This article is the first in a series that looks at the practicalities of making business videos that you can use in your marketing strategy. These articles have been written with the laymen in mind and will describe how you can get started with the equipment you have around you – such as your mobile phone and your computer.
For some time, we have assumed that savvy marketers are on board with the concept of making videos to promote their business. Whilst this is generally true there are still a lot of sticking points that stop desire from turning into action.
Probably the most common one is about the cost of making buisness videos.
It’s true; filmmaking can be expensive, especially if you want to look like you’ve had the David Attenborough treatment. BUT and it is a BIG BUT … that quality of standard is almost certainly not expected by the people who are going to be interested in what you have to say.
Most people will be happy with a helpful, jargon-free explanation of what you have to offer. At its simplest, this video could be just you talking to camera, or with just a little editing effort, you, your voiceover and some images, maybe even a little background music.
The four components of successful video making for the layman follow. We’ll be writing more about each area in subsequent articles, providing practical solutions you can start using immediately.
What is the business video about and what is its objective?
The effort to conceive of the idea and put it into an order that makes sense for the viewer does take time. BUT… this is your job as a marketer. If you can’t explain what you do how can anyone else?
If you’re looking for ideas around how to focus the subject matter that appeals to your marketplace we recommend you read this article about the customer journey. You can work out the type of message and video content that will appeal depending on where someone is in their buying journey.
Always think about what you want the viewer to do after watching your video: purchase a product? Visit another page? Including a call-to-action in your online videos will entice users to take the next step in their customer journey.
2. Scripting and getting ready to film
By scripting we refer to the actual words that will be spoken, the images that will support them on screen and the direction of how they will work together. It’s the hardest part because what you say and how you say it what you hope will sway the viewer.
A great starting point is to bullet point the presentation – just like if you were presenting a powerpoint to colleagues. This will let you know you have everything in correct order. Turn the bullet points to words on paper and then read them out loud to a colleague and time how long. Bare in mind we read two to three times faster than we speak. Chances are your first scripts will be far too long. As an aide-memoir remember that 150 words equals a minute of talking.
The type of script you will write will depend on where the viewer is in their customer journey. Occasionally an overtly ‘Buy Now before it’s too late” call to action will work – but usually clear, helpful jargon free explanations work best. Better still if they can be illustrated by real life examples.
3. The Filming Process
The camera choice is one of the most perplexing issues for the layman to understand.
Any professional video maker will want to use the best camera they can – but the truth is that sometimes a mobile phone is good enough if you use it well. Especially when you consider that most videos are watched on YouTube and mobile phones. In any case it is the value of what you are showing that is more useful to the viewer, not your camera choice.
Of course, there is more to it than pointing the camera. Fortunately there are more than a few tutorials showing you how. A Google search reveals pages of them.
In our next article we’ll provide you with a low-down of what works best for us when we use an iPhone.
4. Editing and Post-Production.
We use the Adobe suite of products under the Creative Cloud banner. This includes Photoshop for manipulating images and Premier Pro for editing and a lot more.
This is cost-effective for us but may not be for you. The biggest cost is not the software, but the learning curve and time that has to be spent in order to use them properly.
Fortunately you don’t need to. There are free or very cheap editing packages out there. They lack the cutting edge sophistication of Adobe and instead focus on the basics – which is fine because that is all you need. If the software lets you cut clips, detach the sound, transition from one scene to another and add opening/closing titles and images throughout then it will probably be good enough for you – at least when you’re starting out.
This helpful video could be just the inspiration you need to get started:
A word of explanation
It might seem strange showing others how they can do your job but we don’t see it that way. Even now, 12 years after we started WebVideos we still believe video on the web is in its infancy. In recent years cloud based software tools have started arriving that make the process of filming, editing and review easier than ever before. We think you should take advantage of them because when you do come to us for a video we will both have a much better conversation based on the same background of knowledge.