Providing quality content means providing a variety of content. You need diversity in topics, styles, perspectives and, of course, media.
Excellent written content is great, but it’s better when accompanied by stellar images. Even better than stellar images is an engaging video. When you add video to your marketing strategy, you access a new audience via multimedia search engines like YouTube and Vimeo. Some people go straight to these engines to seek out their content — and if you don’t have videos, you’re losing access to an entire demographic. According to Alexa, YouTube is the second-most visited site on the Internet, after Google.
So it’s obvious: video content is good for business. However, breaking into the video niche is a lot more intimidating than writing a blog post or sharing pictures. Looking to tap into the video marketing realm, but not sure where to start? This guide is for you.
Start by finding a concept
All good content has a good idea at its core. Look around for some inspiration for your video. Start by watching some video ads for your product, your niche and the industry. What are other people doing? What’s working? What’s not? This will give you ideas for the structure, topic and style of your video.
Also pay attention to the number of videos in your niche when you search a certain keyword and the general level of quality. This will help inform some later decisions about your video.
Decide the purpose of your video
What do you want to achieve with this video? Do some backwards planning and identify what you want visitors to do after they’ve watched your video.
If you want more email subscribers, direct viewers to your opt-in page. If they enjoy your video, they can sign up for more excellent content this way.
A good option if you don’t have a mailing list or just want more visits to your site is to direct viewers to another piece of content. Make sure that wherever you send them on your website, it’s relevant to the video they just watched.
If you make multiple videos, the end game could be different each time. You can (and should) tailor the call to action to match your business’ needs. Just be specific in each video about what you want the reader to do, by telling them, “Sign up for my emails on this squeeze page” or “Click the link below for more information about (topic).”
Once you’ve identified the concept and goal of your video, you can move on to recording it.
Record your video
At the very least, you probably have a cell phone camera that you can use to record your video. There are other options, too, of varying degrees of quality and simplicity. If you don’t have access to a reliable phone camera, you could use a webcam or a digital point-and-shoot. You can also use a screen capture tool such as Camtasia or Screenflow for Mac if you are filming a product review or want to demonstrate something done on your computer. If the competition is stiff and there are a lot of other high-quality videos in your niche (which you identified in step one), then you might want to spring for a videographer.
This part should be fun, not stressful. Enlist the help of some friends or colleagues and give yourself time to toy around with the video production. Don’t expect to film the perfect video on the first try. Getting used to this new technique might take some time.
If you really don’t want to film your own video, you can give stock footage a try. It’s risky because stock footage is usually very low quality. It often works best with a humorous angle and narration. Here are some resources for stock footage:
You can record the overlaying audio yourself with any microphone (including phone or webcam), or you can hire a voice actor to do it. Another option is to pair subtitles with good, royalty-free music that you can find on the web.
Edit your video
Video editing is all about the tools. This can be the most challenging part of video production for many people. If you want to go the do-it-yourself route instead of hiring a freelancer to do the editing for you, you have a few budget-dependent options. If you have some cash to spare and think that you’ll be making videos often, invest in a professional service like Adobe Premier Pro. The learning curve with this kind of software can be steep, but it’s worth it if you think videos are going to be a regular part of your content strategy. Some cheaper options include YouTube’s Video Editor and WeVideo.
Upload and promote!
Wherever you put your video (on your company’s website, your personal blog, YouTube, Vimeo, or all of the above), you need to have a solid, clickable title. I recommend using CoSchedule’s free Headline Analyzer to get a “grade” for your title and seeing what you can do to improve it.
Don’t forget to link to your website in the description of the video. People want to know where their content is coming from!
Now that you’ve done all this work, you have to increase your video’s chances of being successful and productive for you. Don’t just make a great video and then hope it reaches your target audience. Be proactive about sharing and promoting your video via social media and online forums. You can also purchase traffic for your YouTube videos using AdWords — an excellent option if you’re brand new to video marketing.
Videos present a whole new world of opportunity for marketing strategy. If done correctly, they can be extremely useful in spreading brand awareness and getting conversions. One of the best things about making videos is that with each video you create, post and promote, you get a little better at it. Follow this guide, try new things and play around with your production techniques, and you’ll find making a video becomes easier every time.