It was mid-2013 and I was looking to take my marketing to the next level. Lucky for me, in the accounting profession you don’t have to try hard to stand out.
But I wanted to stand out by a mile and to do this, I thought that content marketing incorporating business videos would be a great way to do so.
Not having the first clue of where to turn to, I got in contact with a crew that have a fairly popular YouTube Channel. The first three videos took an afternoon to shoot – with many, many takes and lots of patience! It also cost $700 neat to produce these and I realised that after two of these afternoon sessions, I may be able to do this myself!Worth noting: I do not recommend a habit of ‘DIY’ing in business – it’s a fast way to lose your mind (and your every waking moment). Be sure to delegate the parts which are not the best use of your time.
From 1 Video in a Day, to 1 Video in an Hour
My first 3 minute business videos would have taken me a solid day to film, edit and upload each of them but I’ve now got it down to under an hour – sometimes quicker than I can write a blog post!
What helped to significantly reduce the turnaround time was being recommended an eBook called the Splasheo Method (free download using that link).
In the book, Gideon Shalwick explains the keys to making an awesome and effective video, fast. Having this framework where you just drop in the sections dramatically reduces editing time.
And it has resulted in some really good feedback!
6 Ingredients I use to make my videos:
1. A camera
I know some people recommend using your iPhone… While it is a nice place to start, I never used it (it was recording the audio from my lapel mic, see #2).
I went with a Canon EOS M – one of the Canons that are more inclined towards videos (low to mid range on the wallet too).
I found it fairly easy to use and with a bit of playing around with the lenses (no formal training) I found which angles worked best around the cafe / office.
2. A mic
There’s nothing worse than listening to a video of someone talking with background noise like Niagra Falls…
Please do your viewers a favour (if you want to keep them watching past 30 seconds too) and grab a mic to record your audio at the source.
Depending on the mic, you can plug it directly into your camera, or record it onto your phone as a separate track, to edit in later.
Here’s the lapel mic I use, and I record this straight to my iPhone.
3. A good script & teleprompter
Early on when I was recording videos, standing in front of a camera and talking was very confronting and far from natural. It really isn’t easy, but one thing that I found helped, was to have a script prepared and to use a teleprompter.
It’s worth keeping in mind that you want to write your script as you would speak it, rather than as you would write it in an email for instance.
Be sure to include the following sections in your script:
- Agenda for video
- Content of Video
- Review Content in Summary
- Ask audience to take your desired next step (subscribe, like, share etc)
There’s software that can help here too – I found Teleprompt+ for Mac which has doubled in price since I bought it, but there’s plenty out there.
4. Editing software
Editing has come a long way since being on the communications team back in high school…
For my videos I use Adobe Premiere. It is much more powerful than the 5 – 10% of features I use it for, so it works superbly for me. (Available on both PC and Mac too.) It also comes as part of the Creative Cloud subscription from Adobe – bundled with other creative software.
Camtasia is another product I’ve used. Very user friendly, although I found it a little too basic for video editing when coming across from Premiere. Camtasia is fantastic (and my weapon of choice) when it comes to screencasting and tutorials for clients and my team.
5. Intro, Outro, Segueway & Lower Third
Here’s where the magic happens!
If you choose to implement 1 of these 6 ingredients, make sure it is this one! Your videos will look 10x better, just from this.
I mentioned earlier about the “Splasheo Method” – and one thing I took away from that was to have an Intro, Outro, Segueways & Lower Third to add some “punch” to your shots. (A ‘lower third’ is the title bar that fades onto the screen when you watch a news reporter – it usually gives a name and title of the person.)
The BEST thing is, you don’t have to have a degree in Creative Multimedia to create these things – Splasheo.com has been created especially for this reason!
Just upload your logo, and they turn it around within 24 – 48 hours!
6. Background music
Following on from above, while there needs to be quality audio coming from whoever is speaking, background music also adds a level of depth and quality.
You’ll want to be able to hear the music at a low level, but not to the point where it takes away from your voice.
It’s better to purchase royalty free music from a site like AudioJungle, rather than using your favourite band from the 80’s. This way you don’t need to worry about infringing anyone’s tunes wherever it is used.
You’ll Get the Results
The videos have started to build traction as a profile builder, lead generation to the website and good for SEO too.
While I haven’t been terribly proactive on my YouTube channel of late, I just logged in and saw that I had 2,275 views! Pretty awesome from an SEO and online profile perspective…
Even more recently I’ve also started using personalised videos in my proposals. A great icebreaker for the prospective client!
I’m planning to take it to the next level with my videos too… I’m keen to test out green screens and multiple camera angles in the coming months as I’m putting together some short courses.
All the best in your video endeavors! 🙂