Videos are a powerful promotional tool that all businesses need to be using in order to stay competitive. Many consumers prefer to get information through video rather than text.
Consumers are continually dealing with information overload, and while they might be able to click past a new piece of written content, a new video is more likely to make them stop and watch. Often they are hoping to see if they can gather new information quickly and in an interesting, creative way.
If you are not using video marketing, it’s time to learn why it’s so important to the growth and success of your business. And the good news is that you can learn how to make your own videos without hiring a professional.
Using video is often the best way to gain the attention of your target audience. Videos are a way of delivering informative content that, when done right, can really improve your search engine optimization (SEO) and can quickly go viral. Customers are much more likely to engage with, comment on and share videos than text.
Customers often want to get to know you as a person. You are the voice and creativity behind your company. They want to be able to put a face to a brand, and video brings your personality to life and makes your brand seem more real to an audience. Knowing who you are often makes customers more engaged, interested, and loyal.
Customers are more likely to watch most of a video than to read the entirety of your written content. Many are visual learners, and these types of people often can absorb the information in a video much more easily than written content. This is one reason why video conversion rates, especially of social media videos, typically outperform other types of marketing content.
While truly professional videos may cost a lot more than you are able or willing to pay, it’s possible to create videos that can be used as part of your marketing strategy at a surprisingly affordable cost. Amateur filmmakers such as YouTube personalities often use nothing more than their mobile phone to make their videos.
A smartphone can actually make a pretty decent video and can be edited using downloadable apps such as iMovie. Other equipment that amateurs can use to make videos include a laptop, tablet or a digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) camera.
Of these choices, the DSLR camera will probably give the clearest pictures, but all of these can be used to do the job of creating videos for your website or other marketing purposes.
The fact that you are an amateur video creator doesn’t need to be obvious. There are several tricks that can improve the quality of the videos that you make using simple equipment. Many people have already learned these methods through working from home for long periods during the Covid-19 pandemic and communicating with the world through a screen.
Use plenty of light: Use natural light that is available to you, or use artificial lighting. Remember, make sure you don’t place your main light source behind your subject. While sunlight is best in early morning or evening, usually when it is low on the horizon, artificial lighting can be done with work lights or clip lights set up strategically.
Set up a tripod or a stable surface: Stabilization of your video equipment is important to avoid sudden moves or quivers that affect the quality of what you are shooting. A phone can be propped up against books or other items to remain stationary.
Close range: Equipment should be set up at close range for best audio effect. A dedicated microphone may greatly improve the sound of your video and minimize any background noise.
Be aware of what may show in the background: If there is a room in your home that has a white or solid colored wall and not much around that may be distracting, this is probably the ideal location.
Sound: Choose a small, quiet room for maximum sound quality, and avoid large spaces with lots of echo. Make sure that the shooting area will be quiet when you are filming and that people won’t be walking in and out or calling you on the phone. Turn off nearby appliances, such as fans or televisions. Make sure children won’t barge in while you are filming. Background noise such as traffic, sirens, and barking dogs will detract from the message you’re trying to communicate. If filming on your phone, be aware of where the microphone is placed, and make sure you don’t accidentally cover it while filming.
Presentation: If you are speaking, turn the phone so that you can watch yourself while you are recording. This will help you notice simple problems such as hairs out of place, a glare on your eyeglasses or a folded collar. Avoid clothing with tight patterns, or with visual labels, logos or text.
Another approach to making marketing videos is to use online video creation tools. These tools can help to simplify the process of making videos and can help you to overcome obstacles that may be holding you back, such as believing that you don’t have the expertise to accomplish this.
Video creation tools allow you to create a variety of different types of videos. Most are reasonably priced or free, and include:
Animoto – With this you can take your video clips, photos and text, and combine them with music from their library to create online videos. There are also customizable templates available.
Adobe Spark – This tool allows you to combine video clips, icons and photos in order to create an engaging video. Using this tool is a great way to get started, even when you have no design expertise.
Ripl – This offers an easy way to create short videos to stimulate engagement. You can add photos or text that you want to include and choose a design. Then you can simply write a caption, add hashtags and share.
Vyond – Create media that moves such as whiteboard animations or animated GIFs. Get started with pre-built templates and customize with color, text and characters.
Camtasia – This software can be used to create video tutorials and presentations using screencast.
Canva – Already a great resource for creating graphics and lots more, Canva also offers customisable video templates, where you can drag and drop videos clips and utilise stock music, elements, and images.
Powtoon – Powtoon allows you to create animated or live-action videos using ready made video templates, animated characters, designed elements, and royalty-free images, footage, and soundtracks.
Bitable – With a free plan available, Bitable offers template animations and stock footage, with collaboration features available on paid plans.
Using these tools will allow you to create videos that are much more affordable than traditional video productions. You can create tutorials and other informative content that is dynamic and engaging for a more responsive and interested audience.
Before you sit down and try to film a video, have a clear idea of your theme or focus. Your video should focus on the value you are trying to provide to your customers rather than coming across as a sales pitch. What is the message you are hoping to deliver? Do you have a way to help your audience achieve a desired result in a quick or simple way that they might not have thought of?
If you shoot a test video of a few seconds before you film the actual video, you may notice distractions or problems with lighting or audio. Write out a script ahead of time and stick to the script as much as possible. Try to avoid rambling and going off on a tangent. If you need to, place post-it notes at key points within your line of vision, so you don’t lose your train of thought. Waiting a few seconds before you start speaking, and leaving a few seconds before you hit ‘stop’ will make editing a lot easier.
Add humor if you can and avoid speaking in a monotone or sounding boring. If you do, you are sure to put people to sleep, or worse, they won’t hang around to watch the video at all.
People have a limited attention span, so your video should be reasonably short and get right to the point. Give your target market a reason to pay attention. If you find that when you actually film your video, you get completely off-track, you can just film it again.
Try to make your message helpful and fun. At the end of the video, ask your viewers to like, comment and share your video if they enjoyed it. When filming is complete, review the footage and edit it if necessary. There are several video editing apps available for iPhone. Make sure the lighting and sound is good quality.
When you are satisfied with your video, share it online. Embed it on your blog and share it on social media to ensure maximum exposure. Get into the habit of posting videos on a regular basis to increase your web presence.
The first video you make and share will be the most challenging, but once you have gotten the knack of it, you will find that making videos is a great way to be creative, communicate your message and promote your unique brand.
Article updated 2022