It is hard to differentiate your business from your competitors and even harder when you are a small company or solo entrepreneur with a limited marketing budget. Therefore, you need to be aware of everything that is happening in the market, such as new trends and developments that can help you find ingenious and cheap ways to strategically position your company.
Video is the new kid on the block… at least when it comes to marketing. Well, it is not that new anymore, but definitely new-ish. Everyone, business owners and marketers included needs to be aware of the power of video. According to numerous studies, including ones facilitated by Cisco, the video will represent over 80 percent of all Internet traffic by 2019 (only two years away!). Not only that, video is a great way to communicate with your audience and differentiate yourself from your competitors.
Now you will probably tell me that all sounds fine and dandy, but you do not have the budget or time to create videos. How can you compete with big companies that have five zero budgets for videos alone?
Well, the good news is you do not need a large budget to create a video, and the fact that you are not a big company working with a media agency can play to your advantage. You see, the beauty of being a small company is that you are closer to your clients. You can talk to them directly. That means you know them pretty well; you use the same language and understand their needs. That gives you a huge advantage!
Lately, technology has evolved immensely and become so accessible that you can create a high-quality video just by using your phone, so the excuse about having a limited budget doesn’t really hold up.
What do you need to create a good video and how can you integrate it into your marketing strategy? Let’s break it down!
First, you need a script. You can always improvise once you start filming, but you need to know:
- What is the purpose of the video?
- Who are you addressing?
- What message do you want to communicate?
Basically, you are outlining and answering the same questions that helped you define your customer and helped you create your content strategy. After all, videos are part of your content strategy.
Once you have the answer(s) to the above questions, you can either write down the script (what you want to happen and the sequence in which it should happen) or you just start filming, all while keeping in mind the points above. Make sure you are telling a story through your videos.
Now that you know what you want to say and to whom, it is time to get to work. In order to have a steady image, it is important to have your camera in a fixed position. One option is to use a stand or tripod. If you are using a laptop camera, you don’t need to worry about this step.
Make sure the environment is relevant and connected to the story. It is all about consistency. If you are filming in your office, try to show a nice, clean, unflustered room. No one likes a messy space.
Also, make sure you have good lighting. You want to keep people watching, so you need to make sure the video is appealing and engaging.
I do not know about you, but for me, everything is better with music. Of course, you need to make sure you have the right music for each situation, and this applies to videos, as well. The music needs to lead you into the story you are telling and enhance it. A video with music is like an article with pictures; it only makes it better.
Again, you will tell me you don’t have the budget to pay for music royalties. Well, fear not. I am here to give you more great news! There are several places where you can get and use music for free, such as SoundCloud. You just need to make sure you credit the artist (exactly as you do for pictures), and you are ready to go.
Now you have a story. You filmed it. You chose the perfect music to go along with the plot, and now it is time to piece everything together. If you are not a technical person, you may want to outsource this task, but if you are comfortable with technology, there are numerous free software tools you can use. Hubspot created a list featuring 7 of the Best Pieces of Free Video Editing Software. Find which one works best for you.
During the editing, you will also decide how long your video will be. Of course, the duration depends on the type of videos you are creating and the story. My advice is to focus on generating engagement. Numbers show that videos shorter than 2 minutes, generate more engagement. However, if your story is good, you can create a video that is between 6 and 12 minutes and have a good engagement.
Publishing The Video
Now that we have the video, all you need to do is publish it! YouTube is a great platform, but make sure you are also embedding the video on your own website. You want people to visit your site and not YouTube.
Be sure to also use your social media channels to distribute the video.
Don’t forget to caption the video. This practice helps optimize the video for search engines. Plus, even if more and more people watch videos, there are still some who prefer reading.
For inspiration, start watching videos and learn what others are doing. You will also see what they are doing wrong, and you will make sure not to repeat their mistakes. It is a great way to learn.
Now you have all the steps you need to start creating your own videos!
Another important thing: make sure to include videos in your marketing planning. You can see it as an article… you can’t have just one. The more you do, the easier it gets. It is all about being consistent. If you include it in your weekly planning, you will be able to allocate time to create them and promote them.
You can use the videos for brand awareness, to place yourself as an authority in the market, but also to generate leads and sales. The video can be a great tool in your marketing and sales funnel.
I would love to see what videos you created! Please share the links with me!