elevate your content strategy while saving you time and money.

There’s thousands of talented creators out there who specialize in creating ready-to-use video, audio, and images for stock websites — and to the naked eye, there’s no way to tell it’s stock at all!

Discover how the new world of royalty-free stock assets and how to correctly use them to achieve your goals!

Table of Contents

  1. Why Use Stock on Social Media?
  2. The Benefits of Stock on Social Media
  3. How to Find the Best Stock Assets for Social Media
  4. 5 Tips for Using Stock Assets (Without Anyone Realising it’s Stock!)

Why Use Stock Assets on Social Media?

Stock media is more useful to brands than ever before — and we’re not just talking about posting a generic landscape shot to your feeds.

We’re talking unique stock visuals to expand your creative strategy on social media, dynamic footage and animations to level-up your videos, and on-brand audio that gives your post a little extra oomph!

All while helping you save energy, time, and money.

In the past, brands and businesses held back from using stock assets on social media for fear of it appearing inauthentic or cheesy.

But now, stock assets are a lot more creative and versatile than you think. There’s thousands of dedicated photographers, videographers, and sound engineers creating ready-to-use media that you can integrate into your strategy.

Combined with stock libraries like Unsplash, Stocksy United, and Offset, there’s millions of royalty-free media at your fingertips!

how to use stock on social media

And, the best part? Stock on social media is almost impossible to spot to the naked eye!

We’ll share how to find the best stock media for your feeds, and the right way to seamlessly integrate it into your feed — trust us, your followers won’t even notice the change.

Note: Most stock media libraries will have guidelines on how to correctly credit the creator of the stock assets — that can be in the form of a link, or mention in your caption.

how to use stock on social media

Some images don’t require a credit at all, but it’s a great way to give back to the creators who worked hard to help you elevate your feed!

If you combine plug-and-play stock images with a social media scheduler like Later, you’ll find you can post visual content to your feeds in record time — all for free!

 

The Benefits of Stock on Social Media: 

Before diving into the tips and tricks for how to use stock on social media, let’s explore some benefits associated with choosing stock in the first place.

Stock Assets Benefit #1: Endless Creative Options 

As the evolution of stock continues, so do the creative options.

In addition to beautiful imagery, there’s tons of interesting and creative ways you can integrate stock into your social media feeds.

You can find and use global and localized images, video footage clips, vectors, graphic designs, audio clips, motion graphics, music, and lots more!

Stock websites offer an enormous and searchable database, perfect for finding professional assets based on any category you can think of — food, fashion, lifestyle — you name it!

They’re also a great resource for sourcing visuals representing inclusion and diversity from around the world.

Stock Assets Benefit #2: Time Saver 

Sometimes it can take weeks, or even months, to prepare and execute a photoshoot or video production.

Stock websites move the process along and help you reach your content goals by providing you with professional content that’s ready for you in the click of a button.

It’s simple. Search for whatever it is you’re looking for and voilà!

To stay on-trend, stock websites often offer curated collections that do the work for you — so you search time for the perfect image is even shorter.

TIP: For visual inspiration, follow stock websites on social to stay in the loop with the latest and greatest.

Stock Assets Benefit #3: Cost-effective

Creating custom content for our social channels can add up real quick financially.

So if you’re looking to reduce spending, stock assets are a great resource for anyone looking to use professional assets, but at a low cost.

Most stock websites typically offer royalty-free licensing — that means you purchase the copyright and are free to use the image as you wish (or as described within the usage rights.)

Also, there are various stock photography resources such as Unsplash and Shutterstock’s “Free image of the week” that give away free content for download in exchange for crediting the artists.

Want to learn more about the benefits of using stock on social? We jump into the details in this blog post

Where to Find Creative Stock Media for Your Social Feeds 

Now that you know you can save both time and money using stock assets, let’s explore some of our favorite stock websites!

Search and find images, audio, and video assets that’ll fit your aesthetic perfectly with our top stock websites:

Later’s Unsplash Integration

One of our favorite platforms is Unsplash: a platform with over 1 million free high-resolution images brought to you by the world’s most generous community of photographers.

Now, you can find free, on-brand stock photos right inside Later with our Unsplash integration.

Gather, edit, and schedule high-quality stock photos, without ever having to leave Later, in a matter of clicks to build an eye-catching feed.

We’ll help you give proper credit to the original photographer, so there’s even less to worry about before you schedule and post.

The good news? It’s free for all Later users — just sign in to the desktop app to start browsing for on-brand stock photos for your business!

 

Creative Stock Imagery: Stocksy United and Death to Stock

If you’re looking for creative visuals that celebrate art and uniqueness, check out Stocksy United and Death to Stock.

You’ll find everything from intriguing still-life food photography and indie-film aesthetic footage clips to authentic diverse and inclusive visuals.

Creative Stock Imagery: Offset Images

For beautiful travel, food, lifestyle, and conceptual imagery, check out Offset Images

You’ll find a diverse library of curated collections based on each month’s top trends and celebrated holidays.

Offset images by Elaine Rystead

Stock Video and Sounds: Premiumbeat and Shutterstock Select

If you want to get creative with stock assets and move outside of still shots, consider using video and music stock.

With Premiumbeat and Shutterstock Select, you can search for epic video and music tracks, you can purchase.

Once downloaded, you can add them to Instagram videos, IGTV, or even social ads:

TIP:  For any motion artists looking to add special effects to your personal videos or stock video assets, check out Shutterstock Elements and these Free 7 Premiere Pro Free Transitions Packs.

Diverse Stock: with Tonl.co & Nappy

Diversity and inclusivity should be at the forefront of your marketing campaign on social. And if you’re proactively looking for a culturally diverse selection of stock images, check out Tonl.co.

At Tonl.co, you can purchase subscriptions (and cancel at any time) at a low cost.

Another great resource is Nappy, where all photos are licensed under the Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license.

Their motto is “feel free to do your thing” with their image library, as the mission is to “help improve the representation of black and brown people in media.”

TIP: Looking for visuals that represent the latest news related content and editorial event coverage? Check out Shutterstock Editorial.

5 Top Tips for Using Stock on Social (Without Anyone Knowing it’s Stock!)

Now that you know where to find the right stock for your feed, here are some creative tips and tricks for getting the most out of your new assets.

Stock Assets Tip #1: Create on-trend Design Posts 

Design trends are taking over our feeds — so why not hop on board? We’re seeing a wide variety of accounts design visual messages, quotes, and statements with text over image and video clips.

Take part in this trend by placing your message overtop of stock images or videos that match your aesthetic. Check out how G Adventures has used this style on their Pinterest boards — with stock travel images, this is a really simple design to recreate!

how to use stock on social media

Or check out wellness brand @fig_face — they use simple nature backgrounds to support the Black Lives Matter movement.

Though many of Fig Face’s social media posts are taken in-house, their social team has been using stock assets as a resource for adding content they’ve been unable to capture due to current restrictions.

TIP: If you’re unsure how to create design posts using stock visuals, check out apps like Over and Mojo that offer customizable design templates.

Stock Assets Tip #2: Customize Your Instagram Stories 

The Instagram Stories repost feature provides users the ability to share and redirect audiences to the original post that inspired you. Instead of sharing the post to a blank background, use stock assets to make it more on brand.

how to use stock on social media

Be creative and spice up your Instagram Stories reposts by using stock photos as the repost background — it’s a creative (and different) way to bring even more attention to the post you’re sharing.

how to use stock on social media

Want to try it out? Get started by following the steps in this blog post. 

Don’t forget! Your Instagram Stories can be repurposed for Facebook Stories — so none of your creative content goes to waste!

Stock Assets Tip #3: Add Stock Music to Your IGTV Videos 

A great way to make your videos more memorable is by adding stock music or audio tracks to your IGTV videos.

You can do this by adding an opening track to your IGTV series — like how Apartment Therapy and NYMag did in their IGTV series:

Music adds enthusiasm and dimension to your content while tying in a consistent theme for each video. It’s a subtle addition that can really add to your post!

TIP: You can easily add stock audio to your posts with video editing app, InShot!

Stock Assets Tip #4: Create Branded Wallpapers and Patterns 

Another fun way to add charisma and charm to your feed is by creating your own wallpapers. You can use them on your feed, as Stories backgrounds, or as designs for any occasion.

It’s simple. All you have to do is download Patternator and upload the stock visual of your choice.

Then you can go crazy with customization — create isolated patterns or even animated GIFs.

These could be used for Facebook Page cover images, header images or GIFs for email newsletters, or as backgrounds for Instagram Stories — the opportunities are endless!

Stock Assets Tip #5: Mix and Match Stock Assets

The beauty of using stock? There are no rules to how many stock assets you can mix and match.

Especially if you combine a number of different stock assets into one super-creative post, or across your feed.

Take @seed for example. They use a combo of image, design, and video assets on their feed.

The result?  An engaging and educational narrative that makes you want to absorb every ounce of information.

Another great example is @Pangaia. They use calming audio tracks, on-brand text overlays, and short video clips to keep their feed fresh and exciting.

And it doesn’t stop with Instagram for Pangaia, they repurpose and reuse their stock assets on their Facebook page too:

stock photos on facebook

Now that you have some handy tricks up your sleeve and know how to find on-brand stock assets we have no doubt you’ll be creating impressive (and beautiful) social media posts in no time.

Already using Later? Sign in and start browsing Unsplash’s content now. Or sign up today to start planning, scheduling, and posting to Instagram! 

 

Written By

Elaine Rystead

Elaine is a content creator, marketer, and social media consultant based out of Vancouver B.C. She’s also the co-founder of Local Wanderer, a bright and delightful travel blog dedicated to localism. Follow along behind the scenes: @elainery.

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