Companies that use videos in their marketing strategy grow revenue 49% faster, compared to those that don’t, according to a 2017 trend report.
If you’re feeling behind the curve in this area, you’re not alone: One in four marketers and small business owners feel behind on video marketing, and 83% say they’d create more video content if there were no obstacles, like time, resources and budget. The good news, experts say, is that you don’t have to be a technology whiz to get started with video content creation.
Content: It’s All About the Customer
“The beginning of the video should include at least 30 seconds about the buyer’s needs. Only after you show them that you understand what they need will they be ready to hear about you and your business,” advises Robert Cassard, founder of the marketing company Video Growth Hacker in Alameda, California. “When planning your video, ask yourself, who is your ideal buyer? What nagging problem of theirs can you solve, or what vital opportunity can you offer?” (For more tips on content, see “How to Produce Short-Form Videos that Capture Customers“)
Equipment: Basics that Don’t Break the Bank
The most important pieces of DIY video equipment are affordable, says Joshua Feinberg, digital strategist and co-founder of SP Home Run, a consulting firm in West Palm Beach, Florida. You can make all the following purchases on Amazon.com for under $300:
- Camera. “Many smartphones have good-enough video cameras to provide a starting point, but if yours doesn’t, you can find affordable DSLR cameras that meet the same requirement,” Feinberg says.
- Tripod. This is a must, whether you’re using a camera, camcorder or smartphone, to eliminate any shakiness while recording.
- Audio. How your video sounds is nearly as important as how it looks, Feinberg says. Depending on which camera you choose, you can decide among boom microphones, handheld microphones and lavalier (clip-on) microphones.
- Lighting. Basic three-point lighting kits, consisting of a key light, a fill light and a backlight, are available for under $50 and add dimension to the subject while filling in any shadows. If, however, you want to start by shooting outdoors, Feinberg recommends that you shoot facing away from the light, especially the sun, and
Editing Software: Free or Cheap, and Fairly Simple
Check out free resources that offer stock video images, clips and audio files, such as the YouTube Audio Library and Pexels.com stock photos. These are especially helpful for adding music and special effects to videos in which the bulk of the information is provided with text or graphics.
For additional guidance, you can find programs that make it easy to spin your content into a professional-looking video. For example, Magisto is an automated video editor, available for as little as $20 monthly for a professional package, that can be used on any device. Another popular program, iMovie is exclusively for Apple’s iOS and Mac OS platforms and is free. Both options offer a user-friendly interface that guides the user from start to finish, adding features to your photos and clips, such as background music, themes, wording, captions, filters and effects like slow motion.
Video Length: Start Short
The length of your video will ultimately depend on your goal. For example, a longer “how-to” video will offer different results than a short-form reveal or highlight designed for social media. In the early stages of creating videos, keep them short, Cassard suggests—about two minutes. “A ‘tight’ video shows you respect the viewer’s time, makes you more likeable and leaves them wanting more,” he says.
Deploy Video Strategically
- Include the video on your landing page (which will give your site a boost in Google searches, according to a recent study)
- Allow embedding and make it shareable on social media (another potential SEO boost)
- Create a YouTube channel, which can include product demos, getting-to-know-us videos or videos of a speech or presentation
- Link to the video from your website blogs
- Put a link in your email signature
- Share the link in email marketing or newsletters
- Run promotional videos on your lobby TV
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