Content Suite: Videos

Content Suite: Videos

Technology has made video creation so simple almost anyone can do it. Here’s how.

If you’ve seen any of my content before, you’ll know I’m a big fan of the content suite; the idea of sharing your business message in multiple formats across a range of platforms. Primarily we’re talking about text, images, and videos, and how to use these to generate business. 

Perhaps the scariest part of the content suite for people to understand is videos, but that doesn’t need to be the case. 

There was a time when videographers were well paid and highly sought-after. While they do still have a special talent, the volume of video required for effective marketing these days means that most businesses can get away with using apps and technology to create their own videos.

The Camera in Your Pocket

It’s almost unbelievable how advanced mobile phones are these days. The quality of photos and videos taken on mobile phones is more than enough for most video needs when it comes to marketing for small businesses.

With a fairly new mobile phone, you have everything you need to record good videos, and for around a hundred dollars you can buy a tripod and light setup. A halo light and tripod are great if you want to do speaking videos, but you can get away with simply propping your phone up on something and positioning yourself near natural light. 

If you’re comfortable in front of the camera, then this sort of video is easy to produce and can get you good results. Even if you’re not the face of your brand or are a little camera-shy, you can still create professional videos with minimal equipment or budget. 

Make Use of the Technology Available

There are some amazing iPad, iPhone and web apps available that make creating basic videos simple. You know those videos that have some text over images or stock videos? Not too long ago these would take a videographer a day or more to source the footage, enter the text, position it, add music, render it and get it ready for viewing.

These days you can do it yourself in less than an hour. Of course, you still need to know what you want to say and how you want to show the information, but if you’ve got that part sorted, putting it into video form isn’t all that difficult. 

I’m sure there are a million apps that are adequate for video creation, but my current favourites are using a combination of Canva, Lumen5, and Quik. The first two require a monthly subscription fee to access the premium features, and Quik (designed by GoPro) is free. 

The monthly fees for even the top-level access is far less than what it would cost a video professional to create even one video. With a bit of time to learn the programs (which you can do watching YouTube videos), you’ll have it figured out in no time.

Obviously the type of marketing videos that will work best for your brand will depend on your business and marketing goals. Not all videos are appropriate in all circumstances, but providing they’re not offensive or factually wrong, you should experiment with different formats to see how your audience responds.

Your options are almost limitless when it comes to video style, but along with the tradition talking video and text over images styles mentioned above, think about scrolling slideshows, whiteboard style drawings, screen recordings, text message conversations or even just animation enhanced photos. All of these can be created fairly easily using apps.

Why Are Videos So Important in Marketing?

While the numbers on how valuable videos actually are to a marketing effort vary depending on which survey you read, there’s no doubt that people are spending increasing amounts of time on mobile devices, and a significant amount of that time is spent scrolling on social media platforms. 

Think about the way you use social media. Typically you scroll through the feed, barely having time to take in what you see. Videos, especially those that autoplay, have the potential to stop you in your tracks. 

Using a combination of text and images, you have the opportunity to get a lot of information across quickly to the viewer. By creating a higher volume of videos in different formats, you’ll increase the chance of resonating with each individual watching. 

Some Video Tips

A lot of people watch videos on social media without sound, so try to ensure your video is of value if being watched in silence. This means either include captions or text within the video to get your message across.

Social platforms like LinkedIn and Facebook prefer users to actually stay on their platform, so you’re better to upload short videos directly to the post. You’ll also often get the benefit of autoplay when the video is uploaded directly. This early movement can have a big impact on your chances of capturing a viewer’s attention. Longer (or larger) videos still work well being hosted on YouTube and shared on other platforms. 

The social media algorithms and actual humans treat videos differently. At the moment (and this can change any day), Facebook tends to favour videos that are longer than three minutes, but I’ve read reports that videos of less than a minute do better, and even 30 second videos have an impact. 

I think best practice is to get your point across as early in the video as possible, make it engaging and don’t drag it on longer than it needs to be. 

Also, don’t forget that video is no longer confined to being landscape. The increased use of vertical mobile phones has meant that square or portrait videos will benefit your brand by taking up more screen time real estate — something that should not be underestimated. 

While some marketing agencies will try to tell you that video production is a specialist area and expensive exercise, it doesn’t have to be. Even if you hate being on screen you have plenty of options to create high-quality videos.

Take another look at the videos capturing your own attention on social media or online, and see how you can apply these formats to your own marketing message. 

Kirsty Hutton

Kirsty Hutton is the founder of Style Publishing. She has a background in writing, marketing, and management. She is one of those people who believes that 'more coffee' is often the answer.