These days video is hot. In fact, if you have a business you’d best already be using video somewhere in your marketing and social media content, or if you’re not, hopefully it’s in your plan in the very near future.
However, knowing that you need video is one thing. Understanding what that video should look like and how to best use it is something else altogether. For years I’ve been advising our clients on strategies to get the most mileage out of their material. That means posting videos to a variety of different platforms, and to strategically plan your shooting so that you get material for several videos from a few hours of shooting.
If you’re just getting started in the world of video, I’d definitely suggest that you start with several short videos instead of one long one. You can hire a professional videographer, or even shoot some of the footage yourself, but the rule of thumb is to keep your videos under 90 seconds unless you have a very compelling reason to make them longer (such as a training or explainer video that has a very dedicated audience). In most cases I’d much rather see a client create a 90-second intro, along with a series of 30-60 second supporting videos instead of doing a five-minute intro video.
The rule of thumb with video is, start small and build up from there. The whole video process does not need to be overwhelming, nor does it need to make a huge dent in your pocketbook. Instead of planning an epic production, start with a series of short and simple videos and see what kind of feedback you get. Check out your analytics. Check with your bookkeeper to see how the video campaign has impacted actual sales.
At White Knight Productions we also hear from a lot of people who don’t want to be on camera. There are a lot of ways around that, too. One is, simply start making videos where you are on camera – the more you do it the more comfortable you’ll get with the medium. It can be scary at first, but just takes a little practice, and in general, as long as you’re being authentic (even vulnerable in your uncomfortableness), people will respond favorably to your videos. Admit you feel awkward, be willing to laugh at yourself and keep your message short and to the point.
Another way to avoid actually being on camera is to simply provide a voiceover. Compelling videos can be created with voiceover, images and some motion graphics. We’ve even taken a client’s voice and created an animated character in the likeness of that person. That’s a fun way to present yourself on screen without really being on camera.
And still another way to make great videos is getting your customers to talk for you, in the form of testimonials. Or you could always hire professional actors to speak on behalf of your company (Flo is not a real employee of Progressive Insurance, but she sure is a great face of the company).
However you decide to move forward with video, the most important part of all is to just do it. Do it on social media, your website, in your emails and newsletters… Video is engaging and informative. It helps with SEO and with getting people to share your posts. Use it well and use it often, but whatever you do, just get started. Here’s a short video we made about a program we have at White Knight that helps you through every step of the way. Check it out and click here to find out more.
Elin Barton is the President of White Knight Productions and the host of the podcast, Ready, Set, Grit. Her first book, Ready, Set, Grit: A Three-Step Formula for Finding Your Purpose and Turning it into an Incredible Success, will be released in 2018. To find out more about how you can use video as a smart tool to grow your business visit our website.