YouTube has over 1 billion unique visitors each month and is a fantastic way to raise your profile, create a fan base and spread your message quickly and widely. Yet many businesses shy away from using it because of the high costs involved in creating professional videos. Whilst outsourcing film production is extremely costly, there are now many high quality DIY tools to help you film and edit videos yourself. Although this can still seem like a daunting prospect, as some would imagine it to be too time consuming or complicated, it really isn’t, and should be given a try. The results could surprise you.
Below are our top tips for creating great video content.
Ask yourself ‘Why am I doing this video?’ ‘What am I trying to achieve?’ Do you want to create a relationship with your audience? Do you want to build an engaged audience or entertain and inform? What do you want your audience to get out of it? Keep the answers in the back of your mind when filming your video.
What will your video be about? You could take your FAQ’s and turn them into a video series, interview experts and create your own web show, or create a How To series. Google relevant topics that are most searched for and create your content around your findings. The videos that get the most views tend to be ‘How To’ tutorials and / or humorous videos. Once you get going you’ll know what your audience likes based on the videos that get the most views.
Identify who your audience is and think about what tone, pitch and content to use to reach them.
Write a script. This forms the basis of a great video. Make sure you take your time and get this part right. Remember, content is king. Make your content fun, engaging, entertaining, useful and no longer than 3 minutes ideally. Make sure the content you share is valuable, useful and relevant to your business, but above all, be genuine.
Make sure you have a really good catchy title that makes people want to watch, using keywords. What is it about? Give it an appealing title; make it short and engaging to pique viewers’ interest such as ‘5 quick tips for …’ or ‘The secret to ….’
Put a promotional code on each video for 10% off your product or service, or ask people to sign up to your mailing list to receive your free eBook or guide or whatever you are offering to drive signup. This will give you the opportunity to track traffic from your video to your site.
Use a good laptop, camera or smartphone to film. A camera with a flip out screen would be good so that you can see whether you’re in frame, but make sure you look into the lens rather than the screen (you need to speak directly to the camera and to your audience). Ensure your camera or laptop is placed high up and by a window that you’re facing, to direct the light. If you do have the budget it might be worth investing in both an LED panel camera light and a clip on lapel microphone, for better sound and lighting.
Be enthusiastic and ramp up the energy, smile more and be engaging but remember to be yourself; don’t become a caricature of yourself. It can be daunting for some to see and hear themselves on camera, but apparently you get used to it. Talk to the camera as though you were talking to a friend. Whatever you do, don’t try to be perfect or professional – it’s OK to make mistakes. Edit some of them out but don’t worry about it as practice makes perfect.
Try to inject humour even if it means adding a blooper reel at the end. Your video needs to reflect your business and your audience. Don’t put out anything amateur as it will reflect badly on your brand image, and will make you look unprofessional.
You can edit your video and polish it up using a number of free or low cost software tools. Try using Windows Movie Maker, iMovie, Camtasia or Final Cut Pro X. You can use PicMonkey to create your intros and outros and Premium Beat or Stock Music for downloading royalty free music for your videos, (it’s super important to use only approved music within your videos otherwise this could result in hefty fines). You can also use sites such as Pond 5 and Editors Depot for free intro and outro effects. Google any problems you’re having with filming or editing and you will find the solution.
Add annotations to your video to promote other videos within your video series. Also add a link to your video which drives people directly to your website or blog. Create a pop up which allows people to subscribe to your channel saying something like ‘If you enjoyed this video subscribe to our channel so you never miss a video.’
Have a strong call to action. You should always ask people to like and share your videos but what else do you want them to do? Go to your website or blog? Subscribe to your videos? Tell them what to do next.
Create your own YouTube channel and upload your videos. You can do this directly from Camtasia. Write a good, thorough description (2-3 paragraphs) and add your URL. Use strong tag words – use keywords from the title and description (say what you see).
Create a playlist that plays your videos consecutively.
Share it! Tell people about it on social media. There’s no point in creating great videos if nobody is going to see it. Don’t expect people to simply come across it through search.
Be consistent about creating videos; it can be weekly or monthly as long as you’re posting consistently.
Below are two good examples of homemade videos that have been edited and use intros, outros, annotations and call to actions