One of the first things I remember from my childhood is standing in front of the home video camera my father bought to chronicle our family life (there’s no way I was thinking about video marketing back then!). I would dance, sing, and talk about eating peaches without the skin on them. These videos are still in my parents’ basement, but I’m not about to unearth them and put them online. ;)
What I’m talking about here is the use of video to help market your business online. When I first started my online business (The Raw Foods Witch) I knew I was going to do video marketing. It wasn’t even a question! The fact that making recipes and explaining concepts visually made people understand how easy eating raw can be was just a bonus.
Now before you turn back thinking that video won’t work for you because you’re not in such a tactile and visual field, let me explain why I think video is such an effective marketing tool in today’s busy, short attention span world.
Why Video Marketing is My Secret Weapon & How it Can Be Yours Too
1. Video Reveals Your Personality
Video is the next best thing to being face to face. You can hear someone’s voice, their intonation, and their enthusiasm. You can also see their little quirks, their mannerisms, the way their smile causes their cheek to dimple.
That’s something that you will never get through writing or voice alone. In fact, it’s something that can really push the “high speed” button on your marketing, because it helps build connections with your audience faster.
Oh, and another cool thing about sharing your personality through video marketing? It helps people recognize you at events, or at the grocery store… as the case may be!
2. Video Helps You “Show Don’t Tell”
In English class, teachers tell us to “show don’t tell” in fiction writing. The same applies to video versus other forms of marketing and relationship building. In a video you can convey so much more than you could with only words. If an image is worth a thousand words, then a video must be worth hundreds of throusands… indeed it is for many marketers who use video in their online business.
Think of “show don’t tell” as a way for you to use video slide presentations, to use gestures in your on camera scenes, and to add animations or images that convey your message. You can also display your emotions and enthusiasm like I have by dancing your butt off.
3. Video Marketing Creates an Experience
This is the fun part: with video you can take your viewers with you. Literally! Just like watching television can transport us to other places, so can a well-done marketing video. You can use music, pacing, and visuals to craft the experience that you want your audience to be immersed in.
Some marketers do this really well by taking their viewers on a journey with them through short videos. Maybe it’s filming in your backyard to give people a feel for where you live, or maybe it’s adding your favorite piece of artwork to the wall behind you where you film. It could even be filming a whole dance video, or doing a slide presentation that emphasizes your story with stock images.
4. Video is Fascinating
In the book Fascinate: Your 7 Triggers to Persuasion and Captivation by Sally Hogshead, we learn that faces are twice as fascinating as non-faces. Babies recognize faces as early as two months of age, and they fixate on them. So do we. Ever wonder why ads for make up draw your eyes so much in a magazine? It’s the faces. We love looking at faces, we just do.
So don’t let the fact that you don’t have fancy video equipment stop you: people want to see your face. That’s what makes video marketing even more fascinating than the other stuff competing for our attention online.
How To Create Your First Online Video
Okay, now that you’re convinced about the benefits of using video to market your business online, let’s get to the video creation process. If this is your first time creating video to be published online I’ve got you covered, on both the tech side and the conception side.
First, remember that no one likes to see themselves on video. You will need to practice watching yourself on video, looking into the camera, and being comfortable with what you get out of it.
iMovie + Webcam
I have to start this off by saying that if you’ve got a Mac you’re likely to have everything you need to start making videos. Most Macs come with a built in webcam, and video editing software called iMovie. That’s what I use for many of my videos!
Consumer-level cameras like the Flip & Kodak zi8
If you want to film while you’re outside, or for example in the kitchen, then getting a separate camera is the way to go. There are two things to look for when you’re considering a camera:
1. The audio quality. At BlogWorld one of the speakers mentioned that when he first started filming people complained that they couldn’t understand the voices in the video. So they got better microphones, soundproofed the room, and people loved it. So he says that how you look isn’t as important as whether people can hear you clearly or not.
It’s for this reason that I recommend getting an external microphone. The Kodak Zi8 allows you to plug in an external mic. I got a Audio Technica ATR-3350 Lavalier Omnidirectional Condenser Microphone, and it works great with the zi8.
2. The video quality & ease of use. Being able to film high quality video like HD and upload via USB to your computer is so important. Both the Flip UltraHD and the Kodak Zi8 have these functionalities. I’ve found that if it’s too hard to copy the video to your computer for editing, you’re less likely to do it.
Screenflow is my screen capture software of choice. It’s a Mac application again, so if you’re on a PC you might want to look into Camtasia or Jing.
You can get the scoop on my Screenflow set up by checking out the Screenflow blog interview I did here. Screenflow is a great way to record your voice while you’re clicking through a Powerpoint or Keynote presentation. This allows you to have something visual for people to read or absorb, while delivering content verbally.
Some of my most commented-on videos were made with a little known tool called Animoto. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to reveal my secret, but I figured you’d appreciate getting the inside scoop from me, and become a devoted fan out of sheer gratitude. ;) Now that’s video marketing!
Animoto is a great tool to use if you’re new at making videos. It takes just a few minutes, and every video comes out stylish and special. It makes for a great intro video, sales video, or just feel-good video. Check out animoto!
YouTube vs. Other Video Sharing Sites
Now that you’ve created your video it’s time to upload it for the world to see. I really recommend you upload your videos to a YouTube account first and foremost. If you want to upload them to other video sites down the line, feel free.
But YouTube is the big kahuna of video, so start there. Be sure to include relevant keywords, a good description, and a targeted keyword in the title of your video. That’s how people searching through Google or YouTube will find your video.
Building Video Marketing into Your Consistent Marketing Plan
Alright, now that you’ve got the motivation to make videos for your business, you’ve learned about the different ways to create videos… now it’s time to look at how to integrate video into your marketing plan for best results.
I recommend that you pick a few days per month or quarter to record new videos, or log in to Animoto. For most of us, embedding our YouTube videos into blog posts is all we’ve got to do. You may also want to include your videos in forums or contests if you find a good match.
More Video Marketing Tips to Help You Stand Out
- Creating new videos regularly can be time consuming. Consider filming for an hour or two, then slicing into mini videos that you can post one by one.
- At the end of each of your short videos, include a call to action to invite people to your blog or site, where they can get access to all of your videos.
- Plan for and film longer videos to use as free content during the launch of a new product or service.
- When filming a video, make the first few seconds an introduction on you, and what this video is about. People have short attention spans, so tell them exactly why they want to watch this video now.
- To increase the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) of your youtube videos, do some keyword research on your topic and select the most appropriate words for your title, description, and tags.
- Include a link back to your web site in the youtube description, be sure to put it in the beginning of the description otherwise people will not see it by default.
- Create follow up videos on your most popular videos to build on the success of your existing videos.
If You Enjoyed This Post…
I hope you enjoyed this post all about video marketing in the digital age!