There are 300 hours of video content uploaded every minute. Audiences love to consume them, and businesses know it.
According to Hubspot, up to 72% of customers say they look for video content to learn about a product or service. That means you have the opportunity to tap into a huge number of viewers if you add a video to your content strategy.
But with so much saturation in the market, you need to ensure that the money you’re putting into creating videos will grow your business.
When it comes to videos, many people are resistant to presenting on camera, so, therefore, avoid creating video at all. But you need to put your shyness to the side because videos have been proven to convert more than written content and static images and according to Cisco, video content will make up 82% of internet traffic by 2021.
This article is a step-by-step guide that you can follow to produce and upload video content that’s cost-effective, brand building, and will generate leads.
Why video is a vital promotional tool for business
Video works as a form of content because of its versatility: Engaging visuals paired with a strong, relatable message will resonate with your target market and will leave a lasting impact on them (even if they have a short attention span).
That means any information they receive from the video is more likely to be retained. And if it’s great content, you can bet your viewers will want to share it with their own networks.
According to WordStream, video social media content generates 12% more shares than other content types. This is because videos are not only entertaining, but they can be informative, educational, even polarising. If it’s memorable, it’s shareable – and that’s an effective promotion for a brand.
How to create easy, but effective videos
Like many small businesses, you might not have in-house resources for video production available to you. It’s easy to be swayed by comparison, especially if you’ve seen how established businesses are executing their video marketing campaigns.
Truth is, video creation doesn’t always need the most advanced equipment or software. The quality of the end product rests on your strategy in pre-production, using the right techniques during production, and distributing the final product post-production.
Here’s what happens in each stage:
1. Have a strategy that articulates the intention of your video/s and explains your end goal/s
Before beginning your video project, you need to be clear on your marketing goals. Your strategy will heavily depend on these goals.
As you develop your strategy, identify what message you’re trying to convey and the customers you’re trying to say it to. Take time to look at how your competitors are executing their own video content and communicating their own messages to see what you can learn from them and how you can stand out.
Your video strategy will determine the direction of your content, which will make it easier for you to decide what type of video is best for the goals you’re trying to achieve. Will you be creating a branded storytelling video or will you be using customer testimonials?
2. Use cost-effective equipment and software
It’s easy to avoid video content because of the production costs. The reality is that producing great video content can be cost-effective – if you know how to be resourceful.
Instead of focusing on the equipment, you don’t have, try looking at what’s already available to you, such as a smartphone.
Smartphones with a great camera and the ability to record high definition videos aren’t hard to find. Some smartphones even record videos at 8K resolution and there are apps available for both iOS and Android smartphones that extend the functionality of the built-in phone camera.
Following these three tips will ensure your smartphone video results in great footage:
- Shoot your video in well-lit areas
Lighting should be stable and clear because smartphones react fast to changes in lighting. If you can, shoot outdoors and make the most of natural light to avoid grainy shot selection being used in your video.
- Keep your smartphone stable
Shaky footage reduces the production value of your video and is a distraction. Stable footage, on the other hand, lets your viewers stay focused on the actual message of your video and keeps them engaged.
Tripods and camera cages let you keep your smartphone still when shooting a video. If purchasing one is a little too costly for you, you can rest your phone on a stable surface such as a shelf or desk.
- Pay careful attention to audio
The issue many video creators have with the built-in microphones on smartphones is that they record wind and surrounding noises almost as loudly as they do the main audio source.
If you plan to put music over your footage in post-production, then it shouldn’t be a problem if your footage has some atmospheric sound in the background because you can edit it out later on. But if you need to capture audio, especially for videos that have presenters/speakers, it is advisable to shoot with an external microphone in a quiet location.
3. A storyboard enables efficient filming
One of the most important stages in video production is creating a storyboard.
A storyboard is a visual representation of your video that lays out every shot in sequence.
A typical storyboard is made up of a number of squares with drawings or pictures that represent each shot.
It serves as a guide throughout the entire production process. When you have a storyboard, you know which shots you need to capture on the day of filming and is a blueprint to follow when the heat of production stress fires up.
Creating a storyboard might sound like adding another step in pre-production, but it’s one that will help you and your team execute more efficiently. A storyboard lets you show how your video will flow, and lets you convey your ideas with a visual guide.
It’s a time-consuming task to create a storyboard. You need to know what shots you want, the order they’ll be in, and the production design you’ll need for each. And this needs to be completed before you even begin production.
But if you commit to it, you ensure that all the elements of your video shoot come together cohesively to get your message across.
4. Editing programs that are straightforward to use
Good video editing software doesn’t need to be expensive. There are several easy-to-use editing programs that can help you make your videos look great without costing you big bucks.
Here are three programs we recommend:
Price: USD 49.99 for an annual plan
Compatibility: macOS, Windows
Even if you’re just a beginner at video editing, Filmora9 won’t overwhelm you. Designed to help edit short videos for social posts, Filmora9 has a simple interface that lets you enhance videos with features and tools. One of those is video stabilisation, which allows you to smooth out your shots. The platform provides seamless sharing of files to YouTube and Vimeo to save a lot of time too.
- Adobe Premiere Elements 2020
Price: USD 99.99 for a full license
Compatibility: macOS, Windows
Adobe Premiere Elements 2020 is a simpler version of Adobe Premiere Pro, which is used mostly by professional editors.
Adobe Premiere Elements has three editing modes: Quick, Guided and Expert. In Quick mode, you can add photos and video clips together, perform quick edits, and enhance it with transitions. With Guided and Expert mode, you have more editing control and can enhance your videos with more advanced features such as animations.
- Final Cut Pro X
Price: USD 299.99 for a full license
Final Cut Pro X is top-of-the-range video editing software and is available on iOS devices. It’s used by film and TV editors, but many intermediate content creators can easily find their way around the program.
The main interface looks a lot like iMovie. If you’re used to using the entry-level editor, Final Cut Pro X will feel familiar. The basics are the same: simply drag and drop footage into the timeline.
What sets this program apart is its huge selection of effects. You can add them to your video footage, audio, transitions – all in all creating a professional-looking video.
5. Video Hosting Platforms
Now you have your video edited, and it’s ready to be shared with the world. It’s time to shift your attention to finding the best hosting platform that best suits your needs.
There are many video hosting platforms available to use, but two of the most popular are Youtube and Vimeo. Both Youtube and Vimeo offer free services, but also have various premium packages to choose from.
However, the experience on each platform is distinctly different. If you’re looking for maximum exposure for your video, Youtube is the way to go. Over two billion users log in and watch videos on Youtube every month.
While Vimeo offers ad-free viewing and higher video and sound quality. For this reason, many of its users are filmmakers and designers who use it as a portfolio of their work to share with potential clients. But because of its superior viewing experience, many businesses also use Vimeo to share their video content.
Before deciding on whether to use YouTube or Vimeo read our guide on how to create an account, upload and publish videos on both platforms.
The experience, knowledge and skills of a professional video production company shouldn’t be ignored, but it does come with a cost. And while what we’ve discussed above probably won’t lead to a cinematic masterpiece, it will serve as an effective lead generation tool for your business.
It all begins with a concrete video strategy, and great SEO copywriting services that lets you communicate your message to a large audience that will remember your brand.