Video is anything that is recorded and seen in a digital format. As a term, video can be referred to many different things, from a single 30-second video clip to a whole-length television show.
But most people think of videos as being short clips, especially on the Internet. When you talk about video, the two most commonly referenced ways of delivering videos are via video on demand (VoD) and video streaming.
Videos in Marketing
Video is a significant shift in the way we get our information. It’s not just a fad; video and interactive content have been around for a while and are only recently becoming more prevalent in our daily activities.
Videos are now used in all sorts of content marketing efforts. They are commonly used in website and email marketing, but it’s a long way before the content market starts to utilize video. The question is, “What’s the best way to use video for content marketing?”
What’s the Purpose of Your Video?
Video can help you achieve a few different goals, so first, think of how you can benefit from using video. Video can help you by letting you:
- Outline your services more compellingly on your home page or other web properties.
- Empower your existing clients by providing them with knowledge on how to fix some of their most common problems quickly.
- Provide engaging content to draw interest on LinkedIn or Facebook.
- Find local businesses interested in your services through local advertising.
- There’s a lot video can do, so identify one or more goals video might help you achieve.
How Will You Produce Videos?
After you’ve thought of a goal, you’ll want to determine how to produce the video and what budget (if any) you have available to spend on the video. Here are three common ways companies produce videos:
Hire a Firm
High-end video shoots from well-established firms can cost as much as $1,000 per finished minute. In many cases, they’ll take care of everything from storyboard to script to execution and typically deliver a highly polished, excellent-looking video. If you need a TV-ready ad, it’s wise to hire an experienced firm to help with ideas and to execute something great. If your video is going online, you may opt for one of the lower-priced options below.
Hire a Freelancer
You can get a quality product from a freelancer, though it can be challenging to find a video production artist that’s both highly skilled and affordable. Services like Fiverr, UpWork, or Freelancer let you choose from a wide variety of videographers and animators who can do tons of video types. You can even look at community-based reviews for each artist, so it’s a little easier to find one who’s high-quality but also fits your budget.
Alternatively, a lot of small businesses have luck working with nearby college students hungry for experience in video creation. You may not get the high-end product an established firm can provide, but you can still get a great video at an affordable rate, and help a student while you’re at it. Check Craigslist or even browse through the websites of a local college’s marketing and video departments to see what you can find.
Do It Yourself
You can make a demo video (i.e., a screen-capture walkthrough video with a voiceover) using nothing more than the equipment you already have, time and elbow grease. And don’t forget that even the smartphone in your pocket can capture great video if you’d rather have a warm body talking through a concept or delivering your message.
The DIY approach isn’t great for a TV commercial since polished production is a must (unless you want to look like East Hills Mall). But for online content like how-tos or walkthroughs, viewers will forgive you for leaving out the high-end production polish as long as the message is solid.
Will You Promote Your Video?
How do you plan on getting people to see your video? You have many ways to get more viewers to your content. However, unless you have a significant following online or a great email marketing list, you might not be able to get your video in front of many prospects without any investment. Local TV ads are an option, but they’re pricey, particularly when you combine the cost of production with the ad spend.
A more popular route is to promote videos on Youtube, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. On these social media platforms, you can select your target audience so you can be sure people who see your video are people who might be interested in the services you’re selling. Each platform is a little different, but below are links to resources on how to get started with online video promotion.
Can You Prove ROI?
Lastly, you’ll want to consider how you’ll measure the success of your video. Are you interested in just views and general brand awareness? Do you have a way to determine whether a new client saw your TV ad or online ad? (A new client survey is a great way to find out.) Can you see that you get fewer calls from clients about a particular problem you solved in a video you sent to end-users?
As part of any video plan, be sure you have a metric for success. This metric helps you decide if you should produce more videos, stop producing videos, or make some improvements to how you’re currently creating and promoting videos. With time, you’ll get clarity on where video best fits your marketing mix, so you can take advantage of all it offers.