Video Marketing for Beginners

Video Marketing for Beginners

Author: Josh Culler

I’m going to start off with saying something everyone in any business needs to remember. That is with marketing, content is king and with content, video is king.  This is extremely important to remember while reading this blog, so don’t let the subject of this blog scare you off!   Even if you’re not interested in video marketing or being a producer or a publisher, learning about video marketing is really good for those of you who have businesses or are managers or directors or otherwise involved, because you will want to direct  somebody else in your company or hire an outside videographer to create videos that will help to expand marketing for your business.

While much of this blog is advice for beginners, it is also very informative as to why video marketing is important and why you need it for your business.  You can take what you learn from this, plug it into your business and see results right away.

The definition of marketing is:  The action or business of promoting and selling products or services, including market research and advertising.  The field of marketing is huge.  It is vital for the sake of your business not to skip over the marketing aspect, the selling, and services areas, of your business.  Within the huge field of advertising, video marketing is an area that can have a huge impact on the selling of your services and your products. Although you cannot learn everything about marketing from a blog or a seminar, you can definitely work toward becoming an expert in the various areas of marketing by educating yourself.  By educating yourself, you will reap the benefits of the extremely important field of advertising.

In marketing, content is king. We produce tons of content, whether it be podcasts, videos or blogs. So in marketing, content is king; but in content, video is king. That’s something that has occurred within the last three or four years.  Video began to catch on among the general population when personal hand-held camcorders and then cell phones that could record grew as a medium and became a way of life. In 2018, 79% of internet traffic will be video.

The use of Youtube alone is an amazing statistic that perfectly illustrates the dominance of video content.  Nearly 5 million videos are viewed on Youtube every single day. Now, I’m a huge Youtube watcher. I have a couple personal vlog channels that I post on, and then we have our Good Success vlogs on Youtube where all our quick-tip videos can be viewed.  We also start a new series, called The Good Success Entrepreneur Vlog, where we showcase our entrepreneurs within the business, and how they run their everyday lives. It’s a way in which we try to be a good influence on the entrepreneur community.

What happens when you Google search something? One of the first things that comes up on the Google search engine is videos. Nine times out of ten, the videos are going to be from Youtube. People want to see how-to videos. In fact, if you search “how to cook spaghetti,” the first thing that used to come up would have been a recipe for spaghetti. Now when you search the same subject, your search will first offer you a video on how to make spaghetti. Youtube is now number one for searched items.  Practically anything that you could want to learn, you can learn from watching a video on Youtube.

Another statistic is that over 100 million hours of video per day is viewed on Facebook. That was a statistic from six months ago. Even since then, they’ve added a tab for video specifically.  On Facebook, the first tab is the timeline, and the second one is video, which didn’t even exist previously. In 2015, the viewing of videos on Facebook doubled from 4 billion average daily views to 8 billion views every day.

Video is processed by the human brain 60,000 times faster than text. At Good Success, we do our blog posts because some people love text, and watching video may not always be the most appropriate thing to do. If you’re in a group setting, you may not be able to watch and listen to video because it can be a disturbance, but you can still whip out your phones and read blogs, but the medium of text content online has been far overrun by video content in recent years. Everybody loves video these days.

It doesn’t matter what product or service you are trying to sell, whether it’s a car wash or a bakery shop, or if you are a computer technician, video is going to work for you in some way, shape or form.  You have to be creative with it. People love video. If you have a product, if you have a service or any kind of business, you need to understand that video is going to conquer all content and conquer all marketing.

You don’t have to be a videographer or even hire a videographer—you can start doing video yourself, and there are several things you can do to get you on the road to video marketing your products and services.  There are several tools that will be very useful to help you get started in making your own videos including some things which you may already own:

  1. A smartphone. If you’re somebody that has thought to yourself, “You know what? I’m a business owner. I don’t want to hire this out, but I know that video marketing is important. and I want to start somewhere,” then use your cell phone.  Before I began doing video marketing on a large scale, I kept things very simple and fun by producing video with my cell phone.  Now many smartphones have 16-megapixel, back-facing cameras, with low-light sensors and all the bells and whistles that enable quality video production. Many video producers rely on using their cell phones to record video at times.  Having a quality phone/camera is a great place to start when it comes to making your own videos.
  2. A selfie stick. A lot of people make fun of them, but you can find some good ones on sites like Amazon.  Some of the selfie sticks are even Bluetooth capable.   Using a selfie stick is a great alternative to having the phone camera right in your face and allowing for some distance while making your own do-it-yourself videos.
  3. A tripod. You can order a tripod with a phone mount for $20 on Amazon. Some of the tripods are amazing. You can find tripods that have bendable legs that will wrap around anything or you can use it the traditional way which is in a stationary manner. It’s absolutely awesome.
  4. A car mount for your cell phone. A lot of people, including me, like to vlog in the car. I have a phone mount that I rotate to video using the “landscape” layout rather than the “portrait” layout.   Using the car mount allows you to be “hands-free” and safe while you are recording in the car.
  5. External lenses.  An external lens is an item that you can just clip on the back of your phone and will allow your video quality to become clearer, sharper, and more professional in appearance.  External lenses are very affordable and easy to find on Amazon.
  6. VideoMic Me by Rode. Good audio is obviously vitally important to video.  A microphone that I highly suggest is a VideoMic Me by Rode. It’s what’s called a shotgun microphone, and it directs right toward whomever the camera is facing. This microphone is great for filtering out ambient noise that you could experience if you are on a highway or by the side of the road, and you are experiencing the sounds of cars driving by and the wind. You can find these microphones for about $60 on Amazon.
  7. A DSLR camera. The next suggestion is to get an inexpensive DSLR (digital single lens reflex) camera. A DSLR camera is a digital camera that can record high-quality video content. You can get a Rebel T5 for between $300-$450 bucks or possibly even less than that. I recommend purchasing a cheaper DSLR camera and then getting a basic lens to go along with it. You can get some awesome, awesome video content. All the videos that you watch on our Youtube channel or our Facebook page are recorded with DSLR cameras.

All of the items mentioned are things that I have found extremely helpful personally, and I believe will help you if you are just getting started in making videos. Once you have determined which device you are going to use for making video, whether a smart phone, a DSLR camera, or maybe a point and shoot vlogging camera, then the next step is to come up with some creative ideas for the actual production of your video. Oftentimes people will point the camera directly to the subject and start recording; they don’t move the camera around at all, and that’s okay in certain situations, but adding a little creativity to the process will make the video more interesting and fun to watch.  There are several areas in which a little creativity will provide visual rewards.  Be creative with angles. Think to yourself, “Can I shoot this video from a lower level; can I angle up? How about recording from a higher level; should I angle down? What about an angle sideways?” Just be creative with it.  Be creative with the objects that will appear in the video. Also, be aware of what is in the background before you begin. It’s important to be creative with lighting. Lighting in video can be a great plus, but if done poorly it can also be a big distraction. Poor lighting can be very shadowy or it can be too bright causing the subject’s face to absolutely glow. Take some time and learn a little about lighting and what you can do to make the shot better.

Be entertaining and unique when making video.  No one wants to watch a video that is boring and dull, so make sure your personality comes through. Don’t get too crazy with it, but work at making your video presentation unique. If you’re just recording yourself talking and there’s nothing going on in the background, and you’re not walking or doing something unique, then you are probably not going to be noticed. Millions and millions of videos are out there, so the ones that are going to stand out the most are going to be the ones that are unique or entertaining.

Be educational with your content. Even if you’re trying to sell a product in a promo video, you should strive to be educational.  We create videos to show houses, and in the videos, we’re not just saying, “Hey, buy this house for $79,900. Pay us cash, and we’ll call it a day.” We tell people why they should buy the house. We educate them on the product. We explain that the house has 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms; it has 1200 square feet; it’s in a great neighborhood; it’s in a great school system. We educate our customers about the product we are trying to sell. We work to give people value in the content, because if you couple educational features with being entertaining or unique, then you’re providing value to the people who watch your videos. When you provide those elements in your video, that’s when you’re going to stick out and that’s when you’re going to attract a community to your videos.

Some do’s and don’ts.

  1. Do not fill the frame of the camera with your face. As suggested earlier, get a selfie stick or a tripod, so that you’re holding it. Your face shouldn’t fill more than a third of the video frame. Some videographers believe it’s okay to fill nearly half the frame, but whichever you choose, do not fill the entire frame with your face. I see this so many times, where people put the camera phone right in their face and they think that their entire face has to be in the whole frame in order for people to see them, but the top of their forehead gets cut off, their chin gets cut off. That’s just not a good angle. Selfie sticks are also a great tool if you happen to have short arms and need to develop some distance.
  2. Record on landscape, not portrait. There are really only a few exceptions to this—while using Snapchat, Facebook Live, or something like Instagram Live. If you’re going to produce a video, do not ever record in portrait because the frames are going to be so off. People are going to have to flip their phones sideways to watch it, and people don’t want to do that; they want to see the video in landscape.
  3. Write your script, and keep the structure of the video in mind as you record. You need to think ahead of what you’re going to say before you whip your phone out and just start talking. People don’t want to hear jabber and talking for no reason. When we do our quick tip videos, I always tell the people that are going to be on the videos, “Here’s how it’s going to happen. I’m going to open it up. I’m going to introduce you. Then, you’re going to give your points. Then I’m going to close it.” It’s very simple. Rarely do you ever get great content from video that is not structured. Have a plan. Work your plan.
  4. Don’t be afraid to shoot too much footage. I’ll often shoot triple or quadruple the amount of footage I need to produce my video, and that’s okay. You are better off having too much video than not enough. Many people think, “I don’t know what to record, when to record.” Just record, and don’t be afraid to record too much. If you think, “I can’t put that much content on my computer. I don’t have enough space.” Well, get a hard drive. Get something to store your footage. You can use any extra footage later. I often find myself going back into my hard drive looking for footage previously recorded.
  5. Don’t make the video too long. Depending on the content, you should evaluate and determine the length. I try to keep our quick tip videos between four to six minutes. On occasion, we will go over by a couple of minutes. I keep my personal vlogs between 8 to 10 minutes, because that’s where my drop off point is. Most people won’t watch videos that are longer than 10 minutes because maybe they don’t have time or they’ve lost interest and decide, “This is way too much video content.” The quality of content is one of the main determining factors as to whether or not someone chooses to watch a video, but the length of a video is also a definite determining factor as to whether or not people watch a video.

A couple of other things that you will find extremely helpful when learning to make your own videos is first of all, learn from others. Keep feeding yourself and learning with video education. You don’t have to watch “how-to” lessons to learn about making videos, but you can watch what other people produce and observe and study what they do. Learn how they shoot their B-roll and how they angle their shots. Keep up with video marketing and keep learning about it. There is a professional videographer name Peter McKinnon who teaches amazing lessons on Youtube. He brings the lessons down to your level, and you will find yourself learning so many things about making video that will be very helpful.

The last point is don’t quit. If you are into video marketing, and you feel it’s not having enough traction, keep going. Keep putting content out there. I look at my content from a just a year ago, and I laugh at myself and wonder, “What the heck was I doing? This is terrible video.”  Within the last several months, I feel like my video quality has become absolutely outstanding. You have to start somewhere. If you never start, you’ll never know your potential. Just don’t quit. Don’t give up on it. Keep putting video content out there, and you’ll get there.

If you get to the end of this blog thinking, “Man, I don’t know if I could do any of this stuff.” Hire a videographer. It is completely worth it. It’s worth your time. It’s worth your money. Hire somebody, because you need video content in some way, shape or form, whether you do it yourself, you have somebody in-house do it or you hire out. A good videographer is going to be invaluable to your product, especially if he can film something of your product that’s going to sell it or raise awareness it.

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