What Video Subjects Are Customer Buying?

Posted on 1/14/2016 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)

One of the keys to success in stock photography is understanding what customers want. Given that the worldwide customer base is so diverse, that is often difficult to determine. We all see lots of different image uses in our daily activity, but often these are of little help in determining what customers really want to buy.

Some of the larger stock image sellers supply their contributors with information about the general subject matter that is in demand. Given that there are so many possible subjects to photograph, this kind of information can be very helpful in determining where to concentrate one’s efforts.

Unfortunately, such information is usually not available to potential contributors who have never submitted to the particular distributors. However, if you get a few images or video clips accepted by a licensing company then you should start receiving all their regular communications with their contributors.

VideoBlocks sends out regular advisories to its contributors giving them information about the keywords customers use most frequently when looking for video clips.

A recent advisory listed the following Top Selling Keywords.

Most Used 2nd Most 3rd Most 4th Most 5th Most 6th Most
Business Office Work Career Corporate Antelopes
Industry Occupation Businessman Team Urban Warehouse manager
Job Professional Worker Modern Desk Robots
  Working Computer Communication Design  
  Technology   City Laptop  
      Profession Meeting  
      Equipment Economy  

At first glance these are so generic that they may not seem to be all that useful. But they may tell you where not to waste your time if your goal in production is to earn money. Virtually all the words seem to relate to business and work. There are no words that relate to landscapes or beautiful scenics. There is very little that might relate to travel (maybe city) or wildlife (antelopes). This doesn’t mean that they never sell this type of imagery. They have a lot of it and I’m sure some of this subject matter sells. But it is not the kind of imagery VideoBlock’s customers are looking for most often.

One thing that surprises me is that family life, couples, beach scenes or children are not on this list. We certainly see a lot of this kind of imagery being used in things we look at every day. Maybe this subject matter is just not what VideoBlock’s customers are looking for? Maybe they use the keywords to search, but don’t find anything they want to buy. (Remember, these are the words used to find clips that sell.) Maybe customers hire photographers to produce this type of imagery rather than buy stock. Maybe other distributors get more demand for this subject matter.

All these things are useful to know before you spend time shooting and producing clips.

VideoBlocks also supplied the following list of High Demand, Low Supply search terms.
If you are looking for what to shoot, and have easy access to any of these situations, these are certainly subjects worth spending some time shooting.
    Banking – bank, financial, banking, bankrupt
    Industrial – engineering, heavy machinery operator
    Medical – medical technology, health care
    General Business – sales person, design team at work, high tech people, data storage
    Judicial – court, justice, law office
For creators actually interested in earning money from the work they create it is becoming more and more important to focus their energies on producing content that is in greatest demand. It would be helpful if more stock distributors made this kind of information more widely available. ViedoBlocks seems to be leading the way.

Copyright © 2016 Jim Pickerell. The above article may not be copied, reproduced, excerpted or distributed in any manner without written permission from the author. All requests should be submitted to Selling Stock at 10319 Westlake Drive, Suite 162, Bethesda, MD 20817, phone 301-461-7627, e-mail: wvz@fpcubgbf.pbz

Jim Pickerell is founder of www.selling-stock.com, an online newsletter that publishes daily. He is also available for personal telephone consultations on pricing and other matters related to stock photography. He occasionally acts as an expert witness on matters related to stock photography. For his current curriculum vitae go to: http://www.jimpickerell.com/Curriculum-Vitae.aspx.  


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