How to create reels without shooting a single video

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I don’t have to use any sort of stats to tell you how much Instagram Reels have blown up in the last couple of years. Even while reading this I’m sure you must want to go back to scrolling through reels (if you’re in THAT phase).

Reels became popular because of TikTok videos that could also be posted to Instagram in the form of Reels. Which meant the same content, and almost double the audience. Another reason for this boost was that India and a couple of other countries banned the use of TikTok. So to allow their audience to view and interact with their content, they also posted the same content to Instagram Reels.

Since the early stages of the pandemic, businesses started focusing all their marketing strategies on social media engagement. And this leads to EVERYONE using Reels to market their products or services and has now become a major marketing channel.

But why am I telling you all this? How is this going to help you?

Well, what I intend to do is tell you how you can make Reel-focused marketing tasks easier. How? By listing out a few generous sites that allow you to download free videos that you can edit and use for Instagram Reels.

Ready? Let’s go!

1. Pexels

While Pexels might majorly be used for its free images, they also have a wide range of free videos you can download and use in your own social media content. They offer free images and videos so that it’s easier for artists, designers, and creators to get easy access to quality content. Pexels calls this ‘Empowering Creators’.

They have videos in landscape and portrait formats and you can download either for free. There aren’t any requirements to credit the owners but it’s always nice to do it. They also have an option to collect your favorite images or videos. You can make ‘Collection’ folders to separate specifically themed content. This means that in one go, you can browse and keep adding to your folders so that it’s quicker and easier for you when it’s time to schedule them.

You can check out what’s allowed and what’s not allowed here

2. Videvo

This is another free video provider. Videvo has stock videos and motion graphics that you can download and use for your projects or when planning and scheduling your social media. They also offer free music and sound effects. They have the option to collect and store similarly themed videos into separate folders.

You can filter your videos by clip type- Free or Premium, duration, resolution- 720p, 1080p, or 4k, category- backgrounds, animations, screensavers, or matte graphics, and license type. They have 3 License types; royalty-free, Videvo attribution license, and the Creative Commons license. In the royalty-free license type, you can download and use the videos without having to credit the owners. The other 2 license types require you to credit the owner.

You can read more about it here

3. Pixabay

 Pixabay offers a mix of images, videos, illustrations, vector art, music, and sound effects for free. These videos can be used as they are or you can edit them too. On Pixabay, you can filter videos by animation, slow motion, or time-lapse and by resolution- HD (1080p) or 4K (2160p). You can also sort the videos by popular, editors’ choice, upcoming, and latest.

Along with adding videos with specific themes to created folders, you can also like and comment on these videos. They have an option to share to your social accounts as well. You can share on your Facebook, Tumblr, Reddit, and lots more.
The Pixabay License enables artists, designers, and creators to use the videos for their projects, without having to stress about attributing the owners.

You can read more about it here

4. Videezy

Videezy is a video forward site that offers free downloads. You can filter your search for videos by Newest or by Category. They have a wide range of categories and also have a lot of options under each category. For example, under the Urban category, they have options like Landscape, City, Metro Station, New York, Ghetto, etc. Once you select your option, you have a list of other filters to reach your video preferences. You can choose from the file type, license type, resolution, and format.

You can like, comment, and share on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. All the downloads on Videezy are subject to the Videezy Standard License. Their stipulation for free downloads is that you must credit if the videos are used on TV/broadcast, or paste this link if the videos are used on the web.

5. Canva

Canva is actually one of the leading tools that is being used by designers, creators, small business owners, and social media managers. They offer free stock videos, but it can only be downloaded from within their video editing tool.

Once you open the video editing tool, you can choose from a long list of themes. Some of the themes are nature, food, animals, aerial shots, fashion, tech, universe, time-lapse, and lots more! After you’ve found the video you want, drag it to the white canvas as you would when editing anything on Canva. There you can either edit the videos to your liking since the tools are already there. And then when you’re finished, you can go ahead and download it.

Using their videos is completely free but you can read more about their licensing here 

6. Mixkit

Mixkit is a product created by Envato which is one of the leading online communities for creative assets. It offers an extensive collection of free stock videos, music, sound effects, and video templates. Mixkit also has a ton of categories you can select when browsing through the videos. Some of the categories are nature, lifestyle, business, animals, food, etc.

One of the best things about this site is that they have a category called ‘Verticles’. This really comes in handy for Instagram Reels (and also Stories) and involves less editing than the other sites I’ve listed in this article. All these videos are available under the Mixkit Stock Video Free License. This license allows you to download and use these videos on your social media, YouTube, and online marketing ads, for educational purposes, film-making, and more. You can read more about this license and their other licenses here

Using free stock videos can really save a lot of time in your day. It definitely helps a great deal more when some of these sites allow you to create folders for your collection. This makes it easier to open, download, edit and share your content at a quicker pace than usual.

Although all these sites offer free videos, it’s pretty obvious that there are 1 or 2 differences between them. So as always, use trial and error to settle on that one site you can trust to give you high-quality and fresh videos.

Do you already get free videos for your Reels from a different source? Let me know in the comments!

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