By 2019, 90 percent of Internet traffic will come from videos, according to a study by Cisco. In an earlier blog post, I showed you (with recent statistics) why video should be an important part of your 2016 digital marketing plan.
How do you go about creating effective video content? Here is a practical and actionable guide for beginners.
How to Create a Marketing Video: a Beginner’s Guide
Action 1: Define your audience
Video is a unique form of content. Even though it has an universal appeal, unless you have a deeper understanding of your audience and create suitable content, you might find it difficult to get them to act, share, respond or react. This is true for any marketing activity, but more so for video marketing because you are trying to convey a lot of information in a short amount of time.
Defining some of the key parameters given below can help you get an understanding of your audience profile:
Geographic profile – Country, City, Location, Climate, Culture, etc
Demographic profile – Age, Gender, Family size, Income, Occupation, Education, Marital status, etc.
Psychographic profile – Attitudes, Beliefs, Habits, Status factors, Visual appeal, Spending patterns, etc.
Behavioural profile – Shopping medium, Spending patterns, Product preferences, Packaging preferences, Research habits, etc.
Step 2: Select the right tools
Before the arrival of smartphones, video marketing was an expensive activity that was affordable only to big players. But that is not true anymore. Thanks to powerful, feature-rich and affordable smart phones, high quality recording is now possible, accessible and affordable to most businesses. If you read our blog on 50 Mobile Apps for Marketing, you will find a list of mobile apps that will help you shoot, edit and produce videos like a pro, using just your smartphone.
Video Recording : You could start with your smart phone and later upgrade to more sophisticated cameras (and lighting) as your business grows and you are able to afford it.
Audio Recording : You could use your smartphone with apps like Audio Recorder, Easy voice recorder or even Evernote. To enhance the quality and reduce ambient noise, I recommend you add simple Lavalier microphones like the ATR-3350 to your phone. These lapel microphones usually cost less than $50 and they plug straight into your smartphone. As you progress and grow, you can graduate to sophisticated audio recording devices.
Video Editing : Most video editing needs can be met using tools like iMovie (for mac) and Moviemaker (for windows). The second level of upgrade will be Screenflow and Camtasia. For more advanced requirements, you could use premium software like Adobe Premier Pro and Final Cut Pr0 X.
(Click on the image to enlarge)
Step 3: Define your video marketing workflow
A good workflow increases efficiency and reduces stress. Video marketing has many stages; it will help if you can map each stage and fit it into your current workflow.
Important stages in video marketing:
- Post-production (Editing)
- Optimising (for different channels, closed captioning/subtitling etc.)
- Measuring and Reporting.
If you have a team, delegate tasks and ensure flow of information from one point to another without any hindrance. If you are a solo-preneur, plan well and use a task management tool to move your tasks from one stage to another, so that you do not miss anything important. You could use a Kanban tool like Trello to help you create an efficient workflow.
Step 4: Have a script
Even if you have good impromptu communication skills and are comfortable explaining your business concept or your product features, I still recommend that you have a script. A script helps you crystallise your thoughts. It ensures that your content aligns well with the overall campaign objectives. It will also help reduce your editing time because you are not saying things that you did not plan to.
A script need not hinder your creativity in delivering the content. You could still improvise a bit and add your own style to the script when you deliver it during the recording.
Step 5: Focus on value, not on perfection
Online audience look for value, not perfection. If the video is useful and conveys meaningful content to them the audience will not mind engaging with it, even if it is not produced to Hollywood standards. As long it adds value to them, they will watch your video and share your content. Of course, take every possible effort to create the highest quality of video possible. But you should be more obsessed with the content and the value-addition than with the look and feel of the video.
Step 6: Edit your videos
This sound like an obvious step. But with the live streaming tools like Meerkat, Blab and Periscope, we often find businesses uploading unedited, shaky live videos with background noise, blank portions, etc. They are fine for certain live streaming purposes. But if you are working on a planned video marketing campaign, it is good to take an effort to edit your videos and make them look good to your audience.
Here are some actions you may want to focus on during your editing process:
- Take off portions that do not add value to your audience.
- Add images/slides with branding, title, etc. at the beginning and at the end.
- Add call to action elements wherever possible and relevant.
- Add simple animations or text layers in the video to emphasise your point.
Step 7: Package and optimise your videos
Once your video is ready, think about the various channels that you are going to use to market the video. Package and optimise the video for each channel.
- For example, when you package a video for YouTube, you might want to add elements like annotations, cards, etc which can increase the effectiveness of the video.
- If you are using premium platforms like Vimeo or Wistia, they give you additional customisation options and features like call-to-action buttons.
- If you are uploading it to Facebook, you might want to think about the final destination URL option that Facebook provides and package the video accordingly.
- If you are planning other social media channels, you will have to create a shorter version of the video, to fit the requirement of that channel. For example, 6-second version for Vine and 15-second version for Instagram.
- Add a description with the right keywords for each channel to increase the visibility in the search results.
Finally, once your video is ready, give it the right home by uploading it to an appropriate location. Apart from your YouTube channel (which is an obvious choice), you could also place your video in strategic pages of your website and blog. One important thing to note regarding having videos on your website: videos are usually large files and they could affect the loading speed and backup systems of your website, so try and use a CDN (content delivery network) or the Youtube embedding option to keep your website light.
Hope this helps you create your first marketing video. All the best!