Regardless of your industry, if your goal is to get more eyes on your content, video needs to play a major role in your promotional strategy. Video marketing is arguably the best way to showcase a new product or service to the widest possible audience. Read on to learn more.
Why is Video so Important?
Video content is consumed by practically every person that uses the internet. If you run a business, it is a fantastic way to highlight the capabilities and advantages of your offerings. Also, by producing valuable, educational content, you’ll position your company as a thought leader in the space, building trust and goodwill with current and potential customers. If you get the marketing right, you can even give your brand or product an immediate boost of awareness, which is ideal for a product launch.
Most people are visual learners, and the effectiveness of a video demonstration can’t be overstated. With cell phone video quality being better than ever, a production crew is hardly necessary. On the other hand, now that just about anyone with an iPhone can make a professional-looking video, you will need to find a way to differentiate your brand and create a video that is actually worth watching and delivers results. You need a strategy.
Things to Consider When Engaging in Video Marketing
Who is your intended audience? How should you film it? What takeaways do you want viewers to have? How will you make sure your intended audience sees your video? These aren’t always easy questions, but they are essential to consider before diving in. If you aren’t getting the right content in front of the right people, or if your video doesn’t have a clear purpose, your investment could be wasted.
Your delivery is also critical to consider. Instead of rattling off specs and new features, tell a story. Describe the challenges and pitfalls your audience faces and how your product can solve them. By highlighting a relevant case study or two, you can demonstrate that you understand the viewer, building trust and positioning your company as a thought leader in the space.
Remember that your goals are different from the viewers’. While you ultimately want to sell your product or service, your viewers are likely only watching to learn. As soon as viewers fail to see the value in the video – for example, if the video takes on too much of a commercial or sales-y tone – they won’t be sticking around for long. Maintain an educational tone and be sure to make watching the video a valuable experience for your audience.
Here are a few different styles of video that have clear value to viewers and appeal to a broad audience:
- Consider giving a product demo that goes over the methodology
- Present case studies that show how your product has been used by others to fulfill a common need
- Make a how-to video that addresses a specific challenge
Lights, Camera, Action!
Once you know what kind of video you’d like to make and what kind of messaging you want to include, organize your ideas by storyboarding the video. That is to say, plan your video scene-by-scene to map out a cohesive sequence of events that logically flow from one idea to the next. Once this framework is complete, you’ll also want to fully script your video, regardless of how comfortable your speaker is with the material. If you skip this step, you could end up spending much more time editing or recording retakes. Your script should be concise and conversational, free from jargon and buzzwords. Even if your product is highly complex and technical, your language shouldn’t be. Keep your message as simple and clear as possible.
There are a few strategies available to you when it comes to recording, and you will often want to use a combination of them to combine their respective strengths:
- For any live-action shots, many cell phone cameras are very capable of recording high-quality video. Use a cell phone tripod to keep the video steady; a shaky camera is a dead giveaway of an amateur production. Live action video is especially well suited for making talking-head or interview-style videos featuring a subject matter expert or to demonstrate the use of a physical product or hardware. If you want to look really professional, consider using two phones set at different angles, then intersplice the footage over one sound recording.
- If you are trying to visualize abstract or complex ideas, animations can also be highly effective. Even if you don’t have in-house animators, freelancers for any budget can be found on sites like Upwork and Fiverr.
Don’t feel limited to only live-action or animated shots: mix and match the two or supplement them with more traditional presentation material. Create a set of PowerPoint slides, jump in a virtual meeting, share your screen and hit the record button. Many people don’t know this, but you can record a video directly in PowerPoint – click here to see how it works. If your company doesn’t already have a standard PowerPoint template, create one yourself, and if you don’t have an eye for design, there are plenty of great templates to be found online. Screen-sharing and recording your screen is also perfect for software demos.
Once all of your clips have been recorded, the next step will be to edit it all together. Video editing can often be difficult and time consuming, but it doesn’t have to be. Experience will make it easier, but using the right video editing software can be a great asset. If you have a Mac, iMovie is about as simple as it gets. For PC users, or if you need a bit more functionality, Da Vinci Resolve and HitFilm are among the best free video editors and better than some paid options, and remember, there’s a how-to YouTube video for just about any functionality you could want to use.
You Have an Eye-Catching Video, Now What?
Once you’ve got your video all cut and stitched together, you’ll need to decide where to host and how to distribute the video. If you want the most people to see your video, YouTube is probably your best bet. It’s the largest video hosting site and second largest search engine in the world. Vimeo is another good option. It has nice options for privacy control (like password protection) and is ad-free but gets about a tenth of the traffic that YouTube does. Regardless, all the traffic in the world won’t help if they don’t click on your video. Be sure to create an appealing, custom thumbnail for your video, craft a title that naturally contains one or more keywords that your audience is searching for and craft a short description that includes a CTA link to the product or service being highlighted.
Organic traffic can produce fantastic results over time, but if you want your video to have an immediate impact, you’ll need to actively promote it. In our hands, the most effective means of sharing content is through email. If you have an email contact list, schedule a series of emails promoting the video. In the same emails, you might want to also let readers know whether you’ll be attending any conferences in the near future, or whether you have any other new content like webinars, blog articles or podcasts, and where they can find it. Assuming you have social media channels, schedule a similar series of posts to your subscribers to drive additional engagement.
Nowadays, creating quality video content is achievable by just about any company, regardless of their budget. As long as you plan your messaging strategically, tell your story effectively, use the right tools for recording and editing and distribute and promote your video successfully, your efforts will pay dividends. If you think you may need a little help along the way, contact us below or visit our services page to learn more about the wide range of marketing services that we offer.