As the world continues to adjust to the changes caused by COVID-19, businesses have had to figure out how to pivot entirely to online-only retail. A significant drop in sales and revenue across industries have forced brands to rethink their marketing strategies.
Marketers are now forced to innovate to meet the expectations of consumers that have changed irrevocably. Almost 40 million Americans are suddenly out of a job, and the usual marketing campaigns will no longer fly or find traction.
Brands now have to be careful about what they project and steer clear of seeming opportunistic while finding an authentic voice that echoes the concerns of their customers. Being socially conscious and on-trend are the new norms for any brand.
Video marketing can be the difference between being just another brand and one that delights its customers. People are spending more time online than ever before, and brands need to capitalize on the same to capture the right audience. Having video as part of a marketing strategy can provide engagement, unlike traditional campaigns.
Here is a guide for developing a marketing strategy that incorporates video content:
Types of Marketing Videos
Before you invest your time and money into creating video content, it is important to understand the different types of marketing videos. This allows you to choose the video you want to create quickly.
- Demo Videos
- Brand Videos
- Expert Interviews
- Animated Videos
- Live Video
- Personalized Messages
- AR Videos
Each video type has a different effect and even reaches a different segment of your audience. Be sure to have a healthy proportion of all the types. Making a video is an intensive process with a lot of moving parts. You can follow the process below to create and publish videos for your own business.
Plan the Video
One of the most important aspects when planning your video content is to determine the intent or purpose of your video. Having a clear purpose will save you a lot of time down the line and will act as a guiding light for all your decisions.
If you are having difficulty in determining the intent, then you can ask yourself the following questions:
- Who is your target audience?
- What is your goal?
- What is the budget?
- Where is the audience?
Have a Script
Most business videos should have a script if it needs to appear professional. Without a script, you’ll find that the editing process becomes more convoluted, and the result might be a rambling video.
If you do not want to lose your audience, then have a script in place. It does not need to be a tight script with every second and word accounted for. Even a loose script will help you stay on track.
Start with a basic outline, like you would when planning a blog post. You can use Google Docs with the Table function to break down the sequence of events. You can also share the document with other collaborators.
Your script should be planned such that the audience knows the point of your video within the first seconds of the video. They will not stick around till the end of the video for the message.
The language you use in your video has to be more relaxed and conversational than regular business talk. Keep it free of any jargon and avoid complex sentence structures. Audiences respond to businesses that have something of value to communicate with them.
Understanding Your Equipment
Shooting a professional marketing video does not mean that you have to invest thousands of dollars into expensive equipment. An iPhone can go a long way in creating content that is engaging for your audience.
When using an iPhone to record a video, activate the Do Not Disturb function so that you are not distracted by notifications. Also, make sure that your phone has enough memory for the shoot. Use the camera in horizontal mode and do not rely on the zoom feature as it can make the final video look blurry or pixelated.
The iPhone’s camera tends to refocus during the entire recording process. To fix this, set your exposure levels before hitting record.
If you are using a professional camera, then spend some time understanding its manual settings. An important aspect is to figure out the frame rate you want to shoot in. A 24fps will give you a cinematic effect while a 30fps is more common for broadcasting or projection. Keep the resolution at 1920 X 1080 for the best quality.
There are many tutorials available for you to understand white balance, aperture, ISO settings, and more. Play around with these functions to create an effect that you are most happy with.
Setting up a Studio
When starting, do not overwhelm yourself with the various possibilities of setting up a studio. There are many types of equipment available for video shooting, and you do not need all of them.
Invest in good basic equipment first. You absolutely require a tripod to maintain steady shots. Choose a tripod based on the quality of your camera. A phone camera does not require an expensive tripod, but a DSLR camera will need a sturdy and reliable one.
The next category you should think about is the audio equipment. A camera’s microphone is not going to be enough in serious content for business or healthcare marketing. Lavalier microphones are the ones that you clip to the speaker’s shirt. While they can give you excellent audio quality, they can also be obtrusive. Instead, you can opt for a shotgun mic, especially if you are shooting in a controlled environment.
Since most of us are not hazarding the outside, investing in lighting equipment might be a great bet. You can use clamp lights and stand lights for improving the ambient lighting. If you want close-up shots, then even your phone’s torch can be a great lighting source.
When lighting a speaker, you need to remember that they must be lit in three-point lighting set up with a background light and two key lights. You can also use a ring light to focus on the speaker.
Keep in mind that anything and everything that you shoot will have to be edited. This means that you must give your editing process some leeway to work with. Make sure that you have enough footage before and after the clip so that you do not have to cut too close to an important shot.
The next important step is to record your script in small sections. This gives you enough space to stitch together in the editing room, and your content will not be peppered with jump cuts.
Capture enough and more b-roll footage to fill in any gaps in your script. This will allow you to edit and complete the content without having to reshoot certain portions.
Luckily there are many good video editing software available in the market, and some of them are even free. If you are using your iPhone, then the Apple iMovie software is a great place to start your editing journey. It is user-friendly, and most importantly, free on all Apple products. You can add music, sound effects, filters, color correction, and titles.
If you are comfortable with a basic video editor and want to make it more professional videos, then go for Adobe Premiere Pro. It is the industry standard and can be synced with After Effects. It works great with 4K quality and has a built-in advance color correction and grading tools.
Choose the Right Hosting Platform
There are many options available for hosting your video with certain benefits attributed to each one. The platform you employ for video content is also essential. Since Google owns YouTube, any search will pick up results from both platforms, making your content twice as visible. Video search results are more productive, with a 41% higher click rate than regular search results.
Video Marketing Strategy
You must create an effective video social media strategy that will maximize the effort you have put and achieve the goals you have set for your campaign. Each platform, like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube has its own strategies. Do not be afraid to experiment and create a strategy that works for your campaign the best.
Use the insights and analytics you derive from video engagement to influence future campaigns. As customer priorities and behavior continues to change, so must your strategies. Analytics is one way to keep a finger on the pulse of your audience. A good data analysis team will also be able to help you narrow in on the type of trends that are most effective for your business. Depending on your product or service, the videos you create can utilize specific patterns for maximum effect.
COVID-19 has changed many things for brands from how they conduct their business to how they engage with their customers. A quick and strong pivot to digital marketing that incorporates video content is the need of the hour. Audiences are no longer in the now enviable position of having excessive spending money and are more discerning in where and how to support brands. Video content is an effective way to generate engagement and develop an authentic connection.