I often find myself talking about video marketing with my small business clients. Our conversations usually gravitate towards two main challenges.
Firstly, the business owners do not believe that they can afford to create business videos.
Secondly, they do not believe that their businesses are filmworthy.
Here’s what I think is wrong about these statements.
I believe that all business, no matter how tight the marketing budget can afford to use video. And all businesses are worthy of video - no matter what industry.
When I started my business, I knew that I wanted to use video as a major part of my content creation strategy. However, the reason behind that decision is, perhaps, not so obvious.
Who can resist the phenomenon that is YouTube with its one billion users? Did you know that over 300 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute?
And yet, YouTube isn’t the reason why I wanted to focus on video in my business. Not even after the platform became the second largest search engine after its parent company, Google.
And it also wasn’t the move by, let’s see, almost every social media channel out there towards featuring video content.
The reason I want to use video in my business is because you cannot beat it for creating a truly powerful, emotional and engaging connection with your audience.
Have you ever watched a video and experienced a real, emotional connection? I know that I have and it is a powerful feeling indeed. Wouldn’t you want to create a similar depth of connection and feeling in your own audience?
The first step to take as you incorporate video into your marketing strategy is to consider what video content you want to create.
Regardless of the industry that you are in, you can create lots of different types of videos for your business including:
Business Presentation Videos
- Online Presentations
So, let’s take a look at some video production tools:
Video Production Tools
I love to experiment with new tools and I was intrigued when I came across Mediavoo. The creation process is very straightforward. First, you choose your actor from a range of options. You then submit the script that you would like this actor to use.
Next, you choose a video background and select some music from Mediavoo’s audio library.
You can then upload some of your own images. These are called cutaways. You can place these cutaways in the most appropriate places in your script.
Finally, you are invited to send your video off to the ‘studio’ to be produced.
If you like professional explainer or business presentation video for your business, I would highly recommend Mediavoo. The production process was so smooth. It is not free, but, then, you really wouldn’t expect it to be. Each video costs $499.
Below is a quick Mediavoo video that I created to roadtest the system. I literally spent ten minutes producing this video, which Mediavoo then very kindly produced for me.
I have used Animoto to make videos for my business and for my clients for years. Animoto videos are a breeze to produce and it is easy to share them on your social networks and embed them into your website or blog. Animoto also works well even if you don’t have any of your own video footage - you can create a video using still images, short pieces of video footage, text plus Animoto’s music and animations.
There is a free version of Animoto. This does have some limitations in the length of the video that you can create, the video styles you can access and the music that is available.
You can upgrade to Animoto Plus, which will cost you £30 per year. Or, if you would like access to all of Animoto’s cool features, you can pay £219 per year for Animoto Pro (this is the plan that I have).
Here is an example of a video that I have created with Animoto:
If you would like an explainer video for your business or if you need to create video tutorials or video blogs, I would recommend Camtasia. While not free, if you are committed to video, this tool will be well worth your investment (it costs just under £200 ex VAT).
If you have a Mac computer, you could also look into using Screenflow. It costs $99 and, while I have never used this tool myself, I have heard many good reports about its screen capture and video editing functionality.
(There are other , free, options available that allow you to create screen capture videos. For example, before I purchased Camtasia, I used Jing.)
Magisto is another online video maker and is similar in some ways to Animoto. You can upload your photos and videos, choose some music, a theme and some effects and then the tool mixes it all together to create a video.
The free version of Magisto allows you to add up to 10 videos, 10 photos and 1000 MB to a video which can last no longer than 15 minutes.
When I first tested this tool, I quickly uploaded a random selection of blog post images just to get an idea of the Magisto experience (see below).
I was then asked to choose a video style and I chose ‘happiness’. I then selected a soundtrack for my video (I could also upload my own audio). The process was all very easy and I was really pleased with the results.
#5 Go Animate
Animation is a great way to mix up your video content.
Go Animate’s free version allows you to make some great little animations (up to 30 seconds long and containing some subtle Go Animate branding). You are a little limited on characters and layouts but you can still make a decent (and fun) business video.
If you want more functionality, you can upgrade to one of Go Animate’s three paid versions.
You can either start a video from scratch or select one of the pre-made templates that are available. Once you have chosen your characters, themes and music, you build your video frame by frame.
You can make your animated characters talk by clicking on the character and selecting an animation style that suits the tone of your video. Here you can either upload some pre-recorded dialogue, record some dialogue into the mic or create some type to voice dialogue.
(The type to voice generator is fun but does sound a little robotic so you may decide to investigate the other dialogue options.)
Once you have created your animation, you are free to email it, share it on social media or embed it onto your website.
Powtoon is another great animation tool. You start by selecting a template to customise (or you can create your video from scratch). There are lots of design options available to help you produce your animated video including text effects and image effects.
When you are finished, you can upload your video to YouTube, embed it into your website or share it on your social media channels.
PowToon does have a free version. However, you are restricted to the standard resolution option and you have to accept some PowToon branding.
Creating Video On Your Mobile
Increasingly, we are consuming video content on our mobile devices. So why shouldn’t we use these tools to create and produce videos? Here are some great tools to help you to produce short, snackable videos on the move.
Hyperlapse is an app from Instagram that enables you to capture high quality time lapse videos. I love it because it removes the issue of having to hold your camera still while creating time lapse footage. It does this via in-built stabilization technology.
You can use Hyperlapse in your business to show your audience how your product is made. Alternatively, you can use it in your event or ‘behind the scenes’ videos.
#2 Adobe Voice
If you would like to create a storytelling video for your business, consider using the Adobe Voice iPad app. This app allows you to record your story one line at a time. You can then match each part of your story with a visual from Adobe Voice’s library of 100,000 images and icons.
Create the mood of your video by selecting some background music and customise with a range of styles and themes - you can create an impressive video in a matter of minutes.
Flipagram allows you to create short video stories by incorporating photos and images, text overlays and music.
Videohance enables you to edit video footage by adding filters and gradients, adjusting colours, adding light leaks and other fun visual effects.
This tool is very like the apps we are now used to using for photo editing. You can add these effects in real time video recordings or edit existing footage.
#5 Pic Play Post
By using the Pic Play Post app you can create video collages and slideshows. You can also use this tool to produce a video with a split screen. This functionality is great if you want to show and also tell a customer how to solve a problem.
Having created your business videos, you need to decide where you want to host them.
The two main hosting platforms for business videos are YouTube and Vimeo.
With over one billion users, YouTube is certainly a force to be reckoned with. The disadvantage to using YouTube is that it is an extremely crowded space. Your professional business video can easily end up next to a bunch of other rather dubious, lower quality videos.
In addition, while the platform is free, your competitors can pay to put an advert over your video.
If you are looking for an alternative to YouTube, take a look at Vimeo. Vimeo favours higher quality videos and you do not have to worry about ads.
However, a Vimeo business account is not free and will cost you $17 per month. Users also have a weekly upload limit (Plus members have a weekly upload limit of 5GB, and can upload files up to 5GB each.)
Meanwhile, another competitor has emerged to rival Youtube. According to Gary Vaynerchuk, Facebook is the “greatest data company of all time for marketers. If I want to make a video, I can target it specifically to the people interested in it”.
Facebook’s ability to offer a specific, targeted audience for video content is one of the reasons why it has quickly become a credible threat to YouTube.
It is well worth testing all three of these hosting platforms to see what best suits your business.
I hope that this post has been helpful in introducing you to some inexpensive and straightforward tools to use in your video marketing.
Let me know how you get on!
*This post contains some information that has been previously published in a guest post that I wrote for Jimdo’s blog.