How to Create Awesome Video Content: 6 Tips for Marketers
Marketers want fresh and innovative ways to connect with customers. Recently, including video content has become popular among more adventurous marketing teams. Cameras are getting cheaper (and better, in the case of smartphones), and marketers don’t need technical knowledge to edit a video anymore. The democratization of hardware, software, and starting skill set has opened up video as a marketing tool to anyone with a message and a lens.
If you have a gmail account, you have a YouTube account. If you have an iPhone, you have a camera. But not so fast, Spielberg. Video content marketing is new and exciting, and it adds a new avenue for you to speak, quite literally to your customers and followers. However, there are a few key points that marketers starting out with video marketing need to remember.
Treat video as you would any other content
Just like any blog or white paper, your video is a piece of content. It has a subject, information to convey, and if you do it right, a call to action. You wouldn’t write a blog or a white paper that rambled on with no real message, so make sure that you don’t do the same with your video. It’s often best to write a simple script or outline of your subject in order to keep yourself on track. Always remember the goal of your video, be it educational or promotional. It’s easy to stray from the topic and start a story about your personal experiences or opinions, but unless the video specifically focuses on those experiences, leave them for a more appropriate medium.
Deliver value with video
It’s tempting to make a funny video and share it with your customers. We’ve all been down the YouTube black hole, clicking from cat video to babies doing silly things, but unless it’s April Fool’s Day, make humorous videos sparingly. In the content marketing campaigns that you’re already running, each piece of content plays a specific part of educating your customer about your business, and your video content should be no different. Its goal should to be to further educate your leads about what differentiates your company from the competition, or teach them something related to business. If you have an audience willing to consume your content, make sure it’s worth their time.
Talk, don’t read
Video content presents a unique opportunity for your writers, engineers or CEO to speak to prospects and customers. That’s exactly why you shouldn’t approach it the same way you might approach a white paper. This is your chance to show the people behind the blog articles and webinars. You might be reiterating information from a blog or other piece of content, but with video, you can show your passion for the subject matter, and that means that you have to be conversational. Balance delivering valuable information with a more relaxed, personal touch, and whatever you do, don’t read your blog or script on camera!
Find what works for your viewers
Video is always changing, and aside from the technical aspect, there is no single formula to produce quality video. Experiment to find what resonates with your audience. A hedge fund will produce a very different video from a tech startup. Just as you track the success of your other content, do the same for video. If a video falls short of expectations, ask yourself why that may be the case. If you can see when viewers stop watching your individual videos, use that information to make your next video fit the needs of your audience.
Learn from your peers
There are a number of companies that consistently produce fantastic video content. That is by no means an accident or just good luck. Wistia does a great job of bringing their company personality into their videos with both how they’re shot, and how they’re written.
Video content marketing is new enough that we’re all still learning. If you’re starting to use video in content marketing, take the time to learn what works first, then try experimenting with more unconventional production methods. Study what others do, decide if it’s appropriate for your brand, and most importantly, keep at it.
Phil is a jack-of-all-trades and master of approximately 76 of them. As a fan of film and visual effects since the original TRON, Phil taught himself video shooting and editing, and has been doing both professionally since 2011. Phil is a Marketing Manager at Toast, Inc. the All-in-One Restaurant Management Platform, where he produces video and design content to train, educate, and empower restaurant owners and employees. When he doesn’t have a camera in his hand, Phil writes short film scripts, forages the web for the best made video marketing content, and perhaps plays a bit too much PS4.