Video marketing is big right now.
Not only are more videos being consumed online than ever before but they also increasingly top the Google search results pages. Combine this with the fact that video has been proven time and again to powerfully hook in, engage and prompt an audience to action, and you’d be crazy not to consider video marketing for your business.
Okay, perhaps crazy isn’t the right word. After all, video marketing doesn’t at first appear to be as easy to get started with as writing a blog or posting an update on social media. In fact, there are many reasons why you might be reluctant to jump on board.
“It’s too expensive”; “We don’t have the right technical or creative know-how”; “We’re not comfortable being in front of a camera”.
While all of these are totally valid, there are ways and means around all of them. In fact, getting started with video marketing is perfectly doable whatever your budget or skills.
Here are the steps you need to take.
Decide what type of video to create
While you may be convinced of the power of video for business, a significant block in the road is often deciding what your first video should be about.
There are many different types of video to choose from: ‘How-to’ tutorials, product/service demos, meet the team/behind the scenes, client testimonials’. These are all effective formats, and can satisfy different marketing objectives (make sure you know what yours are). However, the best place for smaller business to start is often with an ‘explainer video’.
What is an explainer video? Basically it’s a video that introduces your business and lets people know who you are, what you sell and, most importantly, how you can help. It’s great for growing brand awareness.
Go online for content ideas
Before you consider the technicalities of creating and filming your explainer video, do your research by looking at the kinds of videos your competitors are creating. Simply Google search or go to YouTube and type in ‘explainer videos’ followed by your business type and you’ll get plenty of examples.
Decide what format you like: live action or animated and think about what will fit best with your brand. Animations can be fun and quirky and good at showcasing more abstract products or services (plus you don’t have to get in front of a camera) – although they have been a little overdone.
By contrast, live action encourages a more human connection and is more credible – but is not ideal for the camera shy.
Consider your budget: outsource or DIY?
For many small businesses hiring in a professional video production or video animation company can be an impossible expense. However, there are many companies and freelance video professionals who cater to a more limited budget (search online and have a look on Fiverr or Freelancer) – just ensure you check credentials, testimonials and portfolios first.
If you have no real budget, there’s no reason why you can’t produce your own. In fact, you can get a pretty decent result with a smartphone or DSLR camera. Plus there are many apps and online video creation and editing tools – Animoto, GoAnimate, VideoScribe – which you can help you produce a professional looking video from scratch.
Create your script/storyboard
For your video to be well-received, a great script is essential. Combined with your visuals this will help you communicate your message and should do so in a punchy way. People have very limited attention spans online, so the shorter your video the better – 60-90 seconds is best.
A good explainer video script should focus on the key features and benefits of your business – and convey them in a way that will engage, and even better, emotionally connect with, your target audience. In addition, think about the tone and ensure it fits with your brand. Tell a story, write conversationally, and explain things clearly.
You’ll also need to create a storyboard which depicts the basic visuals in, and composition of, each shot and works alongside your script. If you have the budget, both may be worth outsourcing.
Shoot (or create) and edit
Once you’ve done the preparatory work, it’s time to shoot (or create, if you’re animating) and edit your video. If you’ve outsourced, this process and how much time you’ll have to invest will vary depending on the type of work you have paid for e.g. just a camera man, just editing, the whole video creation process.
If you’re shooting live video yourself on a smartphone or camera, you need to think about a few critical elements to ensure your video has a professional look and feel to it: stability, lighting and audio. Purchasing and using a tripod, LED light (for indoor shoots) and a lapel mic can really boost the quality.
If you go the DIY animated route, as mentioned, there are various online tools and mobile apps you can use. Many have drag and drop interfaces, require little creative input and are simple to use.
Share, share, share
Once your video is finished and you’re happy with it, now it’s time to get it out there – it won’t get viewed without a little help from you. First off, add it to your home page (or a designated landing page) on your website. Don’t forget to optimize your video for SEO as you would any other types of content adding appropriate search terms and tag.
Next, share it with customers and contacts through your social media pages – Facebook, Instagram. Plus, if you don’t have a business YouTube channel, you might want to create one so you can post your video to it – this will help increase its search visibility.
Finally, be sure you monitor your video for clicks, likes, shares and action taken to see how effective it has been, and to give you insights for improving your video marketing in the future.
Keep the camera rolling
Now you’ve created your explainer video and you’re no longer a video marketing beginner, keep the momentum going and start creating some different types of videos to help you build your brand, grow loyalty and encourage action – testimonials, behind the scenes, products demos. Even if you’re doing it all yourself, there are so many free and accessible tools to help you produce them on a regular basis.
The winners at video marketing will be the ones who jump on board now.
So don’t wait, be an early small business adopter and you’ll reap the rewards.