Internet users spent a whopping six hours and forty-eight minutes a week watching online videos in 2019. And that was before a pandemic forced millions of Americans to work from their home computers and rely on the Internet for information and entertainment.
Making videos is one of the most effective content marketing tactics available. Many companies want to create proprietary video content but aren’t sure if they have the time, resources, or know-how to make a video shoot a success. The good news is that creating a video marketing strategy is easier and more valuable than ever before.
Video Content Marketing in 2021
If 2020 taught us anything, it’s that even a grainy homemade video can make a huge impact. Homemade videos and screen recordings made their way onto every national news station and online platform. Video content was utilized more widely than ever before, and with that use came accessibility and a lower barrier to entry.
Apps like TikTok and features like Instagram Reels have also changed our perception of what “good” video looks like to consumers. What previously may have come across as unprofessional and low-budget has now become a visual norm.
Sure, a high-end DSLR camera, boom and lavalier microphones, and professional lighting make for stunning, cinematic video footage. But with a great idea and well-targeted content, you can make an effective video with just your smartphone. Professional videography is a great investment in your business, but developing a simple in-house video marketing strategy can also be more budget-friendly and just as engaging for your customers.
How Much Does It Cost to Create Video Content?
Many businesses believe they can’t afford video marketing. But the truth is, the cost of video production can vary wildly depending on:
- Your choice to outsource or create video in-house
- The length of the final piece you want to produce
- The props and sets needed for the video
- The actors and other human resources required
- Your choice to rent or buy professional video equipment or shoot on smartphones
Rather than focusing on what you can’t afford, we recommend setting aside a reasonable piece of your marketing budget and working backward to decide what kind of video marketing strategy you can afford.
What Video Marketing Equipment Will I Need?
The equipment you’ll need will depend upon the type of videos you want to shoot and the quality level you want to achieve. Keep in mind that some equipment will be a one-time purchase, but some may need ongoing maintenance and/or repairs. Building these costs into your budget will ensure you can fulfill the technical needs of your video marketing strategy.
Here are three possible equipment set-ups for your video marketing efforts:
If you’ve never shot video before, a low-end setup can be a great way to experiment and create fresh content without a massive investment. Once you see your video marketing strategy performing well, then it may be time to invest in a mid-range setup with higher-quality video marketing equipment.
Alternatively, if you’re looking to produce a key piece or two at cinematic quality, outsourcing may be the best option. You can either connect with a video production company directly or ask your digital marketing agency for recommendations. Over the years, we’ve developed a trusted network of local video professionals and can recommend the best option based on your industry and budget.
How to Create Video Content
Before you start shooting, you’ll need to plan and strategize in order to get the most out of your video content. Consider questions like:
- What is the goal of this video?
- Where will it live? Where will it be shared?
- What audience is the video targeting?
- How long will this video be able to be used?
- Does the quality of video I’m able to produce match the content to be conveyed?
Once you and your team can answer these questions, you’ll want to develop a script and detailed storyboards to help you plan your video shoot. Having a script and storyboards will help you:
- Agree on a final direction for your video
- Schedule any employees or actors you need
- Plan wardrobe and set changes
- Save time on the day of the shoot
- Provide a reference for editing your video
Creating a video marketing strategy first will ensure that your video shoot is a success and that the assets you create will be useful to your business.
The day of your photoshoot will likely be the most stressful part of the process, but also the most rewarding. There can be so much to remember to keep things running smoothly, so here are our top ten video marketing tips and reminders for filming day:
- Prepare as much as possible in advance. Assemble, label, and organize props, wardrobe, etc. the day before.
- Delegate roles wherever possible. If you’re directing the video, your only task should be making sure each shot is perfect. Delegate tasks like passing out props, assisting with wardrobe, and working with talent to others.
- If you have separate microphones, double- and triple-check that they are recording, and don’t forget to clap to sync your audio and video.
- If your shoot will take longer than an hour or the weather is variable, don’t rely on natural light. It will change throughout the video and cause editing issues later on.
- If you’re shooting on a phone, make sure it’s fully charged and silenced.
- If your filming space shares walls or a building with others, give neighbors a heads up. If you don’t have individual mics, you’ll want the space to be as quiet as possible while recording.
- Allow more time than you think you’ll need. An unplanned second day of shooting means recreating outfits, hairstyles, and lighting. Getting the shots you need in one day (when possible) is always best.
- Have spare batteries, extension cords, etc. at the ready. You never know when you’ll need them.
- Do a walkthrough or mock recording to make any final adjustments to your plan before filming.
- Stay calm. No matter how well you plan, something unexpected will likely happen, and that’s okay. Take a pause, find a solution, and keep going. If other employees, volunteers, or actors pick up on your stress, it will come through in their video presence.
Once you’ve recorded your footage, you’ll want to edit your clips into a cohesive video that tells a story as outlined in your video marketing strategy. Here are four video editing options to consider:
- Upload As-Is – if you’re just getting started and are uploading videos directly from your phone to social media, you may opt not to edit your videos.
- Use an Editing App or Social Media Platform – These days, there are thousands of apps for editing video right on your phone. Most offer options like trimming and combining video clips, adjusting audio volume, and even adding visual effects like lower thirds and your logo. Some social media platforms like TikTok and Instagram also have built-in video editors to help you cut your videos together with simple controls.
- Use an Editing Program – Adobe Premiere Pro and Final Cut Pro are two of the most popular video editing programs available. Both will allow you to complete far more complex edits, but also require some upfront investment and time.
- Hire an Editor – Even if you’ve opted to shoot your video in-house, you can always outsource your editing. This is a great way to make the most of your footage, since an expert will be able to edit and color grade your footage to make it look more like a high-end production.
In addition to editing your clips together, you may want to add some finishing touches, like motion graphics, branding, and music. Be sure to plan and budget for these elements upfront (especially music licensing) or discuss them with your editor if you are outsourcing.
Video Marketing Distribution
Now that you’ve taken the time to develop a video marketing strategy and create valuable video assets for your company, you need to share them with the world. Here are four outlets to consider when developing your video distribution strategy.
According to a 2018 survey by Animoto, video is social media users’ favorite type of content to view and engage with. Whether you’re sharing evergreen video content about your company on Facebook and LinkedIn, how-to videos designed for Pinterest, or a native series of videos for IGTV or TikTok, social media is an essential part of nearly every video distribution strategy.
Whether it’s sharing a general positioning video in a welcome email, or creating a series of clips to co-exist alongside a drip campaign, video is one of the most effective content marketing tactics available to use in email marketing.
Blog & Website Content
Most businesses have a lot to say about who they are and what they do. But as of 2020, the average human attention span was just eight seconds, or long enough to read about 33 words.
Video content marketing can help you divide up written content into smaller sections that are more approachable and easy to read. And they can provide a level of engagement and visual interest that text blogs simply can’t.
While it may seem unconventional, sharing your video in a non-digital space can be a powerful part of your video marketing strategy. Video mailers allow you to send unique, premium packages to the members of your audience who are most likely to convert.
Extending Your Assets
Chances are, you spent a lot of time (and/or money) developing proprietary video content for your business. Luckily, there are plenty of ways you can get more bang for your buck and reuse your video content in all sorts of formats.
Request the raw video footage from your videographer if you opted to outsource the job. Then explore new ways to edit and use your footage. For example, a two-minute video could be repurposed into:
- 10-second video ads
- 30-second social media posts
- A 60-second pump-up video before an internal presentation
- Traditional or Internet radio ads
- Endless gifs and stills
Get creative and see how you can reuse your raw video footage to make it work for you. Experiment with different music, voiceovers, and motion graphics to keep your video fresh and extend its life.