It was only a few years ago that any sort of film or video making was inherently expensive and using moving images for marketing campaigns was confined to the large corporations with pockets deep enough to hire a big London based ad agency.
Whilst the blockbuster video advertising is still a part of that corporate world, the cost of video technology has reduced so much that it’s now possible to create high quality movie content at an incredibly reduced budget. Reducing that budget doesn’t mean compromising on quality either, as the simple camera built right into your iPhone can produce high quality video suitable for web distribution
So why should you start using video in your marketing mix? Here’s some incredible statistics that answers that question.
- By 2018, 79% of all consumer internet traffic will be video content (Source: Cisco)
- More than 1 billion unique users visit YouTube each month (Source: YouTube)
- Over 6 billion hours of video are watched each month on YouTube—that’s almost an hour for every person on Earth (Source: YouTube)
- A picture paints 1,000 words however one minute of video is worth 1.8 million (Source: Forrester)
And it appears to be the web that’s driven this video marketing revolution. No longer do you have to compete to purchase expensive TV advertising slots on prime time, you can film your own video content with a webcam, iPhone or other low cost digital camera, publish it on YouTube, distribute links or embeds on social media with a relevant hashtag, and build an audience around your brands new online TV channel.
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You can be more creative online too. Rather than simply delivering advertising messages, you can use video to educate your customers and release content that’s useful to your potential customers.
The democratization of video marketing also means that you can get closer to the customer, add more value and tailor your content to the exact target market you’re aiming for. No more expensive scatter gun advertising approach, just the ability to speak directly and authentically to your ideal customer.
However if you’re thinking you have to be the next Steven Spielberg to succeed with video marketing, think again. We film our own “On The Social Sofa” series with a simple webcam, laptop and basic lighting rig.
You don’t have to produce a Hollywood movie to get started in video marketing, start where you are with what you have and expand as you go.
At the 2014 Content Marketing Show, Tom Bailey of Shy Camera, a video production company based in Brighton, gave a passionate talk on how smaller businesses can get the amazing results with their video marketing thanks to the increased quality and lower cost of technology.
5 key takeaways from Tom’s talk that could help small businesses thinking of creating video content in-house are:
1) Don’t be scared to replicate other people’s formats. If someone’s worked out a successful use of video marketing then reverse engineer the content. Study some of the methods, shots, camera angles and production they’ve used and see if you can replicate the format with your own original content. In the same way that stories are derived from just 7 basic plots, most video content has been shot in certain ways for good reason.
2) Sound really matters. It’s no good having the best polished video and story if no one can hear your soundtrack or the words the presenter is saying. Tie clip mics are available at very low cost (search for lavelier or tie clip microphones on Amazon) or we’ve even used the microphone from our iPhone headphones pinned to a lapel and connected straight into a laptop with an audio cable extension as a quick and cheap way to get good sound for pieces to camera.
3) Plan, plan and plan again. Before you pick up a video camera and start filming, have an idea on what you want the end result to be. In TV and Film it’s standard to use storyboards (a series of sketched or photographic images) put together as a sequence to illustrate the shots. You don’t have to go this far if you don’t want to, writing down the ideas on a notepad will suffice, although visual images (even stick men sketches) will help visualise what you’re trying to achieve. It’ll save you so much assembling and editing time after filming if you work from a plan.
4) Pay attention to lighting. Tom’s advice is that natural light is usually never enough, the more control you have over lighting the better. Lighting doesn’t have to be expensive either, we’ve used industrial work lights from the local hardware store to light videos before (even when working on music videos) and they’ve worked well for simpler projects. If you do want to invest in some professional video lights though they’re still affordable enough to be within reach of a small business.
5) Pick the right people to present. If you’re working as a team don’t let egos get in the way. Run screen tests on the people in your company to see who works best on camera. Tom’s advice is that it’s not usually the showy salesman types that will come across the best on screen, you may find that the shyest of your team could be the most genuinely connected front person for your project.
The biggest advice from Tom’s presentation was to enjoy the video journey and have fun. Ultimately make it a team project, and if content production using video is new for you use it as a fun learning experience that will benefit both your own growth and your businesses growth too.
If Tom’s slides inspired you and you’d like read the full transcript of his talk from this years Content Marketing Show head over to his in depth blog post based on the slides at the Shy Camera blog.
Lead image credit: saine
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This article originally appeared on New Rise Digital and has been republished with permission.
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