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Why B-Roll Footage is So Valuable

Updated: Nov 19, 2019

B-roll footage is alternative or supplemental footage that supports your brand messaging, services and/or products, where as A-roll footage is the principal footage used to tell the story like on camera talent. B-roll is often spliced into the main footage to enhance videos, tell a better story, create smoother transitions and allow for proper pacing of the edit. Popular types of B-roll footage include stock footage, still photographs and animation.

Without question, B-roll footage is a valuable asset to your project and your future marketing efforts as it can be used numerous times when archived properly. Let’s discuss the reasons to keep this footage and how to use it to create beautiful, seamless transitions and scenes.

Capture Unscripted Moments

As described above, A-roll footage is mostly scripted material essential to telling your story. B-roll footage runs in the background, so it’s a great tool for picking up behind-the-scenes moments, bloopers and other unscripted material. People love this type of content because it’s real, genuine and oftentimes funny or humanizing. If you want to inject character and personality into your video, head over to your supplemental footage for ideas.

Cover Up Mistakes

Mistakes in life are inevitable and video production is no exception. Whether it’s a shaky camera, an awkward expression from the talent a focus issue or any other of a million potential challenges B-roll can save the day. Most times these mistakes are not discovered until you reach the editing suite. Rather than having to re-film some or all of the project, which is time consuming and costly, you can use B-roll footage to mask the error seemingly perfect video.

Rescue from Undershooting

If it turns out that you didn’t capture enough footage to create your anticipated video, you can turn to your B-roll archive. This footage reservoir gives you another perspective and allows you to further enhance the story. Since the footage is all original it still maintains the brand message, integrity and supports the overarching.

Create Powerful, Engaging Videos

Video marketing is incredibly effective at capturing attention and building relationships. But, your videos will only be powerful if people watch them! This is why it’s important to have a lot of footage to work with. This allows you to keep it fresh, original and visually interesting. So, run your B-roll often and catch those special little details and moments that could never be scripted and reap the benefits of that additional material. As people are being interviewed, you can showcase the office environment, establish the feeling or energy of an event or place and keep viewers engaged.

Building Your Internal Library

Getting your team, location, products, clients or whatever else is need for your production all ready and together for a shoot is the most challenging part of video production. So why not get the greatest ROI by multi purposing your footage over the next few years. This footage can be sprinkled throughout productions done in-house or by various production companies until it is no longer timely. Another great way to use this footage is to pull still images from your b-roll. Today cameras shoot at resolutions high enough to support 1920 x 1080 pixels or even much higher which is completely sufficient for most web uses. So your B-roll can also be used to freshen up the images on your websites or social media platforms.

To ensure maximum reuse of your content be sure to negotiate the rights to retain the source footage on your own drive when hiring a production company. e extra footage will be useful for future videos, keep it for another project.

In the end, all footage should be properly labeled, and archived for future use. You’ve already done the hard part of getting everything in place to capture those great shots,so why not go through the footage, use what you want and keep the rest for a future project. You’ll thank yourself in the long run because B-roll footage saves money while keeping your videos and even your website and social media accounts fresh, vibrant and genuine.


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