How to Integrate Video into Your Marketing Strategy (Without Freaking Out)
The thought of producing and distributing video content can admittedly be a little overwhelming. However, we as humans are hardwired to pay attention to moving images, which means this medium can often be the most successful for gauging consumers’ interest. In fact, the stats say that video is quickly claiming the marketing throne: Facebook users watched over 100 million hours of video last year; almost one-third of internet users nowadays are on YouTube; and internet video traffic is predicted to account for 80% of all consumer internet traffic by 2019. Furthermore, search engines and social media channels are rewarding video more than ever before, duly encouraging marketers to capitalise on this medium.
Evidently, video is a highly effective way to carve out your mark as a business in the digital age. But how exactly do you enter the realm of video marketing?
How to create your videos?
First things first: you’re going to want to know how to actually create a video. Gone are the days of lugging clunky cameras and equipment around; there are plenty of nifty devices that have made video creation a much simpler process, even for the filmography novice.
Of course, smartphones are arguably the device of choice when it comes to capturing imagery these days. You can shoot professional-looking videos on your smartphone, as long as you follow a few guiding principles:
- Shoot horizontal, not upright. A video shot with your smartphone held upright will result in your clip fighting for space when uploaded, with two black bars appearing on either side of the screen.
- Use a tripod where necessary. Naturally, this will help to stabilise your device when filming static shots.
- Invest in a microphone accessory. Improve the audio quality of your videos by adding a good microphone accessory to your kit. The Rode SmartLav microphone is a favourite among amateur videographers. On this note, remember to try shield your smartphone’s inbuilt microphone from external noises like wind, otherwise remove it in the editing process.
- Manually set your exposure and focus. Most smartphones enable you to easily set exposure and focus by pressing and holding on an area of the screen to activate the AE/AF Lock function. This is important because you want the exposure to remain consistent as you film. Meanwhile, manually setting the focus is ideal when you want to get close to a particular object.
Aerial drones are becoming increasingly popular, now commonly used in capturing footage of things like live sports events, weddings, concerts and landscapes. Hence, these clever modern-day gizmos can be marketing gems for industries such tourism, hotel accommodation, real estate and automobile sales, giving consumers ‘wow’-worthy insight into what you’ve got to offer. Although drones are certainly a heftier investment compared to smartphones, they can be well worth the expense. Offering super-clean, stabilised and high-quality footage paired with easy controller-operation, drones are quickly becoming a favoured accompaniment in professional filmmaking.
Of course, if you’re still a little hesitant to dive into the art of filmography, you can always rely on collating your still images together to create a video. Windows Movie Maker is an easy way to create videos from images on your desktop or laptop, or if you’re a little more advanced, you can explore your PhotoShop options, too. These tools allow you to seamlessly thread your images together, resulting in a smooth slideshow. Add some simple captions over the top and a soundtrack in the background and you’ve got yourself an effective video.
For a different kind of flavour, stop-motion videos can be highly effective and easily created via free mobile apps such as Stop Motion Studio. Check out the one we created for Daffodil Day 2017 (which, by the way, only took us a few hours to make)!
What to film?
Now you know the ‘how’, it’s important to get on top of the ‘what’. What kind of video content are you going to produce? What will reel users in and get them clicking on your website or social pages? There’s no point going out there flailing your smartphone camera around with no real plan in mind; instead, make sure you create a strategy according to your marketing goals and draw up a simple shot-by-shot guide, so you know exactly want kind of footage you’ll need to capture.
There are several common categories to focus your video marketing on. These include:
- Tutorials and tips. These kinds of videos can be perfect for service-based businesses, especially if you work in a niche, dry or complicated industry. By educating your audience via video, you provide real value to them in a fun and engaging way while simultaneously establishing yourself as a subject matter expert. A beauty salon, for instance, could offer styling tips to their clients.
- Behind-the-scenes. No one likes a faceless conglomerate. Behind-the-scenes footage can give your business a real personality to relate to, and can be appropriate for a range of businesses. From the corporate office to a theatre company, giving your audience a glimpse of the inner workings of your business can be an unexpected treat.
- If you find yourself facing a constant barrage of similar questions from your consumers, maybe it’s time to lay down the answers on a table via a video. Not only is this super-helpful for your users, it can also save you precious time replying to individual enquiries.
- Tell your story. Consider this kind of video as the visual version of your website’s ‘About Us’ page. Somewhat similar to behind-the-scenes videos, telling your story through film helps to paint a personality for your brand and forge that connection with your users. Experiment by featuring prominent team members from each department, or try a camera pan through your workspace.
- Promo pieces. Perhaps the most traditional form of video marketing, promo pieces entail the advertisement of a particular product or service. Naturally, this is where drone footage can be highly useful.
- Product explainers. What better way to encourage consumers to invest in your products than by gifting them a super-simple product explainer? If you’re launching a new product line, videos are the perfect choice for sharing all the latest details, benefits and features. Video product explainers can also come in handy as an engaging alternative to written instruction manuals. Our client DIY Online Blinds have done a great job of this by enlisting the help of former The Block contestants to give a step-by-step video explanation of how to install their products.
- Vlogs. Vlogs are, quite simply, forms of blogs for which the medium is video. These often combine embedded video with supporting text, images and other metadata to support your statements. As a small but growing segment of the blogosphere, vlogging is gaining plenty of traction and providing a rich venue for public discourse. Again, this kind of video content is generally better-suited for service-based industries â€“ digital marketing is a good example, as it is a complex and perpetually-evolving industry.
Of course, deciding the right video avenue to venture down will largely depend on your audience – who they are and what they want. Be sure to create content that’s not only within your limits, but that will appeal to your target users.
Video marketing quick tips
Now that you’re on your merry way to video marketing, jot down these quick tips to help you garner success in your filmography venture:
- Start small. Subpar video content is often the result of dreaming too big and setting your goals too high. Understand your limits and work within them: a simple yet beautifully-designed and edited video is far better than a slapdash attempt at a complicated job. The more skills you learn along the way, the more you can increase the complexities of your marketing videos.
- Optimise your video for mobile viewing. The rate at which mobile videos are soaring in popularity is nothing short of staggering. Whether displayed on our favourite social media platforms or embedded in news articles, we are now accessing videos on our smartphones more than ever before. As such, it’s important to keep in mind that most users view mobile videos on mute; thus, ensure your video still makes sense without sound by including large and legible text, and reconsider filming intricate visual details that may be lost on a smaller screen.
- Acknowledge the power of the micro-video. Consumers are famous for having shorter attention spans these days – especially on mobile devices – so the length of your ad is vital. If you plan to showcase it on social media platforms, keep it extremely short – anywhere between six and 15 seconds will do. Not only is this much more appealing to consumers, it also delivers a higher ROI: after all, micro content is super-efficient to produce (which is great news for the time-poor!).
- Add subtitles and experiment with music. As mentioned, text is important in video marketing as many consumers will watch videos with the sound off. For this reason, we recommend always including subtitles if your subjects are speaking. For a more professional finish, you can add music overlays – this article from Buffer Social provides a whole bunch of prime sources for finding royalty-free and Creative Commons-licensed tunes to add to video ads.
- Include calls-to-action. Attaching a simple call-to-action at the end of your video can help guide your users towards taking a certain action. Your video CTA can be anything – from a coupon code to just a few encouraging words designed to lead to a conversion.
- Stay brand-friendly! It may seem glaringly obvious, but aligning your video content with your overall marketing strategy is an integral part of your success. Producing a series of on-brand videos can help you carve out your niche and establish that all-important brand story. Employ a consistent tone of voice, colour theme and general ‘feel’ to all your marketing materials in order to achieve a streamlined sense of brand storytelling, and you’ll find yourself on the train to marketing victory.