Marketing experts predict that video will be the future of sales and marketing.
Just look at these statistics from YouTube: their users spend hundreds of millions of hours every day watching YouTube; they already have more than a billion users who upload 300 hours of video every minute; YouTube is the second most used search engine after Google. Need I say more?
Companies who understand the power of video have included this medium in their marketing efforts.
But a majority of companies and startups are still hesitating to do this for many reasons.
Some say it is too much investment of money and time, and they just don’t have either. They think that you need to have fancy and expensive equipment. Depending on the concept and scope, making a video can take hours or even days of their precious time.
Some startups are not up for making videos because they just don’t know how to do it. They are afraid of conveying the wrong message, or that they will publish a badly-made video that will tarnish their branding.
Creating videos, especially for business, are not as simple as just pressing record and posting it on YouTube. You have to create a video that is relevant, informative, and which perfectly reflects your brand.
It is not simple, yes, but it’s not rocket science either. You just have to learn the tricks to making it simple and effective. Then carefully plan the concept with your team, so you will be able to create video and integrate it effectively into your marketing campaign.
1. Just start making a video
Your first ever video doesn’t have to be perfect. It’s your first video, and your viewers will understand. Don’t let worries and perfectionism hold you back from just making it.
Though not perfect, still upload your video for your audience to see. As long as your content is clear and engaging, your viewers will forgive you for any blunders that most first-time videos have.
Just use whatever equipment is available to you. Then choose a specific topic, write the key points for your topic, and start talking in front of the camera.
What’s important is you start making your first video, upload it for your target audience. and start dedicating yourself to creating videos consistently.
As you go along, you will get better. Your videos will improve the more you create, and your viewers will surely enjoy watching.
2. Use your phone
As a busy entrepreneur, your smartphone is not only good for making calls and checking your email; you can take clear, quality videos.
You should take advantage of that and try shooting a clip using your smartphone. Nearly all smartphones can shoot video that is good enough to get started.
Aside from smartphone features, there are mobile apps that you can install to make your video look more professional and presentable. One of my favorites is Magisto. This free app can be used on your PC or laptop and on your iOS or android phones.
3. Use your webcam
If you are using a PC, you can buy a high-quality webcam at your nearest computer store. If you have a laptop, most have a built-in webcam that you can use.
Just make sure you look presentable, check if your background is appropriate, and start recording with your webcam.
Then you can trim, splice, and do other editing functions using a video editor app that you can install on your PC or laptop. Magisto, as I mentioned above, works great on your PC and laptop.
4. Use a screencast app
Here at Vivid Web Copy, we do screencasting when making a landing page analysis video, like the one we did for CloudFactory.
Screencasting is when you record what’s happening on a computer screen while you are talking.
We have a whole series of screencasts on our website to show landing page analyses for various startups. Take a look around our blog and check those out, too.
There are a lot of apps that will let you do screencasts. For a free version, check out CamStudio. If you have a budget for a paid one, try out Camtasia. Screencast-O-Matic has both a free and a pro version.
5. Be the one to talk to your viewers
Yes, you can hire someone to do the talking for you, or actors that can act out your concept. But if you are doing a tutorial or talk about your latest innovation, then it is best that you, as the CEO or the expert, are the one to face the camera.
This will humanize your video, and give your target audience the impression that you will personally see to it that if ever they purchase your product or service, they will be well taken care of.
Being the one talking on the screen will let your viewers feel like you are talking right to them. This will help you and your startup build better relationships with your customers, and at the same time make better connections with your target audience.
6. Come up with a concept
Come up with a concept that will reflect your brand. It can be serious and formal, or fun and humorous.
Make a storyboard, or simply list out the key points for your topic.
Prepare a signing-in and signing-off spiel that you can use in every video you make to create recognition among your growing viewers.
You can even make videos that interview people in your niche, especially if you find it more comfortable than facing the camera alone. Or make a series of videos, for example, about the features of your product. Make one video for every feature.
7. Not just a sales pitch
Talking only about your amazing product is like saying goodbye to your potential customers.
Don’t pitch your products and services until after you have given something valuable for free. For example, many information marketers make a series of videos with free content. In the first videos, they teach basic concepts, without asking for a sale. This helps their target audience, while it also builds their authority.
The people who feel that the free videos are helpful will trust you now. Then, when you make a sales pitch in a later video, they are already warmed up. They are more likely to believe you, because you already taught them something. They will be more willing to give you money because you already gave them information for free.
That works a lot better than starting with a sales pitch.
Types of videos you can make
As I mentioned above, your startup will build stronger relationships with your target audience if you, the CEO, are the one talking in front of the camera.
The video doesn’t have to be fancy and long. Just be yourself, with or without mistakes and blunders, and your viewers will see you as you are: someone honest, someone real.
You can see this in action in this video from Novartis, a Swiss multinational pharmaceutical company. This video shows their CEO Joseph Jimenez in a gym, with gym-goers working out on stationary bikes in the background. He talks about their health and wellness campaign and urges others to participate.
As a startup, you want to establish your company as an authority in your industry. That is why you are maintaining a blog, and consistently publishing content to help your target audience find answers to their questions.
If you think that your topic needs the usage of audio or visual play, then making a video will be the best way to convey your message for that topic.
When you decide on making a tutorial type of content, create a video because it will be easier to show them how to do something, rather than just writing about it.
Just like Luxy Hair, a company that sells hair extensions. They do video tutorials about different hairstyles.
They don’t talk about buying hair extensions in their videos, but they do use hair extensions when doing their styling, which subtly tells their viewers and subscribers that having hair extensions will make their hairstyles look better.
This one takes more effort and money because if you don’t have someone on your staff who is an illustrator or an animator, or at least someone who knows the basics, then you’ll have to hire one for the project.
An illustration video is a video presentation using drawings and illustrations to show what your campaign wants to convey.
Like this video from Dropbox: they made a beginner’s guide to business using illustrations.
This kind of video is used when you want to demonstrate how your product works.
For online software companies, this is used to show their current customers and target audience how their product is used. They demonstrate how to use features in the products, as I said before, in a series of videos.
Collabspot has a chrome extension that integrates your CRM with your Gmail and Google Apps. They made a video that demonstrates how to use this product.
This is, arguably, the most used type of video among companies today. Since consumers hate sales pitches, companies and marketing outfits have become creative when making their videos.
Instead of telling people outright about how incredible their product is, they show it through storytelling.
They show how people leading normal lives have their problems solved through the product that they are using.
WestJet, a large airline company in Canada, surprised their passengers two Christmases ago by giving them Christmas gifts after their flight. Instead of their luggage, gift boxes came out of the conveyor belt. Then they made a video telling this story.
This has proved to be very effective for them, with their video getting more than 40 million views on YouTube.
You should try this out too, but keep in mind, this type of video needs a lot of research, time, and a bigger budget since you will be including creative people, production, actors and others to stitch your story together.
So now you know the high value of video content, and the steps to make it happen. Get started today: pick your idea, pick up your camera, and…action!