Pro Tip: Using TikTok For Your Promotion

Dancing trends, food recipes and life hacks are just a few topics TikTok cover. Let’s face the truth – TikTok is no longer a procrastination app. We can’t underestimate its power among other social media. TikTok reached one billion users at the end of 2021 and is expected to reach 1.8 billion by the end of 2022! Moreover, 32% of users are aged between 25-34. That brings an important question – should I build my brand on TikTok and how to do that? Here’s what you can do.

What is TikTok?

TikTok is a social network for creating and sharing short videos with a length of 3 seconds to 3 minutes long on the topic of dancing, karaoke, food, life hacks, fashion, funny sketches, and much more. In 2018, TikTok became the most successful application in the US and, in addition to English and Chinese, is now also available in more than 75 other languages. Their competitors are well-aware of its popularity – if you think of it, Instagram Reels are videos that are a direct copy of TikTok.

TikTok is a great platform for sharing your content, whether you are a videographer, photographer, illustrator or a music artist! We even use TikTok too!



What To Post?

TikTok is intuitive and the whole process of creating videos is very simple. You can create a new video in the app or upload an existing clip from your gallery. You can then filter the created videos, adjust the speed, compile them with other frames or videos, and of course, you can also insert a musical underline. Additionally, you can transform the voice, add visual effects and various moving or static stickers. Since you‘re already a stock media creator and Pond5 Artist, there’s nothing easier than posting a selection of your best clips on TikTok, captioning it with catchy hashtags using the Tiktok Creative Center, attaching a popular song that is trending right now, and adding your referral link there!

Here are some ideas on what to post:

  • Your clipped and edited footage with background music on TikTok
  • Behind the scenes shots from the set
  • A voiceover of how did you edit that clip or photo (using editing programs + the result)
  • Speedart of an illustration you’ve just uploaded on Pond5
  • The production process of a song you’ve made
  • Tips and Tricks on how to succeed as an artist
  • Trending challenges on TikTok and its For You Page


How Often Should you Post on TikTok?

TikTok is a dynamic social media platform. For the best results, you need to find the right time to post to TikTok – when your audience is most likely to be scrolling, so you need to understand where your target group (the potential buyers) are located and in which time zone are they based to land on their algorithm. Make sure to actually use your TikTok account as well by interacting with other creators, follow, like and comment on their videos.

TikTok recommends posting 1- 4 videos/day. Consistency is more important than frequency. If you’re only able to post a video once or twice a week, create a plan and stick with it. You’re about to build a community and brand from zero so it takes time. Never look for shortcuts – buying followers, likes or views may actually harm your progress!


Get Viral and Refer To Your Content

TikTok is interesting in its viralness. You can actually become famous overnight so make sure you have a consistent profile with a matched profile photo and username with Pond5, Instagram and other social media, and make sure to add your personal referral link to your BIO so you can earn more! If you want to know more about consistency and building your brand, check out this guide.

That’s pretty much it! As an Artist, you have a great opportunity to make TikTok a platform that offers real value of real art. Become a TikTok Artist, promote your work to thousands of people and get more exposure to your work! Make sure to follow us @pond5_official and tag us in your posts. We would love to feature you on our official account!

Pro Tip: Adding Tags To Your Existing Work

Taking care of your metadata is the most critical thing you can do. It is the difference between a buyer discovering and purchasing your content vs. your item appearing on the 10th page. If you feel unsure about the best practices around metadata, check out our Master Your Metadata post.

Add seasonal tags to your work to take advantage of periodic trends. These tags will help surface your relevant content in front of the right buyers. To find inspiration and to think about keywords, see our guide on Keywords and Concepts to find the right ones for your work.


Types of events to consider

Seasonal events – A seasonal event is a recurring event that takes place at approximately the same time. Examples include Halloween, 4th of July, Juneteenth, National Cherry Blossom Festival, Superbowl, Met Ball, Oscars, World Cup, or recurring customs, such as Back to School.

  • Examples of tags you can use related to kids playing on a playground:
    kindergarten, preschool, school, summer break, back to school, scholars, pupils, classmates, free time, leisure, family time, education, virtual classroom, distance learning, start of school, start of term, semester, etc.

Current Events – Current events live for a certain period and are highly searched because people talk about them for example, Coronavirus, the Ukrainian-Russian conflict, etc.

  • Examples of tags you can use for healthcare related content:
    COVID, Covid-19, COVID19, Coronavirus, pandemics, Respirators, FFP2, social distancing,…

On the News Events – These events are trending on the news currently, such as economics, cryptocurrencies, and political topics.

  • Examples of tags you can use for news related content:
    Midterms, Politics, Elections, The Congress, Go Vote, but also concrete keywords and special keywords from us, from social media, etc. Midterms2022, US Midterms, USElections2022, Primaries 2022 etc.

Extra Pro Tip: Always remember to update the year for recurring events like EURO, Midterm elections, Presidential elections, Olympics, etc.
Midterms 2018 > Midterms 2022

Location, date, and event are essential, especially when editing editorial footage. While editing the description, titles, and keywords, don’t forget these details.


  • Title: Vote Center, Indiana, May 3, 2022 – People In Queue, Voting, Primaries, Midterms
  • Description: Acton UMC Vote Center, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA (May 3, 2022), A queue of people holding ballots in front of the local polling station.
  • Keywords: Midterms, Midterms 2022, US Primaries, May Primaries, Primaries Indiana, Midterms Indiana, Indianapolis, People, Crowd, Ballot, Queue, Elections, Voting, US Congress, Senate, House of Representatives, Go Vote, Politics, Politicians, Democrats, Republicans, Polling, Polling Station, Precinct, etc.


When to add current tags to your media?

Utilize Your Pond5 Guide to the Year and Data and Trends for insights on when it’s best to enrich your content with additional tags.

The ideal timing for adding new tags is essential. Our buyers plan their campaigns months in advance, so you should plan at least two months before the event, holiday, or season.
For example, if you have a video of people playing football, add the relevant keywords referring to the finals three months ahead of the event. Also, think of different keywords for different countries – both football and soccer should be there!

Example: A generic close up video of a football player may have different tags throughout the whole year:

The first set of keywords might refer to a local league – Premier League, United Kingdom, Uk Premier League Soccer Association, The Football Association, The FA
Another set of keywords may refer to an upcoming World Cup – 2022 World Cup, FIFA 2022, FIFA Qatar, Now is All, 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification, etc.
You can consider specific keywords for UEFA EURO, Champion League, etc.

Soccer Player Makes A Kick by haizon.


Think of concepts

The way you look at your work isn’t always the way your potential buyer sees it. Always think of both sides of the story and prepare your metadata for everyone!

Example: If you have a shot of roasted bacon, you can use words like
crispy, yummy, delicious, BBQ, burger, etc.,
but also unhealthy, fat, junk food, obesity, civilization disease, high blood pressure, cancer, etc.


How To Add Keywords?

Follow the steps below or visit Your Pond5 Guide to Keywords for a more in-depth guide. Add as many descriptive keywords as possible up to a limit of 50 for each upload.

  1. Navigate to your My Uploads section by clicking on your avatar and selecting Uploads from the dropdown menu.
  2. Search for the file you want to edit. For a better understanding of your dashboard, check out this guide.
  3. Click on the number on the right in the “TAGS” column.
  4. Add your tags, and once you are finished, click on “Submit”.
  5. Reload the page – you should be able to see the new number of tags.

And that’s it! See? You can always enhance your previously uploaded batches of content so use the advantage of adding new tags and start increasing the sale potential of your existing uploads.

Your Pond5 Guide to Keywords

Pond5 Guide to Keywords
TOP IMAGE: Freelance Work And Writing Online Concept by VECTORIUM.

Our intelligent search algorithm works just like the search engine you’re used to when shopping for a specific item or researching a particular topic. In the same way that keywords promote pages on Google, relevant keywords help buyers find your work on Pond5.

The unique Keyword Codes (also called “tags”) in our Shoot Briefs, Music Briefs, and Buyer Requests are a great example. In this case, we assign a specific Keyword to each topic. When you include this keyword with your upload, it is “tagged” as that particular theme, allowing us to find and promote it to buyers searching for that type of content. Read on to learn expert get-my-work-noticed tips!


Picking The Right Keywords

Choosing effective keywords can feel daunting, but it’s easier than you think. Find inspiration from work that’s already performing well by using our top-selling content to your advantage! Search for your subject on Pond5 and sort the results by ‘popular’.

Then click on any thumbnail and scroll down to see Related Searches and Related Categories. These popular headings are also relevant ideas for your keywords!

Additionally, check out the Data and Trends section for Trending Searches and our 20 top searched keywords. We update the content every month for each media type!


Stay Up To Date

Keywords are most helpful when they’re current, so remember to prioritize re-tagging your work according to topical events.

For example, if your page has a generic shot of a hospital, you may want to add “Covid-19” as a keyword. Because the pandemic is such a trending topic, it’s likely that people will search for it by name—and voila! Your work would be served to them.

Similarly, if you had a shot of uniform-clad school pupils, you could re-tag your clips with Back To School at the end of July. On that note, read on for more tips on how to say the right thing at the right time.


Think Like a Buyer and Plan Ahead

Try to plan your productions so that your work is ready when buyers need it. Marketers and production companies plan their campaigns months ahead of the actual event, so it’s important to plan even earlier than that!

For example, if you are an After Effects artist looking to upload work for November’s Midterms 2022 elections, aim to upload your content by the end of April. Campaign managers will be looking for suitable assets as early as May, make yours the first work they see!


Tell Both Sides of the Story

It’s all about perspective so be sure to describe your subject in diverse ways. Buyers will use your content for varying purposes, and search terms should reflect that.

For example, if you shoot a closeup of bacon rotating on a plate, you could use
crispy, yummy, roasted, salty, burger, BBQ, etc.
However, you can also use
unhealthy, fatty, junk food, health risk, high cholesterol, etc.

As you can see, keyword planning is an exercise in creativity and strategy. Thankfully, updating them is simple.


How to Add Keywords:

Keywords can be added or edited in a few different ways:

  1. Directly From Uploads

    • Navigate to the Uploads page
    • Click on the bracketed number in the “TAGS” column (to the left of your price)
    • A small window will pop up. Here you can add or edit up to 50 keywords, separating them with a comma.
    • Click on “Submit”

  3. While Editing Items

    • In Uploads, click on an item’s ID number.
    • You will be directed to an “Edit Item” page.
    • Scroll down to the Keywords section and add or edit keywords.
    • Click on “Save and Submit for Review”.
    • Note: If your media is already online and you’re just re-tagging your content, you’ll see “Save changes” instead.


  5. By Applying CSV

    • In Uploads, click on Apply CSV and select your media type below.
    • Click on the “Download CSV” button. This downloads a CSV file of your entire portfolio, featuring mandatory information like the Filename, Title, and Keywords; as well as optional information fields.
    • Add new data or edit the existing information in this file.
    • Re-upload the updated file via the APPLY CSV page. (Applying in bulk? Find step-by-step instructions here)

  7. By Collection

    • In Uploads, select your collection from the drop-down menu and add the keyword to each media item.

Pro Tips: The more thorough your description, the better your chances of appearing in searches! Just avoid keyword stuffing, special symbols, and characters.


Ready to get noticed?

Keywords are essential tools that maximize your chance of sales by putting your work in front of interested buyers. So dive in and give all your hard work the exposure it deserves!


Your Media, Wanted Worldwide

Pond5 contributors set their own prices and earn an industry-leading percentage of every sale.

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The Hero Frame: Choosing the Right Thumbnails for Your Clips

The Hero Frame

We are visual creatures. Whether we’re attracted to a movie poster, a novel’s dust jacket, or an album or magazine cover, it’s the image that draws us in. Your content may be rich, but if your clips aren’t represented in the way your collection deserves, you won’t be able to attract all of the buyers seeking them out.

It takes just 13 milliseconds for your brain to see an image. When buyers are searching for clips, they’re exposed to a rapid fire deluge of shapes and concepts, shifting their gaze at an average of three times per second. That’s super fast. So how do you capture a frame and make your clips stand out among the millions of images they’re competing with? The process of choosing a hero frame (aka thumbnail) to represent your clip can be quick, but crucial.


Choosing the Right Hero Frame

Often, we come across search results that exhibit uninspired thumbnails with little relevance to the clip’s theme or subject. (See the example below.) You spend quite a bit of time adding descriptions and keywords to your clips to help get your work noticed, so it’s important not to undermine that effort by overlooking this very important detail.

It’s imperative that you select a frame that best represents your clip. The example below demonstrates the hero frames that one filmmaker diligently selected before his work went live.

Pulling a strong frame that resonates with buyers is just as important as applying accurate keywords to your clips. The frame you choose should stand on its own, much like a well-composed photograph. If you haven’t done this before, we highly encourage you to revisit your collection and follow these simple instructions.


How to Select a Thumbnail on Pond5

You can complete this process in just a few simple steps. After logging in to your Pond5 account, upload your clip, or find the previously uploaded clip you want to modify.

On the Edit Item page, you will see 16 frames below the “Thumbnail” header. Choose a frame by clicking on it, and try out different possibilities until you find the find that works best. The ability to capture both the spirit and the mood of a clip in one static image depends on you.

When you’ve found the thumbnail that best represents your clip, simply save it and move on to the next one. Please note that by editing your thumbnail you‘re modifying our database so it might take up to 24 hours to reindex your data – don‘t worry, that‘s a standard process.

Remember that buyers will be drawn to your collection if you can visually articulate the value of your work by choosing the right frames to represent it.

When people are inundated with thousands of choices, there’s no better way to communicate a theme that supports and illustrates your clips than a powerful thumbnail.

Top image: Concentrated Asian Businesswoman In Eyeglasses Pointing At Computer Monitor by LightFieldStudios.

Keywords and Concepts: How to Get More Eyes (and Buys) on Your Work

Gear Essentials

If you’re creating media for sale or licensing, regardless of how beautiful your work is, it only matters if people actually see it. Unique keywords added to your content can translate to more traffic and make the difference between 25 searches and 1,000 searches of your collection.

More often than not, customers will dial in a keyword well before narrowing their search to a specific theme or category — so even before you take your first shot, you should be thinking of conceptual ideas you can weave in to what may appear to be a simple shoot.


Give your work a unique voice

Individual shots with the most targeted concepts will undoubtedly be the bestsellers in your collection, as long as your aim is true. Conceptual keywords have the power to reveal a more complex meaning to the viewer, so take the time to analyze the image beyond the general idea and think about the mood that best represents the theme.

The more targeted ideas you can pepper into a shot, the better your odds are for increasing your revenue when people are searching for related visuals. Your best shots will be those that convey a simple message while capturing layers of complexity developing beneath the scenes’s overall theme.

Video: Young Man Looking Through Vinyl Record Collections At Music Shop by Kaspar_Films.


Tighten up your concepts

When you’re in the initial phase of pre-production, you should always create a shoot brief including conceptual keywords for each scene. This will help you minimize your shot list by only focusing on the scenes with the strongest concepts — which will save you endless amounts of time editing through dailies and potentially save you money in the long run. Plus, the more strong concepts that you can seamlessly roll into a single scene, the higher the chances for visibility will be.

Video: Sun Rays Light Shines Through Trees And Branches Of Jungle Forest Canopy by BananaRepublic.


Two sides to every story

If you’re focused primarily on the positive side of identifying concepts, it’s possible you may miss out on projects with narratives that represent the other side of things. For instance, a clip featuring a dense rainforest could be used to represent nature or adventure, but it could also represent a diminishing resource caused by deforestation, climate change, or other natural or man-made threats.

For a close-up of bacon strips sizzling on the grill, the filmmaker has beautifully captured the meat’s texture and savoriness, making this perfect for a piece on cooking or eating. On the other hand, keywords like “unhealthy,” “heart attack,” “processed,” and “cancer” can also resonate with a client building a healthcare spot. As long as the keyword is within reason and the theme is executed well, covering all angles increases your chances of the image living within an editor’s final cut.

Video: Macro Shot Of Slow Motion Bacon Frying In Pan by SkywardKick.


Keep your keywords accurate

Often, clients will become familiar with your work after using it once or twice, which will drive their search directly to your collection when starting a new project. Be aware, however, that if you lead a customer down a path littered with false or exaggerated keywords, you may never get another chance to showcase your work and thread it into their next story. So, while using varied keywords that cover different angles and concepts is always good, make sure to keep things accurate. Misleading keywords may get you more views, but chances are they won’t lead to sales and will ultimately backfire.

Video: Gay Couple At A Dinner Party Sitting On Sofa And Chatting by Kaspar_Films.


Read the world around you

Be aware of the ever-changing demographics, trends, and terms that define a technology, an event, an occupation, a community, a culture, or an individual. You can bet that terms such as “Millennial”, “LGBTQ+” or “Diversity” are weaved into the themes and stories that are developed by today’s editors and producers. As media makers, it’s our job to clearly represent these themes and to provide those looking for ways to illustrate them with the quickest route to the freshest and most relative media.

That‘s why we keep bringing you the freshest ideas for your next production in our Buyer Requests straight from the real clients, Shoot Briefs to cover current visual trends, as well as Music Briefs, a hand-picked collection of monthly requests, created by our Director of Audio Collections, Mike Pace.

Top image: Concentrated Asian Businesswoman In Eyeglasses Pointing At Computer Monitor by LightFieldStudios.

7 Elements of A Great Social Media Video

Working With Green Screen

Using videos on your social media channels to promote your brand is vital to getting them to grow and be seen. And although it may seem simple to just fire off a tweet or post an Instagram story without much thought, the most successful social media users are doing a lot more than improvising or uploading raw files to the web. They’re actually working hard behind the scenes to create and edit quality video content that enhances their brand, using any and all tools at their disposal.

Basically what we’re trying to say is that there’s a lot more that goes into a successful social media video than it seems, and it’s important to be aware of things from how often you post, to the video’s message, to the aspect ratio that makes a big difference.
Here are the 7 elements of a great social media video.

1. Interesting and Stunning Visuals

Since you’re making content for a visual medium, the visuals need to entice people! Use your most captivating shot, text, or graphic to hook people upfront, and keep them around by using the best content you have throughout the rest of the video. Remember that the thumbnail is just as, if not more important for your audience. Either select the best frame from your video when uploading or do some basic editing in photoshop or by using a photo editing app on your thumbnail file that you can then upload. Also, don‘t forget to check out our download section for additional material, such as badges or overlays for your thumbnails – let everyone know that you‘re a Pond5 artist!

2. A Great Story

Users are going to connect with your content more if there’s an intriguing story. A collection of interesting and stunning shots is great but can be limiting if that’s all the video is. They should have some sort of relationship with each other or to you as a creator. Be clear, simple, and concise with your messaging, because people have limited time and are easily swayed to move on to other content.

A good test to see if you have a good story is to watch the video without sound or text, (or without footage or sound if your video is text-heavy). You should actually plan for people to watch without sound, in fact. If you can convey exactly what you want to without them, then your story is good to go.
The last way to make your story more engaging is to give it authenticity. People can spot a fake pretty easily, so use genuine imagery and audio to convey your message.

3. Efficient Use Of Text

It’s hard to understand and engage with a video if the text is way too long, has spelling or grammar errors, or isn’t on screen long enough. The general rule of thumb is to let the words on the screen be long enough to be read through twice, so build your presentation around that duration. Don’t hesitate to add funny, unexpected, or provocative copy that makes the viewer want to see more.
The other thing you can do is subtitle the video yourself. A lot of platforms will do it for you, but they’re not perfect, and therefore typos may occur. You can instead create the subtitles yourself and get full control over what the viewer needs to read.

4. Technical Proficiency

Most great social posts follow the basic rules for making a great video, including legible, coherent audio, stable footage, and interesting/unique angles. They have the proper aspect ratio, compression settings, duration, and fit within the specs of the social media outlet that’s being used.
Familiarize yourself with each platform’s upload requirements and create shortcut workflows either in your editing software or in the app that allow you to replicate the best settings for each one, saving you time and headaches later.

RELATED POST:  Quick guide to Social Media

5. Quality Over Quantity

Only you can determine your posting schedule and what works best with your workflow. You should post as frequently as you feel comfortable posting, as long as your video quality doesn’t suffer. Create deadlines for work, but be careful not to burn yourself out by trying to constantly “feed the beast.” Always keep in mind that consistency is key.
Less is more in many cases, so if you’ve got a project that’s taking a long time, think about breaking it up into a few shorter sections. You can then devote more time to the project as a whole, and spread out the videos over more time.

6. Cool Visual Effects

One of the easiest ways to set your video apart from others is to add some basic visual effects. Whether it’s adding a simple lower third, logo reveal, or using motion tracking for a text layer, putting in a little something extra makes a big difference.

Slide shows, credit sequences, infographics, animations, and 2D flash elements are all dynamic and increase the production quality of your videos, and are relatively easy to work with.

7. A Call To Action/Branding

Branding is a huge part of the process, and it should be. Rarely do you see a great social media video without some way to follow up with the company or artist who posted it. Let the viewers know exactly where to go to see more of your work, or where they can go to view the subject of the video.

Include your other social media handles and a custom referral link to your Pond5 storefront – anyone accessing Pond5 with your custom link will get 20% off and you’ll get 20% of their purchase plus you’ll keep earning anytime they buy something for a full year.

Also, this is a good opportunity for you to add a watermark to your footage and photos posted on social networks as well. It serves two functions: to protect your work from piracy and to use it as an opportunity to have your logo visible throughout the video.

When adding watermarks, branding, and tagging your content, make sure that you don’t make it an overwhelming viewing experience. Having a giant watermark can be distracting; a full 15-second credit intro stinger can drive people away, and having multiple calls-to-action pop up on the screen can just be too much. Keep it simple, and make sure people know how to get in touch with you.

Chances are you’re already posting video content to social media, but having a more focused and professional approach to it can really make a world of difference. Be sure to always keep an eye on your statistics and see what’s working and what’s not. Use visual and storytelling trends to your advantage by either creating with them in mind or by finding your own niche outside of them and doing something differently intentionally. Remember to also have fun, because when you’re having fun as a creator, it shows in your work!

Top Image: Pleasant Happy European Female With Red Hair Ask To Follow Blog In Internet by ufabizphoto .