Lights, Smartphone, Action! A Beginner’s Guide to Creating Marketing Videos

You don't need a fancy camera to make marketing videos!Don’t be intimidated by video. You don’t need to be Martin Scorsese to make a quality video for your business. Sometimes a smartphone and five minutes is all you need to make a video that your customers will enjoy and share.

By 2019, videos will account for 80% of all internet traffic, and consumers are 4x more likely to watch a video of a product than read about it. The numbers for social media are even more striking – there is a 1200% increase in video shares over text or images alone.

These numbers can’t be ignored, nor can the reach of video sharing sites like YouTube. YouTube has over 1 billion daily views, and a website is 53% more likely to appear on the first page of Google if it posts video content on YouTube.

Visual content is a must for any company serious about inbound marketing.

Studio in Your Pocket

Expensive equipment isn’t necessary in order to make a video for your website or social media feeds. Many of the smartphones we carry in our pockets every day have the resolution needed, and if the recording environment is right, smartphones have the audio capabilities as well.

Here are a few tips for using smartphones to record quick videos for your business:

  • Make sure you use a stand or a stable prop to orient your camera correctly.
  • Use natural light when possible. Artificial lightingediting.jpg can appear yellow on some cameras.
  • Ensure that the subject isn’t backlit, and that there are no shadows across the subject.
  • Eliminate or reduce background noise by recording in a quiet location. Use movers pads (or similar material) to reduce echo (but don’t put them in your background).
  • Record as many takes as needed to get it right. One take is never good enough!

After you have the raw footage, use a simple video editor to put it all together. You don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars on Adobe Premier Pro or Final Cut Pro to make a good video. These are certainly great choices, but Windows Movie Maker or YouTube (yes, you can edit videos in YouTube) work for simple editing.

I’m Ready for My Close-Up

Now that you know why and how to record a video, let’s talk about what you should record. Some things work really well in video, but not everything translates properly.

laptop-425826_1920.jpgProduct demonstrations make great videos, as do video walkthroughs of events (including real estate open houses). Videos can also be ideal for quick updates on a topic. A simple shot of you at your desk talking about a new product, feature, or event can generate much more interest than text alone.

Try and avoid making lengthy speeches on video. No one wants to look at your talking head for ten minutes while you dive deep into analytics or sales. If you do want to make video content for these types of topics, use animations, slides, or other content to break up the monotony.

Approved for All Audiences

Once you’ve got your video shot and edited, you need to put it on the internet. Where you post this content is just as important as what you post. Some social media outlets are designed for video content, while others just accommodate it. Your audience uses certain platforms for certain types of media as well. Know your audience and know your platforms.

clapperboard-146180_1280.pngIf your business is producing video content, your business needs a YouTube channel. YouTube provides SEO juice and visibility that no other video sharing service can match (sorry Vimeo!).

Don’t overlook YouTube’s social side, though. Interacting with viewers, both on your channel and on theirs (where appropriate) can boost engagement, and can make your channel seem like a part of the community, not just a commercial entity encroaching on your customer’s space.

Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat also lend themselves to video content, while sites like Twitter don’t handle it as well. Make sure you know the strengths and weaknesses of each site before you post any content.

Roll Credits

Remember that you should always know what you’re going to film, how to film it, and where you’re going to post it before you pick up your camera. The 5 P’s are very important in video (prior planning prevents poor performance), so make sure you’ve addressed everything before you record.

Recording a marketing video may seem intimidating, but by using these tips you can start producing quality video content for your audience, increasing customer engagement and boosting sales.