There’s no avoiding it- social media is the most efficient and effective way to reach your customers and clients. From the largest companies to the smallest businesses, tapping in to social media is nothing short of a necessity. Of all of the social formats, possibly the best way to grab a potential client’s attention is video. Video can express much more than just words and in much less time when it comes to marketing. But this realm of media is not easily conquered- not only must you create effective videos, but you must also leverage them. With the help of this post (and more to come in this series) you will learn how to produce and implement videos as a part of your inbound marketing strategy.
You may think that introducing video to your marketing arsenal may be too big of a step, but there’s no need to worry. Given the advances in mobile and computer technology video has become one of the easiest ways to communicate your message! And, no offense, people would much rather watch your videos than read your website.
How to create an effective marketing video:
There are many steps to creating a video, and each one brings its own challenges. Many businesses realize the power of video marketing, but find troubles in any of the production, editing, or syndication stages. We recently finished a successful video project for a client and I would like to share some of the key points that made the video project so outstanding.
1. The Purpose.
Our clients understood why video was important. They wanted to communicate their vision in a more meaningful way by utilizing a series of short videos, as opposed to adding pages of text to a website. Obviously, this is the more accessible way to go about your marketing. For example: I was in the market for some lighting equipment. I had done research and found what I thought I wanted, even though there were mixed (written) reviews. After hours of debating I decided to look into video reviews of the product and voilá! There it was. Based on the video reviews I was able to make my decision off of seeing the product as opposed to reading it. Seeing is believing.
2. The Structure.
Our clients for the most recent project wanted to introduce a new service into the market, so they made a series of informational videos, similar to an FAQ session. When getting ready to introduce your own video(s) to the world, make sure you have a clear vision of what you’re trying to accomplish. One of the reasons video is so useful is its versatility. You can make product videos that showcase your (you guessed it) product to an audience. Product videos need to keep the customer interested by showing the best parts of what your product has to offer. Informative videos are a bit more in depth. In informative videos, your objective is to give the buyer useful information that they think they need while subtly selling your product. One of the most iconic forms of internet marketing is the viral video. These are typically constructed to give an introduction to a product and hook customers in by using very contemporary media and culture to tap in to a wide audience. Kia accomplished this with their series of commercials that portrayed life sized sweatsuit-wearing hamsters driving their newest SUV. This is a high goal to set for your video marketing, but don’t ever forget the magic that a little pop culture can do for you.
Keep in mind that whatever you are trying to sell can be a hint as to what video route you need to take; a new insurance policy might not make for the best viral video.
3. The First Steps
“The journey of a thousand miles begins with the first steps”. Find your budget and begin to decide on how you want to produce your videos. There are three options you can take here. Production companies have the best quality of videos, as well as the most efficient time of production. However, this will consistently be the most expensive option. Production companies will charge multiple and possibly greater fees- it is your decision as to whether it is worth it within your budget. On the other end of the spectrum is your in-house production. This is riling up all of your resources in current possession, maybe buying some editing software and a camera or two. From there you take your best workers and make the best video you can in-house. You’ll find that this is most likely the cheapest option. The problems you will face are extended and indefinite production time, along with a lack of expertise that can make your videos exactly how you wanted them. In the middle of this spectrum is freelance videographers. These are single cinematographers that will create your video. Freelancers will create a quality of video that is very similar to a production company, if not the same. However, you will find that freelancers have no staff, and therefore will take much longer to complete your project than a production company. Their prices will be much lower, though. Take these options into account early on in production, because if you have deadlines that can affect your decision.
4. The Production.
You’ve made it to the fun part! Once you’ve hired your videographer or production company and lined up what you want your video to look like, it’s time to start filming. Keep this in mind during the production process: Balance is key. What I mean by this is that you should not be afraid to interject your opinion. Ultimately this video will be representing your company to the world. At the same time, you should take into account everything that your director says. You have the vision, but they have the means. Keep these two ideas balanced in the production process.
5. The Post Production.
Editing is the most important part of a video project. It requires intense and time consuming work, with hardly any room for error. Take this benchmark into account: for every minute of video that you shoot it will take an hour to edit. This includes color correction, sound production, and sequencing. Make sure that in the editing process you check up on the video very frequently. Sometimes an error in the beginning of the editing can affect the entire video. For instance, there could be an irreparable problem with the sound for your video like scattered noises. If you don’t re-record that audio, you could end up working through the whole editing process without noticing these small blemishes. For as immersive as videos are, errors in a video can be so distracting to a customer or client that you can, in fact, scare them away from your website or video. Just make sure that you keep tabs on that video during this step, it could make or break your marketing plan!
6. Now what?
Congratulations! You have your video and you’re ready to show the world. Now what? It’s time to start leveraging it as a sales tool, thats what. Recognize the potential of your video, and then take these tougher first steps in marketing. It will improve your success dramatically. Put the video on your site. As I’ve stated before, people would rather watch your video than read your site. Syndicate. Make sure that you target keywords in the title, description, and title of your video. Not only will it make it easier for people to find you, but there is a good chance you will start showing up in the SERPs. Get social. Post this video to every Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, and MySpace account you have. Getting the word out is key!
If you stay true to these steps in your video production, you will find the process to be much clearer, as well as more effective. Stay tuned for more ways that you can make your internet marketing the best that it can be.