Video content has exploded in popularity, and it's no wonder. Consumers find video engaging, compelling and convincing--so much so that they're anywhere from 64% to 85% more likely to buy after watching a product video.

In fact, video on a landing page can boost conversions by an astonishing 80%. Already, companies that use video on their website get 41% more traffic from search results than those that don't, and by next year, you can expect 74% of all web traffic to be video.

Sure, every smartphone worth its salt has a decent video camera, but the highly competitive content arena today demands top quality content in all formats--including video.

There's a lot to think about, from actually shooting the video to post production, finding copyright free music and more. Equipment quality, lighting expertise, editing skill and audio optimization still matter a great deal (more than ever, in fact).

So while the barriers to entry for video creation have been reduced, the barriers to creating exceptional video have actually skyrocketed.

In this column, we're going to explore some really useful places to find one element that can make your marketing and product videos way more professional and polished: background music.

Free Background Music Sites

This site lets you search by the type of Creative Commons license you're willing to work with, or you can filter out only background music in the public domain. There are over 1,500 tracks tagged as public domain and allowing for commercial use, so it's definitely worth checking out!

Gerry Music offers tracks created by sound engineer and musician Gerry Black, who offers free background music for personal use with Creative Commons attribution. For marketing videos, you can license tracks for $18.

Another musician's site, this one features the works of Kevin MacLeod. His collections span jazz, rock, classics, macabre and more and tracks are available free of charge with proper attribution.

This site houses thousands of tracks produced by independent virtual record labels who typically license their music in exchange for your credits attributing the work to them. Just make sure you read the Creative Commons license information and that the background music you're after is approved for commercial use.

Purchasing Quality Background Music for Video

TuneTrack Commercial is a collection of royalty-free tracks with one-time license fees. The search engine is... not the best, as there aren't a lot of ways to filter and sort tracks. But there are a few dozen artists featured on the site, which gives you some variety the single-composer sites are lacking.

As the creators of opsound note in their licensing information, you're free to use the music on their site for any purpose, but commercial users are encouraged to obtain permission from the creator. Opsound is an open community, so you'll find all kinds of background music here. Quality will vary, but you're more likely to find something truly original here, too.

BeatPick has a way more powerful search engine and allows you to filter by genre, mood, vocals/instrument, artist, song topic and more. Once you choose a track, clicking "License this song" will let you indicate what you're using it for, which dictates the cost of the license.

Jamendo is unique in that it suggests different tracks for different types of video ads, including Facebook, YouTube, radio, TV and more. Pick your track and then click through for licensing information--$49 gets you a standard license for most online uses.

If the ethics of music production and licensing are important to you, you'll want to check out the background music licensing site that promises, "We are not evil." MagnaTune works directly with artists and promises that 50% of the license fee goes directly to the music's creator.

IMATunes is a German company who guarantees their musical works are royalty free currently and in the future. It's easy to filter music by mood, genre, tempo, or instruments.

Tips for Sourcing Background Music for Video

Content creators are often unsure about what "copyright free music" actually means. Does it mean it's free for you to use for whatever you want?

Not exactly.

Typically, you need to either purchase a license, give attribution to the music creator, or use truly copyright free music for your video projects (also called public domain). Don't confuse this with royalty-free, which means you won't pay royalties but may pay a one-time licensing fee.

Get to know the different types of Creative Commons licenses so you can see at a glance what you need to do in order to use a piece of background music.

Want to learn more about how video can help your business? Click here to learn 6 genius ways video can help accelerate the growth of your startup.