Editor’s Note: The following article on video content for the at-home marketer was penned by Oliver Andrews, Owner, and Leadpages Guest Blogger. Interested in writing for the Leadpages blog? Hit us with your best shot!
Digital marketing is about using the web to its greatest potential. That means making use of whatever mediums are most likely to get your message across to your audience. As a solopreneur, you may find yourself using written content, ads, and visual assets most of the time. A great blog post and social media ad can be a lot of help. But you may be neglecting one of the most impactful marketing methods around.
Video marketing could play a huge role in your digital marketing strategy. Contrary to what you might think, you don’t need to have a huge production team, state of the art equipment, or a film school degree. Even as an at-home marketer, you could potentially use video content to great effect.
Dive right in or skip ahead:
1. Reasons at-home marketers think they can’t do video marketing
2. Ground rules of video marketing as an at-home marketer
3. How to make video content as an at-home marketer
4. Reasons you should be capitalizing on video content
5. How do you start using video content?
Reasons at-home marketers think they can’t do video marketing
We’ve worked with a lot of solopreneurs, and often we will bring up the possibility of making use of a video marketing strategy. However, in the vast majority of cases, the thought not only didn’t cross their minds, but they start off from a position of dismissing it entirely. Many of the clients we have worked with don’t think it’s possible or worthwhile. Why not?
- They don’t have the experience
- They don’t have the equipment
- They’re not convinced it’s worth it
Below, we’re going to look into the reasons that those three points are wrong. Our tips on how to do video marketing even without experience or a ton of equipment will show that it’s possible, and then we will look closer into all the reasons that it’s valuable.
Ground rules for video marketing as an at-home marketer
First of all, it’s important to know what kind of video content you should be making if you’re doing it solo, and how you’re going to be using it. Sweeping, creative epics that tell your brand story do indeed require a team and a lot of technical expertise. So, here are a few rules you should stick to from the beginning:
- Use what technology you already have
You don’t need a new camera, a boom mic, and so on. A webcam or even a smartphone camera can work (so long as you film in landscape, not portrait mode). For sound, it might be worth buying a cheap tie clip microphone, but they don’t cost very much at all.
- Stick to informative content
If you’re doing a DIY video, you’re not likely to have many more resources than yourself, your camera (which may be nothing more than a webcam), and maybe a couple of still images or photos you can use. For that reason, keep your content informative. Use video to deliver tips, advice, and valuable insights.
- Keep it brief and high-value
When you’re speaking from an area of expertise, it’s easy to ramble on. However, you don’t need to create 40 minute deep dives every time. Pick a question or topic for the video, and try to speak to all the key points of the answer as concisely as you can. You don’t need to rush, but you do need to respect your viewer’s time.
- Keep confident
It can be a little nerve-wracking to get in front of the camera at first. You might be worried about how you look, how you speak, or mistakes you might make. However, so long as you know about the topic you’re making a video on, you will get used to being in front of the camera very soon. Don’t stop if you feel a little nervous, and practice smiling as you’re talking. If you don’t like a take, just repeat it. Eventually, you’ll become comfortable with it.
How to make video content as an at-home marketer
So, now you know that all you need is the right topic, any camera, a decent (not expensive) microphone, and yourself. Now, how do you actually make the video? Let’s break it down with a step-by-step walkthrough.
- Write the script
When you’re presenting the video and speaking, you’re not going to want to rely on a script word-for-word. However, you do want to write down your thoughts, outline your points, and make sure that you’re actually answering the question or topic of the video. While you’re speaking, you’re going to notice that certain phrases don’t come across as naturally when speaking, as opposed to writing. Don’t be afraid to go off-script once you’re able to stick to its points.
- Frame the video
Unless you’re able to get comfortable enough with the editing software to rely on other video and photo footage, the majority of your video content is going to be you speaking into the camera. As such, you should take the time to make sure you’re well presented. For mobile and webcam photos, zooming can often make a video blurry, so if you’re not in the right place in the frame, reposition the camera instead. A tripod can help if you’re using a laptop webcam.
- Light it up
You don’t need to invest in professional lighting rigs or anything. However, the rule of thumb is that you should always be lit from somewhere in front of you, never directly above and never, ever behind, as it makes your face much more shadowy. Even putting a household lamp behind the camera can make sure your face is visible and pleasantly enough lit. Even better is facing a door or window that is letting in natural light.
- Film it
When you start shooting, clap your hands to note when the shoot starts and ends. It’s like saying “action” and “cut” to make those points much easier to find when you’re editing. Take as many times as you need to feel comfortable with delivering the content. You don’t have to go with your first try, by any means.
- Edit it
There are plenty of decent, free editing software packages out there. It’s worth doing a search to find more comprehensive guides. It would simply take up the rest of this article to go into too much depth in this. The purpose of editing it mostly to cut away the footage that isn’t suited to the purpose of the video. You may also want to learn a little about adding visual elements so you can create a title card, too. There will be plenty of tutorials for the most decent video editing software out there to help.
As you can hopefully now see, it’s not very difficult at all to start creating DIY video content as an at-home marketer. So long as you’re realistic about what you can do, you can start creating informative content as soon as you want to.
Next, we’re going to address those of you who might not be convinced that video content is worth it. This far into the post, it should be no surprise that we don’t agree with that particular take.
Reasons you should be capitalizing on video content
Video content is becoming a much more important part of digital marketing, with more and more businesses starting to invest in it. But why should you, as an at-home marketer, spend the time and effort making video content when written content is so much more accessible and easy to make?
Here are just a few reasons worth considering:
Videos are better at getting sales
Most studies looking at the success of video marketing have found evidence to show that videos are better at driving conversions and sales that either written or visual content. In fact, having a video on the landing page of a website can increase conversions by 80%.
Videos can much more quickly explain a product or service, and they’re a more passive experience than reading, so there are few barriers to it. Plus, a message is simply much more persuasive when it’s been presenting to both the sense of vision and sound at the same time. We can use video to add some variety of content in your web design, making your website much more engaging and much more likely to drive conversions.
Videos help show personality and build trust
One of the advantages of making videos as an at-home marketer is that it puts you in front of the audience. While this may make some nervous, it is undeniably useful when it comes to establishing a sense of trust with your market. That trust is heightened if you focus on delivering informative and useful content.
If you do stray into pure branding and marketing, you need to make sure it’s well done to not make it look like a cheap sales pitch. Otherwise, however, it can be great for breaking the barrier of skepticism that your audience may initially have.
Videos engage users much better
One of the big advantages of video marketing is just how easy it makes things for the audience. We are all creatures who, most of the time, take the path of least resistance. Unless it’s something we’re actively looking to engage in, we’re not going to put in any more effort than we need to.
Your content should be able to grab as many people as possible, not just those who are already engaged with it. People who are already into what you’re saying might be ready and willing to dive into written content, but video content can engage the rest of your potential audience.
It’s great for SEO
Staying up-to-date on what Google (and other search engines) love to promote is essential. One reliable search engine optimization tactic is using video content. Videos keep audiences engaged for longer, meaning they spend more time on your site. Google sees this and uses it as a metric to measure whether your site is trustworthy. People don’t stick around on a site that’s irrelevant to their wants or has nothing valuable for them, after all.
Videos work even better when they’re optimized for SEO, so don’t be afraid to learn more about how to combine the two strategies.
It’s a good return on investment
As we have shown, you can start producing decent video content on a shoestring budget. At the very least, you might need to spend enough money for a cheap tie clip mic. However, even if you do end up investing in higher production values, the increased conversions and sales of video, and the increased levels of engagement with the video content, in general, all makes for better ROI than other marketing methods.
A good digital marketing strategy relies on multiple elements and making sure you’re balancing the budget so that you’re getting the best return on investment possible. Our digital marketing strategies often rely on video precisely because of its cost-effectiveness.
Mobile users love video
Web users are getting increasingly mobile. When they’re commuting, taking time away from their screens, waiting, and otherwise, more and more people are scrolling through the multiple feeds on their smartphones or tablets. Smaller screens do not make for a great experience when it comes to reading written content. However, it can be the perfect way to watch videos.
Any study of social media engagement on mobile devices shows that mobile video views are growing. YouTube also sees mobile video consumption rising by as much as 100% every single year. If you want to be reaching the mobile audience, then you need to be presenting content that the mobile audience wants. In most cases, that’s video. It’s also wise to subtitle your video content since, in many instances, mobile users are in places where they’re not comfortable with playing audio aloud.
Video marketing is great for showing off your business
Some things simply have to be seen or heard to be fully understood. If someone has trouble understanding a concept, writing it out for them might not help them understand it any better. With video content, your voice, and the narrative you construct naturally might make it a lot easier to understand what you’re talking about.
Furthermore, if you’re able to invest in visuals, or even able to demonstrate a product or service in live-action, it can make it much easier to understand what you’re trying to explain or sell.
It’s very shareable
Social media is becoming an increasingly important part of digital marketing campaigns, nowadays. It’s easy to populate your social media schedule with written posts, but how many of them see a lot of engagement, and how many of them get shared by a lot of people?
For all the reasons that video is effective at engaging people, it’s also very easy to share. It gets to the point, it’s easy to consume, it communicates to multiple senses. As such, it has a much better chance of going viral or, at least, of increasing how many social shares your content gets.
How do you start using video content?
We’ve looked at how you can make video content, as well as why you would want to. But where does the video content go once you have made it? This largely depends on the aims of your digital marketing campaign and the other mediums you use to reach your audience. However, here are a few ideas to help you get started:
- Put it on your landing pages
Landing pages are supposed to convince visitors to click further, whether it’s to convert them or to get them to opt-in to an email newsletter or otherwise. A video pitch is a lot more likely to convince them than a huge block of text, and it makes the website visually much more appealing.
- Repurpose your written content
If you have evergreen content, then converting it from text to video is an excellent way to get as much value from it as you can. Look over that old content, rewrite it to make it punchier for your video, and share that video. You can even break the video up into chunks that are more shareable on social media.
- Put it in your marketing emails
Are you using email marketing? Then you probably know that it’s one of the best converting marketing campaign techniques around. However, the rate of clicks can increase exponentially by using multimedia. Images are much better than text alone and video works much better than both text and images.
- Publish it on YouTube
There is an audience who is looking to actively engage with video content and this audience is currently ravenous. If you’re making video content, you may as well post it on YouTube for everyday users to see. It’s the second-largest social media platform around and an excellent way to start building another community around your channel.
Look at what other mediums and platforms you’re using in your marketing. If they allow you to post video content, then start doing it. The above examples are by no means an exhaustive list.
Is video content right for you as an at-home marketer?
The short answer is: yes! If you can create informative content, then you should be presenting it as a video. Hopefully, we’ve shown that it’s not only possible, but it’s also way too valuable to neglect.
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Meet the author
Oliver is the owner over at OA Design Services which specializes in finding solutions to problems through the use of web design and digital marketing. Oliver is always keen to learn new skills and also enjoys sharing his knowledge through his own blog and contributing to others.