Unlock Your Creativity: 10 Must-Try Online Tools and AI for Stunning Visual Content Creation

By Joy Wong 11 April, 2024

digital marketing AI design

Given how quickly human brains can process visuals compared to text, high-quality images are crucial for capturing attention and effectively communicating your message. We all understand that a picture speaks louder than words. However, hiring a professional photographer for every campaign or website refresh can put a strain on your budget.

This is where stock photo libraries become an invaluable resource. With dozens of free and paid sites offering licensing options, stock photos give you the flexibility to tell compelling visual stories without breaking the bank. From showcasing your products and services to sharing behind-the-scenes perspectives, stock image sites open up creative possibilities for any marketer.

In this article, we will explore some of the best free and paid platforms across different categories of stock content, templates, and photo editing tools.


1. Essential Image Assets

2. Make Video Assets Attractive

3. Enhancing Creativity with AI Assistants


1. Essential Image Assets


As one of the largest free stock photo libraries, Unsplash has amassed a huge collection of curated photos under flexible licensing.

image5-1For small businesses in particular, Unsplash is useful for creating collections of images tailored to specific themes or marketing initiatives. Users can organize photos into curated galleries and easily search within categories or tags to find images on a given topic. This makes it a good fit when you need multiple similar shots to tell a visual story. Browsing and managing assets is seamless with Unsplash.



In addition to photos, vector illustration assets are invaluable for many graphic needs.


Users have easy access to customizable graphics that can be enhanced and tailored to specific projects.  The site streamlines browsing extensive vector selections and expanding creative possibilities with a growing selection of aesthetically versatile content.



With over 7 million resources between vectors, PSDs and photos, Freepik caters to diverse design tasks.


Freepik also simplifies discovery with its powerful search filters - sort content by orientation, color theme, art style and more. Users have access to downloads optimized for graphics programs as well, such as vector files compatible with Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop.

For further needs, users can also choose various paid plan upgrades for premium content options.As the industry standard for professional visual content, Adobe Stock is an investment suited for larger budgets and comprehensive creative needs.


Adobe Stock

As the industry standard for professional visual content, Adobe Stock is an investment suited for larger budgets and comprehensive creative needs.


If you're looking for a single-stock platform integrated with the full Adobe creative toolkit, it's an excellent choice. Its customizable commercial licenses fit various budgetary and project requirements. Additionally, the Creative Collaboration feature allows distributed teams to cooperate effortlessly. 


2. Make Video Assets Attractive


In addition to photos, Pexels has built a sizable library of royalty-free stock videos.

image11Ranging from nature clips to time-lapse videos, their breadth of genres brings visual diversity. Particularly useful are mockup videos incorporating green screen effects. This allows the compositing of products, designs or branding.



As a versatile multimedia platform, Videvo houses stock footage as well as motion graphics, templates, music and sound effects.


Expansive variety supports a wide range of creative needs. Videvo provides both free and premium licensed content including vast 4K and HD video archives with unlimited project usage. Their motion graphics also enhance visual narratives. The site gives flexible options to both individual creators and larger organizations.



Offering affordable subscription plans starting, Storyblocks is well-suited for video editors working with smaller budgets or those who don't require top-tier footage quality.


Unlike buying individual files, Storyblocks employs an unlimited download model giving access to their extensive library. This includes over 1 million stock videos and audio clips in HD/4K quality. In addition to raw footage, Storyblocks supplies After Effects templates under Royalty-free licensing. This flexibility makes Storyblocks a useful option for visual storytellers on a budget.


Envato Elements

As a one-stop marketplace, Envato Elements acts as both an all-in-one solution and a cost-effective supplement for visual content needs.

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The site catalogs stock resources suitable for varied media types. With its expansive collection including over 4 million stock video and motion graphic assets, the majority in high-resolution 4K quality, Elements equips creators with compelling footage for any visual narrative.  Templates, sound effects, and music further enhance multimedia productions.


3. Enhancing Creativity with AI Assistants

AI is rapidly transforming visual content creation and editing workflows. While generated images may one day replace stock photos, current AI image generation isn't perfect, at least not yet. In the meantime, we can use various tools that have emerged that utilize AI to assist and enhance the creative process.


Beyond extensive customization options and design elements, Canva harnesses AI to enhance capabilities and user experience. While primarily used for standard design, it incorporates helpful machine-learning features.  




Uizard stands out in many UX design tools for its extensive portfolio of AI capabilities paired with intuitive drag-and-drop editing.


Users can convert screenshots into editable mockups, transform hand-drawn sketches into digital wireframes, and generate UI themes directly from website URLs. Designers can even produce copy from simple text prompts to rapidly flesh out ideas.

This fusion of powerful AI and easy-to-use interface streamlines the entire UX workflow. UI design and development teams can focus energy on innovation rather than tedious manual tasks.



In summary, this article has provided an overview of resources for sourcing high-quality stock image and video assets, as well as AI-powered tools for enhancing visual content creation. The optimal solutions will vary depending on individual needs, budgets and intended uses of the creative materials.

As visual storytelling evolves, both traditional and emerging technologies will remain valuable in combination. By diversifying your creative toolbox, these resources empower marketers to showcase their brands in a vibrant new light.


Virtue Media is an inbound digital marketing agency that specializes in helping businesses create successful social media campaigns. Our team of experts can help you develop a content strategy, and track your results. We are motivated, collaborative, and passionate about helping brands we believe in reach new heights. Want to elevate your social media strategy even further? The digital marketing pros at Virtue Media are here to help! Check out our website or contact us to get started.

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