Business is about establishing and maintaining relationships with customers. What better way to connect with your potential customers than by putting your face in front of the camera? Getting people’s attention is increasingly competitive, and we’re all constantly bombarded by facts, figures, and images. To stand out, you’ve got to create content that is both informative and entertaining. Though you’ll be using a camera instead of a keyboard, effective video marketing shares the same characteristics as other forms of marketing. Know your audience, engage them, and include a potent call to action.
Every big budget Hollywood picture starts with an empty page. Before you begin shooting, get the ideas of what you’d like to accomplish down on paper. This doesn’t mean you need a script to read from verbatim. In fact, many video marketers feel more natural without a precise script. Nonetheless, create an outline that will cover your key points and write down any particularly funny or illuminating phrases you plan to use. After you’ve got your “shooting script,” get yourself a decent camera. It doesn’t need to be expensive, but it should have a USB port to simplify your uploading and editing.
You’ve got to appear professional and knowledgeable in your video, but that doesn’t mean you need to wear a suit and tie and sit in front of a library of classic literature. Choose a comfortable and natural setting without any audible external sounds. Try a few different lighting setups to convey the appropriate mood. Be yourself and your authenticity will shine through the camera. Don’t purely promote yourself or your business, but don’t hide the fact that you have something to sell. Instead, create videos that are genuinely educational, and then provide a strong call to action at the end.
Remember, just because somebody clicked on your video doesn’t mean they’re prepared to sit through minutes of boring content. Keep your audience in mind and tailor the content of your video to what you know they’d like to know. Make thought-provoking statements that they may not have heard before. Ask provocative questions that will entice them to contribute a comment.
Even if you’re not a natural charismatic or great public speaker, you’re capable of turning into one for five minutes. Most likely, viewers will be looking directly at you for the entirety of the video. Don’t bore them with a monotone voice and stone face. Be articulate. Be funny. Be expressive. To your audience, your video should feel like a conversation with a friend.
After you’ve shot your video, take it into the editing room for post-production movie magic. Cut and splice your video to make it look smooth and effortless, but don’t go overboard. Too much editing will make your video look clunky and will distract viewers. Add in bells and whistles like scrolling text prompts and music at your discretion, but pay heed to the reliable adage: less is more.
Short is Sweet and Leave ‘Em Hangin’
Not many people are prepared to watch your marketing video for longer than five minutes. Unless you’re hilarious or offering something revolutionary, people’s attention spans are pretty short. If you start to repeat yourself, they will probably lose interest and click away. Make your videos concise and appealing. If you have a lot to say, consider breaking up a longer video into bite-size morsels. Utilize the television concept of a “cliffhanger” and leave your viewers wanting more.
Of course, when you’re finished, give your video a keyword-friendly magnetic headline that will please search engines and viewers alike. Post it on your blog and on as many relevant sites as possible. Ideally, people will start to share it throughout the social media channels. What do you think? Have you ever gone viral? Is video marketing the way of the future, or is your time better spent elsewhere?
Adam Toren is an Award Winning Author, Serial Entrepreneur and Investor. He Co-Founded YoungEntrepreneur.com along with his brother Matthew. Adam is co-author of the newly released book: Small Business, Big Vision: “Lessons on How to Dominate Your Market from Self-Made Entrepreneurs Who Did it Right” and also co-author of Kidpreneurs.