How on earth are you going to create quality video content that people are actually going to watch?
First off, you don't have a good camera; second, you don't have any idea how to edit video; and third, as if the first two reasons weren't crippling enough, you don't have the slightest clue about what sort of content you would want to create.
But you know without a shadow of a doubt that your brand, blog, or business needs to have a video component.
Your competitors are doing it, and even Mark Zuckerberg has predicted we are entering the era of video content: "If you go back five years, most of the content was text. Now a lot of it is photos, and if you look in the future a lot of the content that people share will be video. It's just very compelling."
But chances are that in your online marketing career you had to learn a lot of things from scratch—whether that was starting out on Twitter, figuring out how to launch blogs, learning to advertise on Facebook, or building a website.
Up until now, you've managed to learn all that you now know, and learning how to create video content is going to be no different.
Read on to learn the basics of successful video content creation.
What You Need to Create Video Content
I know that creating professional-quality videos is not an easy task for amateur videographers, but managing your own expectations is the first step toward success.
You are not going to be creating Nike-esque videos right out of the gate, you might never even get close to that. But that doesn't mean that you cannot create video content that is successful online.
Here's what you need.
Businesses of all sizes still get hung up on this issue. Somehow, when executives and even marketing managers think video, they think they need to go buy an expensive camera or, worse, that you need to hire a video production company and eat up a bunch of your marketing budget.
The truth is, the only camera you need (at least to start with) is the one in your pocket: Smartphone cameras are of a high-enough quality that businesses do not have to look further to start producing video.
If your manager or boss doesn't believe you, or if you don't believe me, just check out this ad by Bentley. The whole thing was shot with... wait for it... an iPhone 5S:
So don't let your camera hold you back.
The truth about video production is that it doesn't even really matter how expensive your camera is, or how good a videographer you are—because the editing is where the magic happens.
Whether you want to edit clip sizes, apply transitions, or add special effects or a soundtrack, you have plenty of free tools to choose from that will allow you to begin tinkering and creating amazing content:
- Windows Movie Maker: If you have the Windows OS, then you already have at your fingertips one of the best and most popular video editing applications on the market. It is simple to use and gives you the tools you need to spruce up your video.
- WeVideo: This is a Cloud-based video editing service with a pro version. The free version has some limitations, but it is still a useful editing program.
- Lightworks: If you are looking for a little more power (or when you get a bit more advanced), Lightworks has a large set of features. The program has even been used in top Hollywood movies like Batman. Beware: This is likely not for the beginner videographer, and there is an extremely steep learning curve.
Some other powerful and useful video content tools:
- Wideo: Create professional-quality, animated videos to make a great first impression with clients and site visitors.
- Powtoon: Create animated videos and presentations with the software used by Starbucks, eBay, and many others!
- Wistia: A video marketing platform, Wistia combines world-class video hosting, marketing tools, and video analytics.
It may sound like a lot of work initially, putting in the time to learn how to use these editing software's, but I promise you it will do your business a world of good. Plus, video isn't going anywhere soon. This trend will be here for years yet and to learn now how to edit your videos will put you ahead of the curve as video content continues to evolve and change.
What to Create
All right, so you have your iPhone/Android (I'm not judging), and you've chosen your editing software. Now comes the next hurdle.
What on earth do you have to show your customers or readers via video?
Before you even begin to think about what to film, you have to answer a few questions:
- Who are the target audiences for this video? Get specific, from demographics (age, gender, etc.), to psychographics (interests, personality, lifestyles, etc,). You'd be surprised how doing this exercise will begin to inform at least the style of video you want to create. Your video to an audience of teenage boys will look a lot different from a video targeted to soccer moms.
- What are you trying to achieve with this video? Video is not an appropriate medium for all of your content goals. If you are forcing the issue rather than letting video ideas come organically, then chances are you're wasting your time. Figure out what you want the video content to achieve for your business, and then go from there.
- Which platforms are you going to use? Are you sharing this on your blog and YouTube, or are you wanting to target your Instagram community? The answer will help narrow the scope of your video as well. If you choose Instagram or Vine, then you know that your video can be only a few seconds long, whereas if you are posting on YouTube, you can build a more comprehensive message.
Still not sure what your video should be about? Don't worry, I have compiled a list of video content ideas that you could begin to use immediately.
It might be uncomfortable, especially if you are the one in front of the camera, but don't wait to start creating video content; use these ideas and see what happens!
- Customer testimonials: You're probably already using customer testimonials in some way in your business, but have you thought about repurposing existing testimonials into video? Interview satisfied customers, asking them to share their success stories. Or have people send in a short video of themselves talking about your product. You would be surprised how effective video can be for this purpose. BrightLocal has reported that 79% of customers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
- Q&As: There are a couple of ways you might go about doing these. You can ask your social audience for questions ahead of time, then put yourself or someone else in the business in front of the camera to answer selected questions. You can track down other influencers in your field to see whether they would be willing to be interviewed; this approach will help build a potentially important relationship for you and likely gain a promotional boost as they will likely promote it too.
- Executive introduction: Find a way to get the business owner or executives in front of the camera. It can be a simple welcome message, a holiday greeting, or thoughts about the company and what it means to him/her. Transparency is important to customers online, and a chance to get to know the leadership of a company can go a long way toward building trust.
- Product demonstrations: If you have a product or service, then you should plan on making a video that demonstrates the features of that product. Even if it is something that doesn't translate well to video, explaining it on camera just as you would write about it in a blog post can be effective. You can reach different audiences with video that you would not otherwise: Get your product on video and get a piece of the YouTube pie.
- Behind-the-scenes: Give customers an intimate look at something that the public wouldn't normally see. These can be short videos from tradeshows and events, scenes of the production process, or even just what your office looks like. Build a relationship with your viewers by letting them see inside your world, and the trust will build.
- Sneak-peeks: Do you have a new product launch, or a new logo—or, heck, even a new office pet? Give your communities a look into what's new or what hasn't been released yet, and they will feel closer to you.
Go Forth and Film
There you have it. Everything you need to know to begin creating video content. Don't overthink it. Be yourself, be funny, be informative, and have fun with it!
Get that first video out of the way quickly... today would be ideal. No matter how simple it might end up being, the important thing is to show yourself that you can do it.
Video shouldn't scare you, it should excite you. It is a tremendous opportunity for your business. What do you have to lose?
If you're still not sure and you're still feeling nervous, take a look at these videos that I selected as some inspiration for you. And, of course your first videos won't be of this quality, but the makers of these were once beginners. Take the first step and see where it leads you!