Okay, let’s shoot a marketing video! I can almost see you quaking in fear. Do you hate the the idea of standing in front of a camera and making a video? I was too. This article is for you.
The truth is, as we enter beyond 2020, video content is only getting more and more important. A majority of people prefer consuming video over reading while browsing online.
Video is only gaining in popularity. Due to the pandemic, millions have been introduced to video conference calls. YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world, video ads are the largest growing segment in advertising … and don’t forget the rapid rise of TikTok!
The good news is, making video is much easier than you think. The main reason you may be afraid of getting in front of the camera is actually unfounded, as we will see below.
Don’t even want to be in front of a camera? Then don’t! There are lots of different kinds of videos to make and market without showing your face.
The Benefits of Marketing Videos
We like watching more than reading. It’s a passive activity that can educate and entertain in a short time. Though the written word continues to provoke thought and opens our imagination, video is becoming much more prevalent.
Internet bandwidth and speed has improved to the point where video is much easier to consume. People watch video on everything from a huge television to the smallest smartphone.
Here are the primary reasons why you should be making videos for your online business:
- People remember more details from a film or video.
- Online videos can be easily shared.
- Videos boost conversions – just check out Clickbank. The bestsellers mainly use video sales letters to sell.
- The product you are promoting looks more “real” when people can see it in action … and thus they can better see themselves using it.
- Your brand is more welcoming if potential customers see your face or a “behind the scenes” look at your business.
- They encourage more engagement from viewers.
- They don’t have to be expensive or difficult to produce.
Your Fears are Unfounded
So, why would you hesitate to create video content? Is it because of shyness? Or is it because you may find yourself ugly in front of the camera? (Don’t laugh, but apparently, this is true. As you will find out, it’s the camera’s fault.)
Here are some reasons why you shouldn’t fear video:
The image people see does not represent you.
I’ve seen a couple of famous movie stars in person and it took me a while to recognize them. Yup…people do look different on film.
Pictures taken with a regular camera can add pounds to any person, which is caused by what is called a flattening effect. If you take videos with an iPhone, which likely has a front wide-angle camera, guess what? People look wider. It’s better to shoot videos with the rear camera.
Explore the capabilities of your smartphone. I suggest watching videos (ha ha) on making excellent videos with your smartphone model. Different cameras shoot video differently.
Distance, camera angle and lighting affect video quality. Lighting is the most important, followed by audio. Shadows create double-chins, eye bags and wrinkles. Bad audio on a well-produced video will still ruin the video and thus the engagement.
Audiences will judge your video content, not you.
Your fear of rejection may be holding you back. I’ve sensed this in many digital marketers. But, if you’ve sold in-person, you learned never to take rejection personally. It’s all about your brand or product, not yourself.
Think of what you can gain when you publish your video content. If you want more exposure, conversions and engagements, the risks are worth it. I’ve spent countless hours watching online videos. I’ve never read a comment that criticized a person’s appearance (and if you ever do, it’s a troll just trying to get a reaction … they are definitely not a potential customer.) It’s always been about the content provided.
Nobody cares about you personally … and that’s a good thing.
Way back when I started marketing nearly 20 years ago, I was terrified of adding my face to the content I published. I thought people would judge me, look up my face, find my address, whatever.
I did it anyway, and guess what? Nothing changed. Nobody cared. They read the article and sometimes left useful comments on the article subject. My fears and shyness were completely unfounded. It’s the content that matters, not the person producing it. The same is true with video.
Types of Video Content
Even if I can’t convince you to overcome your fear of being in front of the camera, that’s completely okay. There are several types of videos you can make without ever having to show yourself.
Here are just some of the many varieties of video you can produce for your content marketing:
This is one of the most popular types of video content. People search for guides on how to use or repair a product. It could be about anything – phones, software, apps, cars, washing machines, etc.
Marketers gain subscribers and can create an extra income stream when they post tutorials that help people save time and money and teach them how to do something.
Product Demo / Unboxing
Have you searched on YouTube for a product you’re interested in buying? A demo probably helped you decide. You can demo a product you are selling as an affiliate, or your own product if you own your own brand.
An unboxing video is exactly what it sounds like: You receive a package from a company and film yourself taking it out of the box and packaging, putting it together and testing it.
Don’t just do a demo or unboxing video yourself. Ask a third party or social influencer to review your product. Viewers and followers will trust them more. As a bonus, you just created video content without having to do it yourself!
A brand video is a way of introducing yourself to the market. Talk about your vision. Maybe even tell a story of why you started your business. Include your video in your e-mails or landing pages. Don’t forget to showcase the people behind your business.
Owning a brand is the one case where people WILL care about who you are. If you own a brand, you will want to build yourself up and show people you are an everyday person passionate about what you sell, not some uncaring executive only in it for the money.
However, if you can’t get past your shyness, form a business partnership with a spokesman or spokeswoman who does love being in front of the camera. Think Apple founders Steve Jobs with fame-shy Steve Wozniak.
I suggest checking out Scotty Kilmer’s YouTube channel. He’s a mechanic with millions of subscribers. His videos are always informative. He talks about cars and everything related about them.
He doesn’t represent a brand, but he does endorse a model or product every once in a while. Each episode’s number of views could be anywhere between tens of thousands to more than a million.
Testimonials / Reviews
You don’t have to face the camera. Let your customers do the talking instead. They can speak about you, your product, brand or service, and their (positive) experiences with your business.
Since testimonials are a form of 3rd-party endorsements, your audience will trust and believe them more than a video advertisement.
From the market research you would have done of your niche, you should have a list of relevant experts and hobbyists. Ask to interview them. You can set up and record a Zoom session where they talk about a subject your audience will be interested in.
As an added bonus, hire a transcriber to turn this interview into an article. Then, publish both as a post and/or as the content portion on YouTube.
Why not share your experience with your audience in real-time? You could be at an event, conference or convention. Make sure taking video is allowed.
While you’re there, you can interview people. Also, you can show live the unveiling of your new product. Remember to announce days beforehand your live-stream, such as through a blog post or email newsletter to your list.
This is another fun way to create content. It’ll cost a bit more, but if you have the budget, it’s unique and perfect for the camera-shy.
Getting Started (Tools, Set-Up)
The best advice I can give is to start in small steps. Use the tools and equipment available to you. Here’s what you need:
- Camera (phone, laptop or camcorder).
- Wired or Bluetooth microphone.
- A quiet and well-lighted room to record a video.
- Extra lighting.
- Your test script.
I first experimented with a laptop with detachable lights designed for video making. The one disadvantage is that I was stuck in one place at a time because I could not move while recording. With a phone, there’s always a selfie stick as an option.
When shooting a video of yourself, choose clothing appropriate for your audience, but don’t overdress. I always choose business casual, unless the niche calls for something particular. Promoting camping equipment? Shooting outdoors with appropriate clothing would be best, for example.
Speak for about two minutes, from at least 5 feet away from your camera. Act natural and be yourself. Pretend that the only person who will watch your video will be your best friend. Don’t restart from the beginning if you make a mistake. Repeat the sentence instead. You can always edit it out later.
Once you’re finished, play back and review. Make the necessary edits or reshoot if needed. Maybe you need to move the lights or change the camera angle? Repeat the process until you feel comfortable.
You’ll gain confidence the more you practice. Trust me on this. My wife, not really a techie and with no video experience, is teaching online now. Within two weeks, she has created and edited excellent videos for her students.
There are many video editing tools to choose from, free and paid for. Look for a tool that is easy to use, as you want the path to least resistance to get your video content up and published.
You can think of fancy effects later, with more expensive and complex software. Right now, learn the basics of editing and get that video published!
- Movie Maker Online. It’s user-friendly, especially for amateurs.
- Lightworks. You can create professional-looking videos with this software.
- Hitfilm Express. This is available for both PCs and Macs.
- Adobe Premiere Pro. Most will claim it is the best in the market, but it is a bit more complex.
- Camtasia. One of the preferred video editors and screen recorders for marketers.
- Vegas Studio. An excellent editor for beginners and professionals.
- Apple Final Cut Pro X. This is geared primarily for professionals.
- Wondershare. A lifetime subscription license will only cost you $59.99.
The Best Places to Publish your Video Content
It’s the second most popular social network, and second largest search engine. We’re talking about 2 billion active users. Each day, people worldwide watch a billion hours of video.
You can upload videos on YouTube seconds after creating an account. It’s that simple. The challenge is getting your target audience to watch your videos. Keep in mind, each YouTuber began with zero subscribers.
It’s a no brainer to share videos on Facebook. Post it to your business page, and in your group if you have one. Video now accounts for just over 10% of all posted content, and they receive nearly three quarters more interaction from users compared to posts with just text and links.
Make it smartphone-friendly, as nearly 80% of Facebook users ONLY access their account via a phone.
You can now post video on Instagram. More companies are taking advantage of the platform’s increased support for videos. Ninety percent of users follow a business on Instagram. Add captions as videos are automatically in silent mode.
Apply for a player card. This allows your audience to view a video, image, landing page and download an app. Twitter is also an excellent site to tell your brand story.
Snapchat (and Tik Tok)
Snapchat has 90 million daily North American users, and is geared towards a younger audience below 30.
TikTok, meanwhile, boasts half a billion monthly users, and it has morphed from mainly short-form musical videos to a variety of people showcasing their skills … and more importantly for marketers, those showcasing products. A majority of the users are also below 30.
For both platforms, the best form of video would be users showcasing or actively using products.
You should NOT actually host video on your website, as most standard web hosting is not optimized for video. Instead, pick a hosting provider like YouTube, Vimeo or Wistia to upload your video.
Then, embed the videos into your web page content with simple code that is usually copy and paste. Your web or landing pages become more engaging when your audience can view videos as well as read your text.
Employ a Professional?
I’m not suggesting you need to hire a full production crew to create videos. However, it definitely is an option to hire a freelancer or small crew for certain videos such as highlighting your brand or introducing your product.
A videographer can cost you between $250 and $2000. But, if you know someone, why not ask? One tip is to look for a video student looking to practice their skills and making some money on the side.
The benefits are pretty obvious as long as you get a reasonable ROI. Your videographer can act as director and editor. He or she can even help you in the process of creating your future videos. Check out their past projects before hiring one.
Take the first step in mastering this art form. Soon, you’ll be skilled and you’ll be congratulating yourself as you watch your viewer count increase, and your sales and conversions improve on your content.
There’s no denying that creating marketing videos should be part of your strategy. So, it’s now time to set up your camera, all quiet on the set and … ACTION!