A professional baker filming a baking tutorial

In our advanced guide to visual content last November, we touched on creating (or purchasing) videos and how to use them. Video content has consistently increased in popularity over recent years and will continue to be one of the leading forms of visual content for years to come. Because of its continual importance and ever increasing value, we wanted to take a more indepth look at video content and how you can make the most of it for 2020!

The importance of video content.

Video marketing is by no means a new idea, but it’s importance and versatility has changed greatly over the past few years, making it a vital tool for brands and businesses. Video content was initially just one piece of a brand’s overall marketing plan—a specific strategy or campaign all on it’s own. But with the rise of popularity for brands on social media, as well as trends and modern standards in website design, video content has become integral to your entire marketing plan. And for good reason!

Research has determined that…

  • 50% of consumers desire video content from brands above any other type of content
  • Video on landing pages can increase conversion rates by approximately 80%
  • Including the word “video” in your email subject line can increase open rates by 19%
  • Approximately 90% of customers say videos influence their purchasing decisions

Instead of creating one lengthy video to share on a Youtube channel on occasion (that may only funnel a prospect to the brand’s website or a social channel), brand’s are creating shorter videos more frequently and sharing them on all possible platforms. They are also creating videos to coincide with content on their website and utilizing video content in their paid ad campaigns. Providing attention grabbing, authentic, and engaging video content to your prospects doesn’t just increase awareness—it increases your chances of conversion.

Types of video content you can create.

If your budget allows it, you can produce top quality professional video content in a studio with a rehearsed script, stellar lighting, and professional equipment. Or, you can shoot an off-the-cuff clip on your smartphone in between meetings or on your way to get your coffee before you start your day.

Either method and any method in between can help you achieve your marketing goals, if the content of the video is authentic and relevant. To determine what method will work best for your marketing initiative, decide what type of video you want to create. The possibilities are almost endless, but here are a few common ideas:

Brand Videos. Whether you’re a start up, in the process of rebranding or remarketing your business, or you’ve been in the game and at the top for years, brand videos will always have a place in your overall marketing plan. Brand videos can introduce your brand to new potential consumers, can highlight a key focus of your vision or mission, or can showcase a product or service. These videos build brand awareness and pique the interest of new and old customers alike.

Demos/Tours. Do you have a product that is only sold online, or an uncommon service that is unfamiliar but needed? Showing potential clients and customers how your product or service works can help them understand it. Seeing the product or service in action can alleviate doubts or fears about the value of the product and increase the chances of conversion. If you sell vehicles or real estate properties, you can provide your potential buyers with in-depth video tours of a car, home, or building.

Tutorials. Similar to demos, tutorials can help encourage a potential customer to purchase a product when they have confidence that they will be able to use it properly and easily. But not only do these videos help increase revenue—they show your customers that you care about their experience and satisfaction with your product, which helps facilitate customer relationships and cultivates customer loyalty.

Expertise. You and members of your team have valuable information and experience in your industry, and you should share this with your audience! You can talk about pain points and solutions that you offer, cover case studies and success stories, or interview an expert in your business on how they came into your industry and how they gained their passion and experience. Tip: If one of your social followers asks you an industry, product, or service related question, answer it in a quick video and share it on your social platforms. This is a great way to engage with your followers and make them feel valued while answering a question that is most likely common. (Alternatively, you can approach the question as a FAQ if the asker would like to remain anonymous.)

Events. Whether it’s a large-scale event such as a conference, panel, or fundraiser, or something more intimate, like a staff party or just a day in the workplace, consider sharing it with your audience. This can be done through a quick live video on your Instagram or Facebook story or by compiling the highlights to share afterwards. This is a great way to include and engage your audience, and to remind them that your brand is made up of real, passionate, and authentic people.

Tips for getting started.

Get acquainted…

Depending on your industry, audience, and the type of video you’re creating, you may need professional-level production or a smartphone camera and some natural lighting may suffice. Regardless of the level of production you’re aiming for, it’s important to become well-acquainted with the equipment you intend to use.

If you desire professional-level production, consider contacting local videographers and agencies to see if their rates are within your budget and if they have the capabilities to produce the content you desire. If you would rather produce the content in house, talk to experienced videographers or do some online research to determine what filming, lighting, and editing equipment will be best suited for your projects.

If you’re going to film your videos more casually on your smartphone, here are a few tips:

  • Make sure that your device has adequate storage so that you don’t run out of space during filming.
  • Enable your device’s “do not disturb” feature so that your video isn’t interrupted by notifications.
  • Ensure that your subject (you or whoever/whatever you are filming) is in good lighting. Natural lighting outside or through a window is usually best, but regardless of the light source, check to make sure there are no distracting glares or shadows on or around your subject.
  • Angle your device vertically (portrait) or horizontally (landscape) depending on the orientation best suited for the platforms you’ll be sharing the video on.
  • If you feel confident that you have a steady hand, you can hold the device yourself, or you can utilize a tripod. For videos that will be filmed in motion (while you’re walking or driving, for example), consider investing in a gimbal/stabilizer to improve your viewer’s experience.
  • Minimize any distracting sounds or noises when possible. (Unless your video will be silent, voiced over, or will have music or other audio playing instead.)

Regardless of the production level and equipment you choose, familiarize yourself as best as you can to avoid any surprises or delays when you start filming.

Plan ahead (when you can)…

Unless you’re shooting an impromptu live video, it’s always best to plan out your video ahead of time. For some content creators, this includes fleshing out an entire script for their video and rehearsing it. For others, this means just outlining the key points and making sure any needed equipment is ready.

Whether you prefer to plan your videos meticulously or take a more laid back approach, there are a few questions you can ask to ensure you’re prepared:

  • What is the purpose of this video? While you may not need a full script, it’s helpful to have a focal point and an outline.
  • Where will this video be shared? This will help with framing and orientation. (Landscape is ideal for your website or main social feeds, while portrait is optimal for Facebook and Instagram stories.)
  • Who will be in this video? Whether they are front and center or in the background, it is helpful for anyone in the video to know what their role is and what is expected of them.
  • What will you need? You may need specific equipment, some props, or a reserved location. Making this list ahead of time will ensure that everything is prepared (and/or budgeted for).
  • When is this video due? If this video needs to be shared at a specific date and time, you’ll want to keep this in mind so that you can schedule ample time for filming and editing.

Asking yourself these questions and planning ahead can help you avoid time-consuming reshoots and minimize your editing time.

Be authentic…

No matter what type of video you’re creating and how you’re creating it, be authentic. Research has shown that consumers and customers tend to prefer lower quality videos that are authentic, over higher quality videos that are inauthentic or artificial. No budget can buy authenticity, so make sure that you and your team are creating content that you believe in and that authentically represents your brand. As long as you remain authentic and genuine, your audience is likely to appreciate, engage with, and share your video content regardless of its production value.

Use your video content to market your brand.

If you’re ready to shoot your first video but you’re still not quite sure where to start, we’d be happy to consult with you and your team about your vision and the best approach to make that happen. Or, if you’re not sure you’re ready to dive into video content just yet, check out our beginner’s guide to visual content to see what other options might work best for you.

And if you already have video content you’d like to share with your audience and market your brand with, let’s discuss how we can place your video content on the appropriate channels to maximize its reach!