Video content is taking over the marketing of small businesses.
Humans are highly visual creatures. Long descriptions aren’t nearly as attractive as seeing a product or service in action (although copy still does work). Branded storytelling videos, customer testimonials, social media videos – these are what interest people in this digital age.
Great videos pair a meaningful message with engaging visuals to shape an all around experience. That experience is what makes it memorable for consumers.
Through video, you can communicate detailed information about your business or brand and what you can offer all in a short span of time. Incorporating video content into your business strategy is key to staying relevant.
With video content you don’t just get one piece, you can edit it and use it in many different ways. You can place it on your brand’s social media platforms or send it as part of your weekly newsletter. You can show it at corporate events or even at the reception area of your office. It’s an effective way to shape your brand to reach a larger audience that other forms of content cannot.
So, where do you start?
1. Be Bold: Make Your Video Unique
Yes, it’s true more businesses are now creating video content. According to Wyzowl’s State of Video Marketing Survey, 85% of businesses in 2020 use video as a marketing tool. Additionally, 92% of marketers use video as part of their marketing strategy with 88% reporting that they have received positive ROI through it.
There is now a bigger understanding of how to use video effectively in marketing. But this also means the market is saturated with unoriginal, repetitive content.
If you want your video to stand out, it needs to create some kind of value for your audience. You can’t focus purely on your brand and force sales, as you’ll be ignored for your hard-sell approach. Instead, tell your story and connect with your viewers.
Before starting a video project, identify characteristics that are unique to you and your business. From here, draw out ideas on how to convey these selling points to your audience in a way that hasn’t been done by your competitors.
Use this as an opportunity to stalk your competitors. What are they doing in their video content that’s attracting more views? Or what are they doing that needs improvement that you can capitalise on with your own video?
But despite what your competitors are doing, your videos need to be unique and have their own intention. If you want to build brand awareness, you’ll need to create a video that the majority of the market can relate to.
By doing these steps before you begin production, you lay a solid foundation for your video content to ensure you aren’t investing time and effort onto something that won’t make a significant impact for your brand.
2. Bring some flair to your video with production values
Now that you know the goal you want to achieve with your video, you need to enhance the way that message will be delivered and make it remarkable to maintain your audience’s attention.
Many businesses want to ramp up their video production, but are often intimidated by the cost of camera gear and production software. But achieving quality output is a product of great technique rather than equipment. Producing a great video doesn’t need to come with a hefty price tag.
Some production techniques and tips that can impact the quality of your video include:
- Paying attention to lighting: Lighting makes a huge difference in the quality of a professional video. Wherever you may be shooting, ensure that your light source is even and consistent. For indoor shoots, avoid rooms with windows as this may cause daylight to interfere with your shots.
- Using the rule of thirds: The rule of thirds is a popular principle in photo and film composition. Imagine a three-by-three grid laid over your shot. Instead of placing your subject right in the middle, place it along one of the lines of the grid. The points where the lines intersect are particularly strong areas of focus. If you place your actor or talent (or yourself) in that spot, it commands more attention from your viewers.
- Capturing different angles: A great way to avoid visual dullness is by capturing your video from different angles. Using a single shot all throughout may bore your audience, especially if it’s a long Q&A interview or testimonial video.
- Keeping the camera still: Shaky footage can spoil your video, no matter how great your shots may be. A simple solution is to make sure your camera rests on a steady surface such as a shelf or a tripod.
- Using a quality microphone: A worthwhile investment for creating video content is definitely a microphone. When recording audio, you need to use a microphone that clearly captures everything your subject is saying. Audio clarity is key in conveying your message, especially if you have a narration over your video. You can expect your audience to stop watching within seconds if there’s indistinct audio.
3. Become an A-list mega star
Speaking in front of a crowd is one thing; speaking in front of a camera is another. Despite being on screen, your audience needs to feel you’re coming across as genuine.
Having an undeniable screen presence can produce results even before you speak a word. Many professionals fall into a trap of being too stiff in front of the camera. Thing is, audiences can tell you’re not relaxed just by looking at how you stand.
Don’t let the fear of making a mistake take away from your performance. It doesn’t need to be perfect, but it needs to feel genuine.
The little details in the way you present is what makes the difference. Remember to smile and have good posture. When speaking, use language that’s easy to understand and speak with confidence. Take your time, because rushing through your points may confuse your viewers.
Some professionals go the extra mile by going through media training to work on their screen presence. Media training prepares you for a variety of public speaking scenarios. This could help boost your confidence and transform you into a superstar video presenter.
4. Use intuitive editing software and hosting platforms
To make videos that really stand out, you need editing software that lets you take your creativity to the next level. And with the amount of video editing software available, you don’t need a big budget to get awesome results.
Each user has different needs, so here’s a run down of some of the most versatile video editing software available on the web:
Compatibility: macOS, Windows
Filmora9 supports nearly all video file formats. With its easy-to-use features, Filmora9 is popular among beginners and semi-pros. It’s ideal for editing short videos. You can retouch colour and transition between shots using its free effects. You can even add music to your video through its extensive library of royalty-free songs.
Compatibility: macOS, Windows
Premiere Elements 2020 is Adobe’s latest low-cost video editor. It’s easy to use, especially for those who are new to video editing. It’s not as complex as its big brother, Premiere Pro, but it provides awesome special effects and features. The software offers most of what you may need for creating video content for social media. It also has 4K support.
Final Cut is Apple’s professional-level video editing software that is primarily used by film and TV editors. Final Cut comes with over 100 transitions. It has a powerful colour correction tool that users can use to enhance their shots. Despite its more prestigious identity, it’s usability is why professionals are drawn to it. They can use all its features in a program that’s easy to navigate.
Depending on your goals, it’s important to choose a video hosting platform that can get your message across to the people you want to reach.
While there are others, two of the most popular platforms are Youtube and Vimeo.
With YouTube, you simply have higher exposure potential. It is, after all, the most popular hosting platform.
Of course, there’s a lot more that YouTube offers, but its major benefit is that you can upload content for free.
Uploading a video on YouTube includes filling in important details to help expand its reach. It’s a nine step process:
- Visit www.youtube.com and log in to your account (or set one up).
- Click on the video icon at the top right hand side of the window, which can be found next to your user icon, messages, apps, and notifications.
- Click Upload Video.
- Then, press “Upload Video” to find the video file saved on your computer. Or, you can drag and drop it into the window.
- An optional step is to choose the privacy settings on your video.
- Your video will now be on YouTube. But it will be lacking a video description and tags, which are crucial if you want your content to reach a specific audience.
- Add a title that is easily discoverable via search engines. This is your chance to maximise your video for SEO.
- Add a description of the video so people know what your content is about.
- Add tags, which act as tools to help the discovery of your video. Since you can create tags based on interest, it’s helpful to fill this in to reach your target market.
There are similarities between YouTube and Vimeo, but the difference is in the audiences they cater to and the content they deliver.
Vimeo is popular among film and TV industry professionals and other creative folk. It’s often used as a platform for creative portfolios to be presented, and commercials to be launched by brands.
Vimeo offers premium plans that start at $7 USD for their Plus Plan. Though its basic plans are free and include a great set of features, some brands sign up for paid plans to do collaborative work with their teams. What stands out from Vimeo’s paid features is that it lets you create videos on the website itself. Use custom video templates, pair it with their stock clips, photos, and music, and put it all together on their editor.
Here’s how to upload a video on Vimeo:
- Visit www.vimeo.com and log in to your account (or sign up).
- On your dashboard, you can hover over New Video on the upper right hand corner of your screen, which will drop down the Upload option for you. You can also find New Video on the left hand corner.
- You can drag and drop to upload your video or upload through Dropbox, Google Drive, or OneDrive. Don’t forget to select a privacy setting for your video.
- Once you’ve selected a file, Vimeo will upload it to your channel. While the video is uploading, you can begin to fill in other details such as its title and description. You can also start adding tags.
5. Repurpose your videos across platforms
You shouldn’t limit sharing your video content on a single platform. To maximise reach, you can repurpose your video across other content platforms.
By repurposing your video, you tap into opportunities to create new forms of content. One such way is to turn it into a blog article. You can transcribe the video or create an abridged version of it into a listicle blog that tackles all the main points. You can also place it side-by-side your SEO services page, and use it as a way to share what your business offers.
You can also trim the essential parts of your video and use them as a teaser or trailer on Instagram Stories. These 15-second snippets are a great way to pique the curiosity of your audience without necessarily overloading them with information.
Finally, especially for interview video content, you can convert it into a podcast so your audience can take it with them wherever. The accessibility is a game changer, and many brands are only tapping into podcasts now, so it’s best to get ahead of the curve.
6. Be consistent in filming, uploading and promoting your videos
Producing one video isn’t a marketing strategy. If you want to generate leads, you need to consistently release new video material. There is no point in producing videos without an end goal in mind.
Having at least two videos each month will keep your brand relevant and your audience engaged. But even that won’t be effective without developing a long-term strategy.
To stay on track, create a content calendar for your video production and have a checklist of things to do. There are a lot of factors that may cause delay, especially once the video is in production. But it’s important to keep moving with your schedule and staying consistent.
Video content is becoming more widespread as a marketing strategy for brands across the globe. Making these videos for your business requires a lot of strategic conceptualisation and heavy production work, but it will be a turning point for your brand to reach more people.
With consistency in your video creation, you’ll begin to develop a distinct personality and voice for your business. It will give you enough content to repurpose and share on a variety of channels to strengthen your brand presence.
With up to 93% of businesses claiming to have converted a new customer through video, the future of content really is video. It’s not going anywhere.