A couple weeks ago Yahoo rolled out Tumblr's new and improved video experience. Videos will loop, play automatically, and "pop out" so that users can watch and scroll at the same time. Why? Yahoo said that Tumblr is expected to generate more than $100 million in revenue, mainly because of sponsored advertising.
Obviously as video grows the cash keeps rolling in. According to DigitalSherpa website visitors are 64% more likely to buy from an online retail site after watching a video. So how can you get in on the action?
As with any venture it pays to plan. So first, a couple points to consider.
Consider Your Audience
A cornerstone of all marketing content, audience, also known as buyer personas, have to be considered first and foremost. Determine whether the people you are trying to reach watch videos and if it's worth your time. If so, you can move on to working out what exactly it is that they are looking for.
What questions can you answer for them to add value? The sentence, "Why should they care?" should become your mantra. Brainstorming on this thought will give you a list of ideas for videos that will encourage engagement, which brings us to our next point...
One of the great things about using video marketing is that you don't have to tell about your credibility through print, rather, you can show it. If you're new to creating videos, providing an answer to questions as mentioned above is a great place to start for your first video. But as you build your presence in this medium, consider also demonstrating concepts and, best of all, showing how to do something. (Remember, this is a visual medium.)
Everyone knows positioning your company as a helpful expert is a basic tenet in content marketing, but videos are especially good at establishing that coveted credibility.
As with any marketing activity, it's a good idea to decide from the outset how much time you will dedicate and how often you will post. Creating videos at regular intervals--whether it's every week or every month--will help grow your following and establish even more credibility because of your consistency. Also try to keep videos short and to the point.
Okay, so you've thought about your audience, what you can provide them, and the time commitment. Let's get into the nitty-gritty of production.
1. Buy Equipment
Don't worry! You don't have to buy a studio camera, a professional editing system and lighting kit. But if you're just starting out making marketing videos you will need:
- A modest camera. It doesn't have to be expensive, just as long as it can record decent quality video.
- A microphone. This greatly improves the audio quality when compared to using the built in mic on a camera. For clear communication, clear sound is a must. (Make sure it will sync or plug into your camera.)
- A tripod. To avoid hunting around for an object that's just the right height to put the camera on or recording shaky video from someone holding the camera pick up one of these.
- A few lamps. Having enough lights to prevent shadows on your face will increase the production value for a small investment.
- An editing system. The good news is there are quality free video editing tools you can download like VSDC Free Video Editor or Kate's Video Toolkit. You can also search for tutorials to help you learn them.
2. Write a script
Write down what you want to say in your video ahead of time so that you can get to the point quickly. It's best not to memorize your lines because you could sound too wooden, or stress over saying the exact words and end up with a stream of bad takes. Instead use a free teleprompter app like CuePrompter or simply memorize the general points you want to make and speak freely.
3. Shoot the video
Create your setup with your camera, tripod, and lighting and where you will sit or stand. A great setup is to sit in the left or right side third of the frame and show your logo on the wall behind you to fill up the rest of the picture. This is a principle in photography called the rule of thirds. (If you watch the news or documentaries you'll notice they frame people like this all the time.)
If this isn't possible, it's also okay to position yourself in the middle of the frame with a blank wall or an otherwise simple, uncluttered background behind you. Get someone to look through the lens or at the LED display and tell you if the picture looks good. Don't forget to do a mic check to test your audio. Then simply hit record, look into the lens and just talk. You can clean up any mistakes later in editing.
4. Edit the final product
Import the raw video into your editing system. If you had to do several takes, join together the clips that make up your script. You can add dissolves or other simple transitions to join the clips that make it look more professional. If you managed to do it all in one take, even better. Make sure to watch your video when you're done.
5. Maintain a YouTube channel
If your going to be creating video, then you need to be on the right social media platforms to promote your videos. Upload your video to YouTube with a compelling, searchable title and description. Going forward make sure to keep your channel videos organized into categories and pretty up your channel's page with a profile picture and other visual elements.
For your first few videos you can do this type of format with you or another spokesperson explaining answers to questions or solutions to problems on camera. But as you get good at this format, try to include other visual elements like images and animations to make your videos more attractive, interesting and professional.
Some Final Tips
- If you get nervous, try to imagine the camera is a close friend or family member and talk as if you were talking to them.
- Channel your enthusiasm for what you do with your facial expressions, tone of voice, body language and gestures. Showing your passion on camera will help your audience make a more personal connection with you and your company. (But don't go over the top!)
- Be confident. You are an expert on the subjects your business deals with.
Since video is all about show and tell, let this example of a small business marketing video created by Her Campus inspire creativity in showing off your business via video.