“On the fourth day of Christmas my true love gave to meeee…

...content that’s royalty-free!”

14/12/20

Brett Riley-Tomlinson

image of royalty-free

Few businesses can create their own videos and photos whenever they like. Having access to royalty-free images, therefore, is like owning a golden goose - it’s a gift that keeps on giving.


When an image or video is classed as royalty-free (also known as a C00 licence) you can do whatever you like with it, without having to pay for a copyright licence or mention the creator. Lots of people make the huge mistake of taking images from Google. The majority of images across the web are not royalty-free or meant for commercial use; if you include them on your website or use them within your social media posts you may receive an invoice through the post from the content’s creator (or their solicitor).


The thing is, you don’t even need to take such a risk when there are platforms like Pixabay and Unsplash to source images from (the former advertises paid-for images from Shutterstock as well as their royalty-free ones - just be careful that you choose a free image from the correct section!). When using a free image, it’s courteous to thank the creators by donating the cost of a coffee; this will still be cheaper than purchasing credits or subscription services from sites such as Shutterstock.


Click to enlarge

Screenshot of Pixabay

Screenshot of Pixabay
Unsplash screen shot

Both Pixabay and Unsplash are great for inspiration. Quite often you can get writers’ block when creating content for your marketing; if you simply scroll through the images and videos you may come up with a few ideas on how you could use said image in your posts/content/marketing.

Some musicians claim that there are two ways to write a song:

  1. Write the lyrics then create the accompanying music

  2. Create the music then write the lyrics

Neither is wrong; they’re just different ways of working.

When searching on Pixabay for a specific topic, you will be able to select the type of content you would like, i.e. an image, graphic or video.

pixabay selection

pixabay selection

Try and be as specific as you can when looking for something, as the site will search through all its forms of content and filters. You could otherwise spend hours trawling through irrelevant assets until you find the one you need.


Whenever we use Pixabay as a company, we create a folder and label it ‘inspiration’. We then add photos and videos that we may like, but which are not quite right for what we want on that particular occasion. It helps save time and it’s also a great reference point if we ever do get writers’ block.

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