Platforms like YouTube and Facebook have made video content more accessible to the general public. Newer platforms, like TikTok, have grown massively in recent years, which focus solely on video content. Platforms like Instagram, Twitter, and even LinkedIn have quickly begun to push video content and capitalize on increased video consumption.
People are now spending more time online using these social media platforms. Not having an online presence on these platforms comes at a high cost: exposure, reach, and sales.
What is video marketing?
Video marketing involves integrating video content into your marketing strategy to promote products and services, increase engagement and reach, and convert leads into sales through a visual medium. The purpose and function of a video can vary, and there are various ways to integrate video content into the different steps of your marketing strategy.
Every marketing video will have different purposes. You can use videos to show off your products and services, you can use them to conduct interviews, are great for creating educational pieces, and help increase engagement and reach. If done well, videos will convert potential leads into sales.
Why Brands Use Video In Their Marketing
Video is a very versatile form of content creation that can be shared across multiple platforms.
Videos have a long shelf-life. The content you create and share will remain online for as long as the platform it is hosted on remains up. On YouTube, for instance, some videos have been on the platform for over a decade. They continue to generate views and comments to this day.
A classic example of a video that has persisted throughout the years. You can even see that they added video chapters, a feature on YouTube first introduced last year. Video: How to Tie a Tie by tiehole.
Video marketing is a great way to show off your brand and its personality through the tone of the content, set pieces, colors, and typefaces. This gives your target customers a good idea of who you are as a business and creates unity across all platforms you share your content on.
Through the use of video in your marketing strategy, you can create content with high user engagement. People like to share their comments and opinions on different products and services that they see online. People can leave comments on a video, share it with their friends and family, and like or dislike content, which leads to a better understanding of how your target audience perceives your content.
Social media platforms like Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok make it easy for major brands to communicate and connect directly with followers, bridging a communication gap that has been readily accessible to consumers in the past.
The Cost of Video Marketing
Video marketing can become very expensive due to equipment, locations, and the content’s total length.
Some smaller projects can be done in-house, which may not always result in the desired final product without proper knowledge and expertise with shooting video.
It can also be costly if there is a specific look or message you are trying to communicate. The best option may be to hire a professional video production company to help you fulfill that vision.
There are many cost drivers to consider. Unless you intend to shoot your video in-house, having multiple locations will raise the video’s cost due to rental fees, time spent traveling, transportation of equipment and talent, hotel fees if spanning numerous days, and much more.
Specialized equipment is another expense to consider. These include high-speed cameras, powerful outdoor lighting for outdoor shoots, and any custom props or sets you’ll need for your video.
Styles of videos you can shoot
While there are different types of videos you can shoot, specific styles are used when shooting videos for marketing.
Talking head/Interview style
These videos are great for sharing information about your brand and business, and the focus lies solely on one or more speakers. They are relatively straightforward and can be shot with just one camera. Some productions use more than one camera to cut between different angles and break up the monotony. High-resolution cameras that shoot in 4K or higher also make it easy to punch in and create a more dynamic product during the editing process.
This style is commonly used when creating About Us videos for a brand, capturing customer testimonials, creating educational pieces, and delivering important information and updates through a spokesperson.
Voice-over videos are great for focusing on products or services rather than on a speaker. The main visual content is shot first, and audio is recorded later and added while editing the content together.
Voice-over videos are used for promotions, product, and service highlights.
Narrative videos tell a story and draw the viewer in and engage them through visual storytelling. They steer away from focusing on a single speaker or subject; instead, they are used to elicit a specific response and emotion from a viewer.
Understanding The Purpose Of Your Video Content
Now that you have a general idea of the type of content video marketing entails and the different styles and types of videos you can create, it’s time to begin the planning process.
Important questions to consider include:
– Who is your target market?
– What are the goals you are trying to achieve with your video?
– What are the metrics you will use to determine these results, if any?
Early on, determine your timeline to better manage your shoots. Videos can take a long time to produce. Depending on the scope and amount of b-roll footage you’ll need, time spent capturing additional footage and editing it all together can increase significantly.
It’s also important to know which platforms you’ll be sharing content on. Videos are typically shot in an aspect ratio of 16:9, which works great for platforms like YouTube and Facebook, but may not be the best option for platforms like Instagram and TikTok.
As mobile-first platforms, TikTok and Instagram feeds are natively vertical rather than horizontal. They were designed to be viewed on the phone and not in landscape mode. This benefits videos shot in aspect ratios of 1:1 and 9:16, rather than 16:9.
Uploading a 16:9 video to Instagram preserves the full image of the original video, but results in a loss of visual real estate. A square video takes up more space on a feed and is better at retaining attention. If you plan on using square videos, keep in mind that the sides will be cropped if converted from a 16:9 video.
On a platform like Instagram, your horizontal video will be cropped to fit a 1:1 space. You do have the option to receive it to the native aspect ratio, but this causes you to lose a lot of prime real estate on a person’s feed.
Knowing the primary platform you intend to use video marketing for will change the way you frame your subject and how you organize your shoot.
Because TikToks are intended to be shot with a mobile phone camera, it uses a 9:16 aspect ratio.
Script out your marketing video
To make the video process as seamless as possible, you need to create a script for your video, allowing your talent to know what they need to say. Or have questions and statements you want prepared for testimonials.
You will also need to determine any additional video content and images you will need for your final video edit. This is called a shot list and will make it easier when shooting b-roll and purchasing the rights stock footage, ensuring you don’t miss any important video recordings. Along with your script and shot list, storyboarding will help you better visualize your shoots and share your creative vision with your team.
Identify the equipment you’ll need
Now that you have a solid script written down and a good idea of the look you are going for, it’s time to get the necessary equipment for the shoot ready. Important equipment considerations include cameras, how you’ll capture your audio, and how you intend to light your subject(s).
Can you take great videos with your mobile device? Absolutely! Is it always the best option? Only if you’re on a budget. For small-scale videos, you can use product photo best practices to capture some beautiful footage.
The recommended approach is to use high-quality gear to capture the best possible footage. The better the quality, the more versatile the content you capture will be. Many brands outsource video marketing content to video production companies as they already have the tools necessary for a professional shoot.
If you intend on capturing your own marketing videos, make sure to use a 4K camera or better.
Capturing quality audio is one of the most critical pieces to consider when shooting your marketing video. Be sure to have a professional microphone to capture the best audio quality and always have a backup. If you lose audio or it becomes corrupted, you’re out of luck. Faulty video can be covered up with b-roll and stock footage, but you cannot easily salvage bad audio.
You can use lavaliers, shotgun mics, boom mics, or handheld mics. Do not rely on your built-in camera microphone for audio. Audio captured with the built-in microphone should only be used to sync audio during the editing process.
Lighting Your Set
Proper lighting is an important component of the video creation process. Good lighting goes a long way in creating visually striking shots that guide the viewer’s eyes towards the subjects the director wants them to focus on. It can change a scene’s mood through different colored lights and how much light is being used.
Three-point lighting is a standard method used when shooting video. Three-point lighting involves the use of a key light, a filler light, and a backlight.
– The key light is placed at an angle, slightly elevated compared to your subject. Your key light is typically the brightest light used in your setup and will shine light directly on your subject.
– A fill light is used to soften any harsh shadows that result from the key light. The fill light is placed on the opposite side of the key light at a slightly lower angle.
– To better separate your subject from the background and add definition, a backlight is used. It is placed behind the subject at an angle, and it adds highlights to your subject. It is also known as a hair light.
Unless you are shooting a talking-head video of the owner of your company, you’ll probably need an external location for your shoot.
Look for a location that can accommodate your production size, including the number of people, talent, and equipment you’ll need. The space you use should be soundproofed treated to eliminate any external noises unless you are shooting in an open area. You may want to build a custom set or rent one if you can. Read up on a few ways you can build up your video backgrounds for a professional look.
Sound stages have become a popular location for shooting video, as they provide adequate space for productions. Some locations, such as The Film Hub, have sets you can rent, saving you the headache of having to make your own set.
Cycloramas, also known as infinity walls, are commonly used for marketing videos. The walls on a cyc are coves instead of edges, giving the impression of infinite space and resulting in a clean look. A cyclorama can also be used as a large green screen and may be the right look for your shoot.
Now that you’ve begun to piece together all of the pieces that will contribute to creating your video, you will need to find the right talent.
The talent and actors you choose comes down to the look, feel, and purpose of the video. If the video is about your brand and business, it makes sense for the company owner or another key member to speak.
If there is a target demographic you are trying to target, you may need to hire outside talent. Contact talent agencies or influencers to find the right actor for your shoot.
Shooting your video
Now that all of the planning has been finalized, it’s time for the fun part – filming!
Setting up for the shoot
Setting up and preparing all of the different tools and equipment for your shoot can take longer than expected. If planned properly, and depending on the scale of your shoot, setting up will take anywhere from 30 minutes to a few hours. Budget time accordingly.
Adjust Camera Setting
Camera settings are really important and can reduce time spent in the post-editing process.
Make sure you adjust your color space and color balance. White balance is an essential feature on cameras that allows you to capture more accurate whites. Because of lighting and shadows, what you see is not always what you get. Play around with the setting until you achieve a look you like.
Frames Per Second, or FPS, are an overlooked feature novice camera users tend to overlook. The FPS with which you shoot will allow for greater fluidity from your subject’s movements. Shooting at 30 FPS is recommended for marketing videos.
Now it’s time to hit the record button. Be sure you have a way to monitor the audio and leave space between speaking phrases to make cutting and editing easier.
The editing process
Now comes the most intensive part of the whole video marketing process; editing the video together. Editing can take a long time depending on how much footage was captured, how much b-roll and additional assets need to be added, and any additional color correcting you may need.
Pieces to consider during the editing process include finding the right music that matches the tone of the video, having an organization system to keep all of the clips separated, and setting aside some time to record any voice-over if necessary.
For music, you can find stock soundtracks online that you can purchase the rights to. Platforms include EpidemicSound, Artlist, SoundCloud, and YouTube.
Video captioning is recommended to increase engagement and accessibility among viewers. On platforms like YouTube and Instagram, you have the option to turn on automated closed-captioning.
The downside is that not all words are captured accurately, and some words, particularly “new” words such as the name of a business, product, or service, may not be translated accurately. In this situation, it is recommended to add your own closed captioning or subtitles, which increases reach for people with hearing difficulties. It is also great on platforms like Facebook and Instagram where many users watch videos without playing audio.
With Facebook being the target platform for our intro video, we decided to add subtitles. Many videos watched on Facebook are played with the sound off, since sound is automatically turned off when scrolling through the feed.
Video formats and exporting
As we mentioned previously, knowing what platform(s) you’ll be uploading your final video lets you know how to export it. This includes exporting in the right size, the correct aspect ratio, and orientation.
For example, if you’re gonna upload to YouTube, you will be able to upload a 4K video file with no problem. If you are only posting on Instagram, the platform will automatically downgrade your video. You can therefore export at a lower resolution, such as in HD (1080p), saving you storage space and a lot of time during the exporting process of your video project.
There are different video formats you can use to export your content. The recommended formats for each platform are:
– YouTube: MOV, MP4, MPEG4, & AVI
– Instagram: MOV & MP4
– TikTok: MOV, MPEG, MP4, 3GP, & AVI
– Facebook: MOV, MP4, MPEG4, & AVI,
– Twitter: MOV & MP4
– LinkedIn: MOV, MP4, MPEG4, & AVI
– Vimeo: MOV, MP4, WMV, & AVI
Search Engine Optimization
An important step to increase your reach includes adding tags, a captivating title, and an enticing description that points viewers towards any desired destinations.
Your tags and title must include keywords relating to your video topic, which will make it easier for your target audience to find your content. A good title will help increase the click-through rate (CTR) on your videos. Creating captivating thumbnails will further help your CTR.
Descriptions are another area you can use to include important information that didn’t make it into the video. The description can include clarifying information, any resources or important links referenced in the video, along with links to the other platforms people can find you on.
If you want to quickly get eyes on your video and build up early momentum, you can create a video ad to boost your content. Platforms like Facebook and Instagram make it easy to boost your content with a “Promote” button on Instagram and a “Boost Now” button on Facebook. This feature is only available to Business Accounts.
For better targeting and ad flexibility, it is recommended to use the Facebook Ad Manager to create ads for both Instagram and Facebook, but this requires more in-depth knowledge.
Twitter, TikTok, and LinkedIn each have their own advertising tools to help you boost your content and reach the right audience.
You can also use Google AdWords to boost your YouTube videos and reach specific targeted customers on YouTube and other platforms that show videos.
If you haven’t used video marketing in your marketing strategy, you are losing out on a lot of reach and engagement. If your target market falls within Generation Z and Millennials, not having an online presence on platforms like TikTok and Instagram is a giant missed opportunity. Making marketing videos does not need to be difficult if you understand the challenges involved with shooting a video. It comes down to proper planning first and foremost, and from there you can attach all of the important pieces to the project (equipment, talent, location, etc.).
If you have a production you would like to shoot and need a space to work in, check out The Film Hub, a creative’s dreamland in Downtown Vista. Outfitted with two professional sound stages, green and white infinity walls, a tabletop studio, a set kitchen, and multiple set rentals for any project, you won’t want to shoot anywhere else!