Top Tips for Creating Bite-Sized Business Videos
One afternoon, a few years ago, I sat down in front of my smartphone to record a two-minute business pitch. In a vain effort to pump myself up and reduce my rising anxiety, I told myself,
“It doesn’t have to be a professionally produced video, just a quick 2-minute pitch. How bad can it be?”
Actually, very bad!
Over 100 ‘takes’ bad (I lost count in the end after a couple of hours). Talking into my phone for two minutes was a totally alien experience; my mind went blank and I felt like an idiot.
Why hadn’t somebody told me to practise this before? And why hadn’t somebody told me to read about how to produce a quick video on a smartphone?
I'm delighted to be able to share all the tips I've learnt over the past few years so you can take the quick route to video marketing success and by-pass the pitfalls I encountered.
WHY IS VIDEO FOR BUSINESS SO EFFECTIVE?
I posted one of my business tips last week, which was a quote from Eric Hinson at Explainify.
“Video isn’t just an afterthought. It’s a chance to take your marketing strategy into the stratosphere”.
Video marketing was already hot last year, but this year it’s threatening to burst into flames!
According to the Social Media Marketing Report 2016 from Social Media Examiner,
"Video has become essential...60% of marketers use video in their marketing."
So why has video become so essential to online marketing strategies that it's become a top priority this year?
1. VISUAL CONTENT AND VIDEO
You’ve probably heard the saying, “An image is worth a thousand words”?
Dr. James McQuivey from Forrester Research is now saying that,“...a minute of video is worth 1.8 million words.”
That’s quite compelling.
Video comes under the ‘Visual Content’ umbrella, together with gifs, infographics, static images, presentations, etc.
In my previous article, “How to Create Visual Content for Social Media Success”, I explained that human beings are hard-wired to digest and interpret visual information, at rates far quicker than if we read the same information in text form. Visual content in all forms is highly effective in conveying brand messages instantly, which is why it's a key part of marketing strategies. We are also able to retain and recall this data much more easily and for longer periods of time.
Not only that, because we lead life at such a frenetic pace these days, we generally don’t have much time to sit and read paragraphs of text.
We might have a spare five minutes as we sit in a café with our morning Espresso, or during our commute to and from work. But time is limited and we therefore favour content which is quick to consume; little bite-sized chunks of information. Twitter has perfectly sized, 140-character messages which can be read quickly and responded to in just a few clicks. Infographics deliver data in a visually pleasing format that can easily shared and saved on Pinterest. Videos are quick and easy to view, are visually engaging and easy to share across social media networks.
As well as being pleasing on the eye and quick to consume, these kinds of visual content can easily be viewed on mobile devices, which is essential as we access an increasing amount of information via mobile.
"Mobile now represents 65% of digital media time" and 50% of video is viewed on mobile.
2. VIDEO AND CUSTOMER ENGAGEMENT
A business video allows a brand to connect with its customers at a more personal and emotional level. It shows the human face of an otherwise impersonal brand.
In his book, “There is no B2B or B2C: It’s Human to Human #H2H” Bryan Kramer suggested that people liked to connect with people.
James Dyson made a similar point when he said,
“I don’t believe in brands. People buy our product, not our company”.
Video enables businesses to reach out and appeal directly to those emotions. It's a very powerful and persuasive marketing tool which is essential if a brand is going to take their audience with them on their journey.
To demonstrate the point take a look at two short videos below. They were initially used by Jon Sadowsky in a study he was carrying out into storytelling.
Think about how each video makes you feel as you watch them.
Now compare this with the second, shorter video.
I may be wrong but I’m guessing the second video made a greater impact?
Even though the first video was factually correct and the graphics were beautifully created, it was a little ‘dry’ and remote. Personally I couldn’t relate to it.
The second video is far more compelling. It's set in surroundings that are more familiar to us; a typical city scene which we’ve all experienced at some point. The sense of easy familiarity comes to an jarring halt when we see the woman lining up in the park and drawing water from the city pond. We struggle with her as she carries the heavy container back home, and we probably all feel disgust as she serves the dirty, contaminated water to her children.
Video #2 succeeded in appealing to and connecting with our emotions; we could sympathise with the woman. As a result, this video succeeded in raising far more interest and funds for the water project than the first video.
So when you create videos, think about how you can engage your audience at an emotional level; make them FEEL a problem and then set out the solution.
3. YOUTUBE AND SEO
It’s often forgotten that YouTube is the second largest search engine apart from Google. It attracts over 30 million visitors per day.
According to Mushroom Networks -
Why would you not leverage the power of YouTube and increase your chances of having your content discovered in YouTube and Google searches?
Take a look at the data within this Infographic and 📌 pin it to your Pinterest board for later!
4. VIDEO AND LEAD GENERATION
YouTube enables marketers to generate leads in two easy ways:-
Just as you would include a Call-to-Action at certain stages within a blog post to capture leads, so you’d also encourage your followers to take a desired course of action during a video.
For example, if you’re creating a course of video tutorials, you might encourage them to sign up and receive them direct by email.
Or you might simply ask viewers to subscribe to your YouTube channel.
(ii) YouTube ’Cards’
Invite viewers to click through to a URL of your choice, such as a landing page, by inserting a maximum of 5 ‘Cards’ within your video.
BONUS TIP: If you use SlideShare as much as I do, you can insert a YouTube video into your presentation at any point to maximise SEO and lead generation opportunities.
So now that we’ve taken a look at a few reasons why video is so important now and going forwards, let’s take a look at how video can be used as part of a small business marketing strategy.
FIVE EASY WAYS TO USE VIDEOS FOR BUSINESS
There are many ways you can use a short video to promote your business.
Here are my top 5 suggestions:-
(i) “How To” Video Tutorials
“How to” video tutorials are incredibly popular across all social media networks.
Simply using “how to” in the headline will attract attention as viewers understand there is a clear benefit in watching. Startups and entrepreneurs are always keen to watch tutorials as they build on their business skills.
Once created, upload your videos to YouTube and share them across social media channels using YouTube's native share buttons. You can also embed a video into your blog or website to increase user engagement and reduce bounce rate.
(ii) Product Demonstrations
What better way to engage with your viewers and get them enthusing about your latest product than creating a short demonstration video?
Who remembers this particular video? It was produced by Volvo in 2013 to demonstrate the trustworthiness and stability of Volvo Dynamic Steering?
Incredibly it’s been viewed almost 84 million times!
Testimonials are a great way to generate and grow trust in your brand.
So instead of asking for a written review for your product or service, consider asking happy customers to record a quick 1 or 2-minute testimonial on their smartphone.
Unlike written testimonials, nobody can argue that they’re not genuine.
(iv) Quick Tips
Choose one day of the working week to post quick video tips, e.g. “Tuesday Twitter Tips”, or “Monday Marketing”.
Record a 1 - 2 minute video, upload it onto YouTube and share it across social media consistently on your chosen day.
My advice to you would be to make a list of a dozen or so tips you’d like to record and create them all in one go. It will save you time and will ensure a consistent look and feel to your videos.
(v) Email & Landing Pages
Videos are incredibly quick and easy to upload into emails and landing pages. Use them to:-
- increase your engagement rate and Click-Through-Rate in emails,
“Using the word video in email subject lines boosts open rates 19%, click-through rates by 65%, and reduces unsubscribes by 26%” [Source]
- and optimise lead generation on landing pages,
“Using video on landing pages can increase conversion by 80%” [Source]
3 TOP APPS FOR VIDEO EDITING
There are so many fabulous video editing apps and tools on the market now. Some of them are totally free to use, which makes video marketing even more accessible for small businesses.
Here are 3 of my top picks:-
FREE and PAID
This is a great all-rounder for first time video producers and for more experienced users.
If you’re slightly nervous about creating a video you can begin by selecting a series of photos or images from your smartphone, add them to a customised Theme, select some appropriate music and VivaVideo will produce the video for you.
I used VivaVideo Pro to produce the clip below -
2. Splice - Video Editor & Movie Maker [iOS]
Easily create any length of video on your iPhone or iPad and use Splice to edit it, add text overlays, narrate a project and add professional-looking transitions.
It’s fun to use so don’t be afraid to let your hair down and throw caution to the wind!
3. Filmora Go [iOS & Android]
This is another favourite of mine for creating and editing really professional-looking videos. Now available for iOS and Android, there’s a tonne of great features available to customise your video.
Take a look at this quick introductory video & click the link to download.
The team at Filmora Go recently published a new Playlist featuring all the latest Spring video effects so make sure you take a look!
I’ve picked out just a few of my favourite apps but there are plenty more video editing tools to choose from. There are just as many video creation and editing tools for use on desktop and laptop devices.
The fact that most of them are free is a huge bonus for small businesses and startups because it means that video marketing is pretty much a level playing field. It’s possible for entrepreneurs on a tiny budget to produce stunning and inspirational quick videos with just a smartphone and an app!
I’d just like to end by sharing a lovely story from Sue and Phil Aston at Classical Strings. Phil recently admitted that they “turned around the success” of their business simply by posting short videos onto YouTube.
“Classical Strings is a company that supplies String Quartets for Weddings in Cornwall. It is a very competitive market. We could see from Google Analytics that 80% of website traffic was on mobile.
We decided to record a short video and place it on the home page. The idea being that Sue imagined she was talking to a potential bride to be.
Bookings and enquires are up by 100% and this I feel is because it is easier to press 'play' that read webpages on a mobile, even with a responsive website.”
I don’t think I need to add any more. The facts speak for themselves.
FREE VIDEO CHEAT SHEET
For more practical tips about preparation prior to creating a video, including how to write a video script, just fill in your details below to download your FREE Video Cheat Sheet.
You'll also find 3 bonus video tips from The Quick Brown Fox Video Production team, an award-winning business with Small Business Saturday UK.