With more than 4 billion views on YouTube every day, the numbers speak for themselves when it comes to the reach of online videos. But what could video content do for your business?
When done well, video content can serve as a great asset to your marketing and brand awareness efforts. Producing videos has many advantages:
1) Videos increase your search engine optimisation (SEO). This means better visibility in related internet searches. Videos largely appear near the top of search engine results, increasing exposure for your company.
2) Videos are easy to consume, particularly via social media, and often deliver a message better than plain text. They can transform passive consumers of content into active buyers.
3) Videos can be easy and inexpensive to produce. You can even shoot a video with your mobile phone to start off with.
For each video you produce, you need to have a clear focus. Know your audience and determine what your objectives are. If necessary, create a series of videos so you can focus on one main idea in each piece. Your objective when planning a video should clearly state what you want the viewer to know or do after watching the video, and then you can design the video around this message.
Your videos should always be 1) entertaining and 2) educational or emotional depending on your objective. There are countless approaches for video content including: testimonials, time-lapse footage and live event coverage etc. Remember to plan your video out before filming. You should draw up a script and create a shot list or story board, so you know what coverage you’ll need.
Once you’ve planned your video, you’re ready to move onto the next step: filming. Consider these things when producing your video:
· Background: The Background shouldn’t be bland or predictable. Be creative with outdoor scenery or an insider look at an interesting location.
· Lighting: Good Lighting is important to the quality of the video. Avoid harsh lighting and backlighting that drowns out your subject or overexposes the image. Natural lighting is best when professional lighting is not available as everyday light bulbs can flicker on a video.
· Composition: Position the subject to the side and using the other two thirds of the frame to create additional visual interest.
· Mix up the shots: use a range of camera angles. Follow the 80/20 rule with 80% close ups and 20% wide shots as a general rule of thumb.
· Keep it steady: Use a tripod to make sure you’re not too shaky. You can even get one for your smart phone. If you’re using a more professional video editing software, you will also be able to stabilise the image in the edit. However, it’s better to get it right on camera.
· Pay attention to audio: Ensuring you have clear audio is most important to start off with as an audience will quickly switch off if they cannot understand and enjoy your message. To improve quality, invest in a separate microphone.
When you’re ready to post a video to social media, test it on a variety of devices such as phones and laptops. Make sure the video loads and plays properly.
Most importantly, get the video out there. YouTube is the second-largest search engine and, as a Google product, relevant YouTube videos tend to rank high in searches. Incorporating key words in your video description can help increase its search visibility too.
When writing the description, think about how your video fills a need that people may be searching for, whether within YouTube or in a different search engine like Google.
After posting a video, track its ability to attract views and responses. YouTube, for example, offers a free analytics tool called YouTube Analytics that details the number and frequency of views, and there are many other options available for tracking the success of your video.