Video is one of today’s most important marketing tools. It’s estimated American adults spend more than five hours per day watching video online. SMBs shouldn’t be afraid to jump into video. Your options range from low cost, DIY videos to polished, professional marketing video. Wondering where to start?
Why You Need Video
You should be using video to get more customers, but what makes it different from other marketing approaches? Customers get more information in a shorter amount of time by viewing one well-made video. Videos give your customers an impression of you and your business. It’s more personal than an email or blog post. Video is used in marketing in many ways today. Short videos posted to Vine and Instagram are short and easily shared. Tutorials and vlogs on your website or YouTube are a bit longer and more informative. Whether you film it yourself or hire a professional, video is one marketing tool you need.
Small businesses often take the DIY approach to save money where possible. Apps such as Vine and Instagram make it possible to create short videos. They’re free and simple to use. You can make new videos quickly, edit clips, and reach all your followers instantly. This option is excellent for things like contests, previewing new products, and even speaking directly to your followers, such as Q&A videos. Doing it yourself isn’t without pitfalls, however. While apps make it seem easy, they can’t make a poorly shot video look good. Take a few steps to make your DIY videos look their best.
Storyboard. Use paper or software to plot out each scene for your video and the dialogue or narrative that goes with it. Come up with a few versions, then narrow it down to the best one.
Lighting. Poorly lit videos look awful. Make sure you have at least one bright light source. Whether it’s sunlight through a window or a floor lamp aimed at your product, be sure the thing you’re filming is brightly lit.
Script. Stumbling over your words makes you sound like a novice and increases editing time. It helps to practice speaking a few times before shooting, even if it’s only a few second clip for social media. The script is even more important when filming a longer video, such as a tutorial for YouTube.
Sound. Tiny smartphone microphones aren’t the best at capturing clear sound. Be sure there is silence when you’re filming (unless background noise is intentional). Try using the earbuds with mic that came with your phone for clarity. You can also purchase a microphone that plugs into the 3.5 mm jack on your phone or a clip-on mic.
Stability. Don’t make your customers nauseous with shaky video. Invest in a tripod before shooting videos for your business. Choose a full size tripod or a little Gorillapod® depending on what and where you’ll be filming. Some lower end tripods can droop or slowly move while filming, so look out for that while testing it out.
Image licensing. Avoid getting sued by only using commercially licensed images and video clips. You’ll either need to purchase a license, get permission from the creator, or use Creative Commons (CC) images. Be aware “free to use” and CC works are not always commercially licensed. Read the fine print to be sure you’re allowed to use the image.
Even if you’re able to film a decent video yourself, you may not realize just how labor intensive video editing is. It can be a lengthy and complex process to get to the final, polished version of your video. While you may be capable of doing the editing yourself, it may make more sense as a business owner to pay a professional to spend hours creating a great video for you while you focus on other responsibilities.
Hiring professionals to create your video will ensure a polished final product. The obvious difference in quality gives the impression that your business is trustworthy. When it comes to video ads, tutorials, help videos for your product, and any video featured prominently on your website you’ll want to consider investing in a professional to create your videos. The impact it has on your customers is invaluable.