Here’s something interesting to start with: it’s been predicted that Facebook will be all video by 2021. That’s right, Facebook, the platform that thrives on images and word-based posts, is currently rivaling the likes of popular video platforms, like YouTube.
This should come as no surprise, since video has rapidly gone from being an extra bonus item in terms of content, to basically it’s own must-have pillar.
And it makes sense: in the old days, video quality wasn’t exactly up there. Incorporating video into your marketing came off cheap, maybe even scammy.
But these days? It’s anything but that. With the quality we have available today, it’s easy to crank out video with just good lighting, a nice background (a clean desk, or plain wall is just fine), and a halfway decent camera, or even smartphone.
Of course, you could have a studio, or hire a professional videographer to do all the shooting and editing, but in essence, you don’t need to. It’s just an option if you lack the time, or don’t want to pick up a new skill or two.
So, if you’re trying to boost your outreach, and your social strategy, then it’s time to get the full picture of what video marketing entails, and how you can incorporate it into your campaign efforts.
Why It Matters
Ever since 2016, video has become increasingly popular among businesses large and small. One short year later, it had become a staple, which means if you’re not currently creating video, you’re falling behind.
But don’t fret. Contrary to popular belief, the more the video comes off simply and authentic, the better the results. That means you don’t need gimmicks, extra effects, or anything overly fancy to make your video worthy of engagement.
And the results speak for themselves. It’s been shown that conversion rates increase as much as 80% if video is added to a landing page. When it’s used in emails, the open rates increase by 19%. And a whopping 90% of customers all agree that video helps them make better buying decisions.
Think of it this way: you’re buying a new camera and you’re comparing models available. You know what you want, but there’s a solid 2-3 options that fit the bill. You could look at images of each and compare. You could even look at lists detailing all the specs that each model has. And all of that would make your decision making process a lot simpler.
But once you watch a video review of each camera model, you’re likely to have an easier time making your final choice.
Why? Because video offers a view from all angles, and an explanation on how to use the product. There’s likely someone in the video who is using it, showing you exactly where attachments go, how to turn it on and off, and how easy it is to do all those fancy things that other cameras simply can’t.
You’re essentially consulting someone’s video for a more detailed review of the product, elevating your research in the laziest way possible.
That means video has changed how customers shop, which means entrepreneurs should be adapting to those changes. Video offers a new way to connect that lends itself to whatever your industry may be. It can capture everything from behind the scenes of production, to highlighting the benefits of using a product. It can even be used to promote events, share educational content, etc. The sky's the limit.
Types of Videos
Before we fully dive into how you can incorporate video into your marketing strategy, it’s important to understand the twelve different types of marketing videos. As hinted previously, video is able to cover a variety of content, lending itself to all industries. But some video types work better than others depending on what your business is.
Let’s take a look:
Part of a larger advertising campaign, with the objective of explaining things like a business’s mission statement, its products or services.
These show how products work, which could involve an unboxing of a physical product, using the product, or showcasing what your software looks like.
Thought leaders with a lot of useful information. This is critical if you’re trying to build trust and authority, essentially showing that you a) know the right people, and b) will actively be providing engaging useful content.
Anything from a conference to a discussion with other industry leaders, or even a product launch party can be shot as an event video. Sharing this showcases how dynamic your business is, and what you have to offer/celebrate.
This covers webinars, digital courses, instructional DIY videos, anything that either shows customers how to use/make something, or teaches them something useful.
Ideally used for concepts that are otherwise difficult to understand. These strong visuals simplify in-depth, often abstract content.
These are basically videos that seek to explain why your potential customers need your product or service. They exist solely to make sales, so they actively use fictional situations, such as the target audience’s struggles, to convey a need for a solution.
If you want people to know that you will solve their problems, then this is the way to go. These videos highlight successful stories where real-live customers actually benefited from purchasing something from you.
These are often behind-the-scenes videos where your company is on display. Rather than just focusing on products or services, they detail what goes on in the office, how things are handled, and what your employees actually do all day.
These are used in very specific niche industries, such as real estate, where viewers can see every angle of a room, as if they were physically present. These videos are ideal for people who can’t be there personally, but need to purchase property a few hundred miles away.
Think about the IKEA Place app, where you point your phone at your bedroom, and AR shows you how a bed would look in that space.
These videos are ideal for any business owner looking to connect with their audience more. They often continue conversations, or share personalized recommendations. They also provide a great way to encourage people through your sales funnel.
Before diving straight into video creation, it’s always a bright idea to sit down and think about the overall purpose of your video. What is the goal of this particular video?
Maybe you’re hoping to showcase a new product line. Or you’re looking to show how to best use your products for a desired result.
Whatever the reason, make sure that you know what it is first, because that will dictate the overall flow of the video.
For instance, DIY videos pride themselves on step-by-step processes, making sure each step is easy enough to follow. Essentially, breaking the information up into bite-size pieces. But then product launch videos are all about showcasing a product, what it comes with (accessories or addons), the packaging, etc.
As simple as it sounds to figure out the overall goal of your video, it truly depends on how many people are working on it. If you’re going at it alone, it’s not a major issue, but you are dealing with a lot of work on your own. If you have a team working alongside you, you’re having to align everyone onboard with your vision, but you get to share the workload. Pros and cons, as with everything.
If you’re hoping to share the workload with your team, consider handing out a little survey in which everyone’s intention and overall product definition can be fully understood. That way everyone feels like they have a creative voice.
From there, you can schedule a meeting and talk over the results, maybe implement some voting, and really settling on one singular vision for the project by the meeting’s end.
Some of the questions you could ask in your survey are as follows:
Who is this video created for?
What is the overall objective of this video?
Where will it be posted?
When is the deadline? How much time do we realistically have to shoot, edit, and post?
What’s the budget?
Creatively speaking, what is needed for this video to work? Graphics, more lighting, less lighting, animations, etc.?
How would you measure success for this particular project?
Once you’ve established a singular vision for your video project, it’s time to actually take the steps toward completion. From here on, the work is more manageable, since you won’t have to go back to re-shoot, or re-edit. Everyone will be on the same page.
Step One - Scripting
Scripting may be a pain, but it actually saves you plenty of time. Rather than wind up with loads of ranty video content that you later have to spend that much more time editing, you spend 20 minutes scripting, tops.
And the best way to go about it is with a simple outline. A beginning, a middle, and an end:
Beginning - Set the tone and explain the purpose of the video.
Middle - Showcase any how-to’s, DIY content, educational content, etc. Anything that completes the video’s goal successfully.
End - Closing statement, final words of advice, and any links you’d like them to know about.
Of course, this is a simple outline. Scripting works best when the outline is fleshed out with your detail, which should feature plenty of the ideas you and your team spoke about during the creative meeting. The survey information helps as well. If you work alone, consider your creative notes, which you surely took when defining the video’s purpose.
It also helps to remember that while blogging is more long-form and professional in tone (to a degree, depending on branding), video tends to be more casual. Any lines of dialogue you incorporate into your scripting should be kept short and simple, without sacrificing information.
Once your outline is done, move onto an actual script. For every 350-words, you get roughly a 2-minute video, so if you’re aiming for about eight minutes, you’d need 1,400 words.
And when that’s finalized, read the script outloud a few times. If you find yourself reading a sentence differently than what is written on the page, think about how you can change that sentence to make it sound more natural. Remember, you’re speaking directly to your audience, having a conversation, so keep it casual.
Step Two - Settings
This will largely depend on what type of camera you use. If you’re using your iPhone, which is a perfectly acceptable camera solution, you’re going to want to pay extra attention to a few things:
Storage - make sure you have enough for the video length you’re looking to produce, plus any re-shoots.
Do Not Disturb - make sure it’s on while filming, so you’re not being notified of any messages, app updates, or calls during the shoot.
Placement - the physical placement of the iPhone matters, because it needs to get a good view of the subject, without having to zoom in. Avoid zoom at all costs, as it results in poor video quality.
Exposure - lock it before you press record, so you’re not having the shot go in and out of focus while shooting. To lock it, hold down on the subject until you see a yellow box labeled “AE/AF Lock”.
On the other hand, if you’re using a professional camera, you’re going to want to play around with your individual camera’s settings. Depending on make and model, you’re going to have different options to tinker around with.
As a general approach, you may want to pay extra attention to the following:
Frame rate - the basic video frame rate go-to is 24 or 30fps.
Shutter speed - multiply your frame rate by 2. That’s the denominator of your shutter speed fraction. And shutter speed is only available in a few options, so round up. For instance, if you have a 24fps, 24 x 2 = 48, which would be rounded to 1/50.
ISO - this measures sensitivity to light, which means the higher the numbers, the more sensitive your camera will be. Logically, this also affects graininess. You ideally want a low ISO, based in a well-lit area. Pairing a high ISO with a well-lit area is a recipe for disaster.
Aperture - this is the size of the lens opening, essentially controlling the amount of light that reaches the sensor. It’s directly correlated to ISO and shutter speed. As a rule of thumb, a low f-stop number, which is how Aperture is measured, means you get a brighter image in a shallow depth of field, resulting in your subject standing out against the background. Likewise, the opposite is true: a high f-stop number means you want less light, so your frame as a whole is more in focus, and nothing stands out.
White balance - if you’ve ever played around with a camera, you’ve likely seen a more yellow hue to your content than you’d like. That’s because some cameras by default, place your settings in a daylight range, which means you should be customizing your white balance to your liking. That way all colors ring true to hue, rather than being tinted.
Step Three - Staging
Once you’ve altered your camera settings, it’s time to set the stage. Think of the overall video content, and what that requires.
For example, if you’re shooting a DIY, you may need a long, rectangular surface in which to place objects, and show each step, without making a mess. You’d also need good lighting, to be able to see what you’re doing. Ideally, no distractions, so the viewers stay immersed in the actual content.
If you’re going for more of an interview video, then try finding a comfortable pair of chairs and a side table to place between them. Set the tone and feel for the shoot with things like plants, books, vases and bookshelves if you can.
Although the video’s material will dictate your setting for the most part, there are still other factors to consider. Things like tripods make all the difference between a high quality video, and a shaky, amateur attempt. Microphones also play a major role between sounding like you’re speaking through a tunnel, and actually coming through clearly.
Lighting is also important, with things like key lights, and backlights being standard in most studios. Ideally, you want a grand total of three lights in a studio: a backlight, a key light and a fill light, to eliminate the distracting shadow. Although pricey, you can also make your own for the most part, saving you money if budget is a concern.
Step Four - Prepping
Here comes the fun part. When preparing your talent, it’s crucial that you remember that the people in front of the camera are likely going to be nervous. If they’re hired-on talent with experience and confidence in the shoot, it won’t be so much of an issue…
But if you’re a small business and you selected people from your own staff to just try out some video content, then you’re in for some deep breathing exercises.
And that’s just fine! But it means you need to make sure to schedule plenty of extra time to give your talent their scripts early, and to accommodate any nervous giggles and jitters. Expect plenty of start-stops in the beginning.
If you want to make them feel more comfortable, consider writing their lines on cue card to help them out of strained situations while filming. Also, schedule in breaks between snippets of video to calm nerves down and get a sense for what’s to come. Comfortable chairs to relax in while practicing also help.
If you find that your video is very one-dimensional, or even awkward, consider shooting a b-roll, which is essentially filler footage that you can use with voiceovers. Shots of your subject walking around the office, or speaking to the camera like a behind-the-scenes are examples of b-roll material. Just remember your topic at hand, as that will determine what your b-roll should consist of.
Step Five - Shooting
The beauty of shooting is that there’s really no truly wrong way to do it, but there is a smarter way.
If you don’t mind spending more time in the editing room, you can shoot everything, from start to finish, in one cut. Then, you can use b-roll to mask any mishaps that occur during shooting. Or better yet, shoot the whole video again and use the best parts of the two renditions, and tack in b-roll wherever needed.
But again, that’s if you don’t mind spending more time in the editing room. There is a much smarter way to go about it.
For instance, you could cut the video up into smaller sections, and shoot one at a time. Then you could piece it all together in the editing room, using b-roll in between to mask any jump cuts (when the subject’s face and hands suddenly switch between clips).
This does two things: for one, it makes it possible to get better shots, because the pressure isn’t on to get things right in one solid take. It’s easier to go back and reshoot a smaller section than the whole picture. And two, this gives you the opportunity to create handles, which is essentially a buffer at the beginning and end of each clip. That way when it comes time to edit everything, you don’t need to cut so close to any shots. It gives you more to work with for seamless transitions.
So, it goes without saying, getting plenty of b-roll is always a bright idea. You can’t have too much of it, because it really does cover up any mishaps that would otherwise take too long to reshoot properly.
Step Six - Organizing
Then it’s time to organize all of your footage into clearly labeled files. It sounds tedious, and it certainly is, but it’s better than having to waste extra time sifting through poorly labeled shots, wondering what goes where.
Try using this general organization method:
Also remember that video files take up a lot of space, so invest in an external hard drive. Otherwise, you’ll run into laggy computer problems. Plus, if you need to share files with other editors, it’s easier with an external anyway.
In fact, having at least two external hard drives is really the way to go, so you have a go-to for daily work tasks, and another to backup files, which is equally as important.
Step Seven - Editing
Finally, it’s time to edit. Takes a long while, doesn’t it?
Well, expect this step to take the longest, as a rule of thumb. This is the final step before the video is done, and eventually posted on multiple platforms, so it’s acceptable to spend the most time at this stage.
That being said, your level of intricate, tedious editing will largely depend how you spent your time during the shoot. If you did it all in multiple sections, with handles, and you have plenty of b-roll, you’re in luck: editing will be as easy as possible. Otherwise, you may have to cut some important shots decently close, may need to use extra b-roll, and work some magic on top of that.
But there are two tools that could make life easier:
Apple iMovie - ideal if you’re shooting on an iPhone, but it’s also compatible with Macs, if you’re using one to do the editing. It’s free on all Apple devices, so no additional software costs here. This allows you to add titles, music, special effects, filters, and more.
Adobe Premiere Pro - this is the go-to for any professional out there, as it’s been used to edit Hollywood movies, like Deadpool. Obviously, it is paid ($240 for a year’s subscription), but it comes with literally everything you’d ever want or need to edit video. And you can sync it with your After Effects and Photoshop accounts.
How About Music?
Music deserves its own subsection here, because there really is more to it than meets the eye. For one thing, there are copyrights which make it difficult to use just any song you want. These will be heavily moderated by the platforms you choose to post your video on. For instance, YouTube is notorious for changing their rules all the time, affecting the livelihoods of influencers basically everyday.
Then there’s things like royalty free songs, which are actually not free―they charge a flat fee. It’s never really a large sum, and once you pay it, it’s all yours to use, but it can still be tiring having to essentially settle for a song when you already had your heart set on something that is blocked off by copyrights.
That being said, sometimes you really do want that boring song. They’re easy to transition, they keep your attention on the content rather than the tunes, and they often loop seamlessly.
Plus, whoever said you needed music for the whole video? It can also be used as bookends, meaning it’s played at the beginning and end of a section, where there’s a natural split between steps or chapters.
Do I Need A Voice Over?
As a rule, you need a voice over if you have quite a bit of b-roll in the video, but the dialogue is being cut due to poor shots. Obviously, you’d need to supplement that in, and play it while the b-roll is on the screen.
Just remember, if you do require voice overs, record the audio in a quiet location with minimal echo. And record several takes, just in case there are any awkward pauses.
Using It to Your Advantage
Now that you know all the steps involved when creating a video, it’s time to create a long-term marketing plan. This will allow you to map out the type of video content you’ll be focusing on for years to come.
Consider the four main categories that make up inbound methodology. This is the marketing approach that revolves around attracting customers all along the way, using a variety of tools available:
For each one of these phases, which essentially make up a marketing/sales funnel, you’ll need content to catapult people to the next stage. And that means there should be different video content for each.
Your goal during the “attract” phase is to build trust with explainers and how-to videos. Anything that displays thought leadership.
For the “convert” phase, you should educate and excite people with webinars, product demos, and even landing page promos.
The “close” phase is all about helping people visualize themselves with a product or service that you provide. Testimonials help, as do demos, culture videos, and even personalized videos that explain how your product can help them thrive.
Finally, the “delight” phase is all about thank you videos, onboarding, educational courses, and product training. After all, these videos are for people who already advocate for your business, and probably even recommend it to others.
Finally, it’s time to measure stats to see if all of your hard work has paid off. To make things easy, strive for one or two goals per video. Maybe you really want to obtain a certain number of views, or you want to get more traffic on a landing page, so you can elevate that CTA conversion rate.
Whatever your two goals are, measure the video’s success by that measurement. Is it actually achieving the desired effect?
Here are some additional things to pay attention to:
Social engagement, including shares and comments
Video completions (who made it to the end of the video)
Hopefully by now you’ve learned just how important video has become. It’s integral to your marketing efforts, whether it’s capturing your TedTalk, your behind the scenes web series, your DIY videos, or product launches.
And that’s because as important as copy may be, it still doesn’t offer visuals. Combining both is they key to more traffic, more engagement, and if all goes well, more sales. After all, business is only successful if it continuously grows.
Over the last few years, our tech has advanced to a point where even our smartphones are capable of shooting high quality video, so make sure to put it to good use. With a few minor accessories, such as lighting, or a tripod, you can begin making your own video content to share with your audience.
What part of this guide did you find the most useful for your campaign efforts?
Leave your reply in the comments below, I’d love to hear more about what you find helpful!