4 Tips to Improve Your Video Marketing Skills
It’s no secret that video marketing continues to grow in popularity, particularly as increasing bandwidth has improved browsing speeds over the last decade. This year, it’s expected that video will encompass 82 percent of all Internet traffic. Meanwhile, 81% of businesses currently use it, up from 63% in 2019.
But for the average marketer or small businessperson, video marketing can be intimidating and expensive. Many don’t know where to start. Do you attempt to do it in-house with an iPhone on a limited budget? Do you hire a crew? Should you do animated video, a video with actors, an interview, or a product launch video? Certainly, it’s important for a company to work out a video strategy based on available budget and the approach to the types of videos it wants to produce.
And for marketers themselves, it will help your company and your career prospects to know a bit more about the ins and outs of video marketing for the reasons stated above. You don’t have to know actual video production or editing, but understanding a little bit about how videos are developed and distributed is critical. Here are four quick ways you can dive more into the topic today.
Learn more about what you can and should do in YouTube.
YouTube is the second-largest search engine behind parent Google, making it the 800-lb gorilla in video distribution. Knowing that alone will help you get the bigger picture importance but many marketers don’t know the tips and tricks to optimize views on the platform. A few quick tips:
- Write long descriptions so users can find your video. Contrary to what you might think, short and sweet isn’t as effective as being super-descriptive about what the video is about.
- Ask users to subscribe. YouTube is a social network at heart. Subscriptions help your videos get noticed through alerts, which YouTube sends to subscribers when new videos are posted. You can also easily implement a subscribe button through YouTube at the end of your videos.
- Embed YouTube videos into your website content. Videos on a particular topic will only help boost that page content for SEO purposes.
That’s just the start. If you’re going to do video, it’s important to be a content machine and promote the channel and your content in other social networks as well. Learn more about YouTube and other best practices here in our video on How to Do Video Marketing on a Budget.
Learn about the role of marketing in pre-production, production, and post-production.
As mentioned, you don’t necessarily have to know video production or editing to be an effective video marketer at a certain budget level. But what’s helpful to know is the role that marketing plays at each stage of the video development process (pre-production, production, and post-production). A few points for each area:
- Pre-production: Marketing can be heavily involved here, helping to save money when it comes to writing and editing scripts, working to line up any necessary talent, and ensuring you have the right equipment you need to do any shoot properly. This is true for everything from low-budget iPhone shoots to larger productions with a crew.
- Production: Marketing can play the role of director or on-set producer is some cases. A quick tip: Marketing staff can make sure the ‘takes’ during production are exactly what you want. Two areas that are crucial for marketing to pay attention: 1. Remember the takes that will make for great marketing material and that resonate with you; 2. If you have a longer script, once you get a “good take,” move on. Don’t shoot unnecessary footage that backs up production.
- Post-production: Remember those takes you had that were great? Make sure that the post-production editor leaves them in. Also, make sure to ask the post-production editor to cut you a 15- and 30-second short so you can use for paid distribution.
Shoot your own videos and get to understand the basics of audio, lighting, and sound.
As an individual, there are lots of low-cost options for video creation. iPhones and other mobile phone cameras have such high resolution that, with the right lighting and sound, videos can look fantastic. iPhones, for example, can work really well for product demos or selfie videos with you as the main focal subject. For your iPhone videos, it will help to have a few things:
- A good strong “key” light. We suggest a ring light below that will work.
- Quality audio – your phone can record quality sound but you have to be close to the mic.
- A phone holder or stabilizer of some kind. A simple ring light with a phone holder or a Smoove stabilizer if you find yourself in motion shooting video.
- Some knowledge of simple editing tactics on iMovie or another editing software you can download to your phone.
Alternatively, there are some great apps these days that can help you create great videos for social, for example, without being an expert. We’re partial to Lightricks/Boosted Ad Maker in the App Store and Lightricks/Videoleap, which you can create video using basic templates.
Or, what about video from your laptop via a WebEx or Zoom call. Consider interviewing a subject matter expert on topics your customers care about. Or, creating a presentation on a topic that your audience is interested in. Similarly, the factors above apply: light, audio, and high-quality resolution will impact your video quality here. To get what you need, we’d suggest the ring light above, as well as the following:
- A good webcam — We favor the Logitech Brio (and use a good backdrop behind you)
- A Blue Yeti USB microphone for quality sound
- A good, high-speed internet connection, which will improve the quality of your connection and recording.
From there, it’s really up to you to create the content and then distribute it. What’s key here is to test out a few videos and then come to understand what made that video “good” that got a lot of views. With that, we’ll segue into our point.
Understand what make a video “good.”
When we teach video marketing, they focus on the 6 ways to make great content, using a framework based on the work of Wharton professor Jonah Berger called STEPPS. Effective videos will also fall into one of these 6 categories. A quick explanation of each below.
- Social Currency: Videos that make you smarter, more interesting or “in-the-know” when you pass it on to some else. TED Talks are the classic example, but there are lots of examples in marketing today.
- Triggers: When you say: “peanut butter and….” If you answered “jelly” you’re responding to a trigger (peanut butter triggers the thought of jelly). How is this executed in video? The classic example is the Geico “Hump Day” camel. The day the video is shared most? On Wednesday, of course.
- Emotion: Emotion is often related to storytelling (below), but it can be all sorts of emotions: joy, sadness, humor. A great example: Watch the classic Dove: You’re More Beautiful Than You Think, perhaps one of the greatest video marketing campaigns in the last decade.
- Public: One quick example: “4 out of five dentists recommend Trident.” For this, anytime you can show your product being used or recommended helps boost your brand as a form of social proof. Think about any Nike commercial where the athletes simply wear Nike gear.
- Practical: When you help individuals with everyday practical solutions to the questions they have. A practical example: Check out Home Depot on YouTube, which provides everything you need to know on any home improvement project.
- Storytelling: Anytime you can tell a story through video, it’s helpful to your customers as they remember stories most of all. Great storytelling doesn’t necessarily need a narrator either. A terrific example of telling a simple story, check out Misty Copeland’s spot with Under Armour, as part of its famous “I Will What I Want” campaign.
The above suggestions are just a few ways you can start to gain more knowledge of best practices in video marketing. There are obviously other aspects as well: Choosing video types, deciding on paid video distribution through YouTube and other social channels, and improving the overall ROI of your video efforts, just to name a few. If you have additional questions, don’t hesitate to reach out. We can help you with video concepting, production, scripting, as well as video post-production. Contact us today.