You need video content, period.
It's 2017 and video is everything on social media. If you don't believe it, you really don't have to look much further than an infographic like this one, or articles like this, which are being published every day. Video gets ten times more shares than other content, and many social media channels are now giving it special preference. Video content on Facebook has such strong reach that a lot of businesses and brands are even trying to "hack" the system, sharing still photos as videos just to reap the benefits (side note: don't do this - it's just annoying).
So, in the age of video content, what makes for great video content?
Here are my Top Five Tips for Great Video Content:
1. Know what kind of video you need
What's going to help you reach your goals? What ARE your goals? Are you trying to spread awareness? Sell product? Teach your clients?
Examples of types of videos:
- Welcome or introductory
- Online course / Instructional
- Mini documentary about your business, brand, or organization
- Social media ads
- Visuals only (like a house tour, or a summary of an event set to music)
- Live videos
Knowing what you want to get out of your video is absolutely crucial to its success. I can't stress this enough. In fact...
2. Plan first, shoot second
Or as I like to say, plan first, second, third, fourth, fifth...and shoot tenth.
The last thing you want is to spend your time and money on a video that doesn't actually do anything for you, or that leaves you wising you could do a re-take on your interview or voiceover. Before you shoot, make sure you know what your goals are, what you want to say, and that you have a plan for the final product. This is all accomplished by a briefing/concept meeting with your videographer and/or editor.
And speaking of hiring a professional to do your video...
3. Pay for quality
Do you always need a professional to make video? No. Not if you're doing quick Facebook Live content, or if you're shooting super casual videos with your iPhone to share on Twitter or Instagram Stories.
But when it comes to videos with marketing goals, trust me on this one: hire a professional.
Note the difference:
(Note: Absolutely no shade intended at the YouTube video on the left - I just needed an image to show what a video shot on a laptop cam/iPhone with no lighting or framing looks like, so I grabbed a screen cap at random.)
Not only does a professional videographer know about lighting and composition, your producer and editor (note that these may all be the same person, which is what happens if you hire me and many others) is a storyteller. Making you sound good and getting the right message across in an engaging and effective way is their job. It's the difference between an unprofessional video full of "ums" and "uhs" and a concise, compelling video that reaches your goals.
Almost every time I deliver a final cut to one of my clients, they say, "You asked me just the right questions and got me to say just the right thing - you totally captured who I am!" That's two writing degrees, over a decade of experience as both a professional writer and director, and six years as a video editor. I can take 30 minutes of interview footage and turn it into a fantastic 90-second video. Telling stories is what I've committed my entire life to doing. It's what I love the most.
As with many things, video is definitely a, "You get what you pay for" situation. Beware the person saying they can make you a great video ad for $100. That amount of money wouldn't even cover the rental on a basic lighting kit.
But at the same time, you can have incredible video content and no success with it if you don't...
4. Strategize your sharing
No social media strategy?
You can't just order a viral video off a menu (though back in the day, when I worked at an advertising agency, we had many clients try). The internet is a very busy place. It's not an "if you build it, they will come" situation. So before you spend good money on developing video content, make sure you know what you're going to do with it. This strategy should be tied into the same conversation you have to set goals for your video(s). And it should definitely involve more than, "we're gonna put it up on our website."
Remember that it takes a number of mentions for people to catch on to something - or even just to see it (damn you, algorithms). Have a strategy ready to get the most out of your video content.
5. Be yourself
It sounds simple, but it's so important. Video is the beautiful golden gateway to creating a strong, human connection with your audience online. If you're not genuine, your video will fall flat. So embrace your nerves, your unique facial expressions, and that cowlick in your hair, because all of those things are what will make your audience like you that much more.
Ready to make great video? You know where to find me.
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