Video seems to be everywhere these days – obviously, it’s all we watch on television, it’s all over search engine results on the Internet and it’s on just about every website out there it seems. People love video content, mostly because it’s entertaining, it’s engaging and it gives people visiting your website a chance to really get to know you.
But if you’re a small business on a budget, it might seem near impossible to find the money to hire a professional video production company and have your video properly marketed. Well, here’s a little secret – it’s not impossible. In fact, you can create great, engaging video content for your website by yourself, and market it correctly online, by following this advice.
Invest In A Decent Camera
If you want to avoid having to hire a professional production company who might charge you upwards of $1,000 per finished minute of video, think about investing in your own company camera, especially if you plan to produce several videos. So what exactly qualifies as a decent camera?
Try to aim for something of better quality than a simple flip cam – but steer clear of the high-end professional cameras. A simple high-definition handicam should do the trick just fine. Canon makes a great line of handicams that are small, light and very high quality, plus they are easy to use and retail for under $1,000. If you’re tackling your video project yourself, there is no need for anything more than this.
Install Video Editing Software
Most Apple computers come with a simple video editing software already installed, iMovie. This program will work just fine for your own editing purposes and is easy to learn and use if you have never edited digital videos before. Just look around online for a simple tutorial and you’ll be up and running and editing away in no time.
If you are working on a PC, shop around for some simple video editing software, or if you’re looking for a more long-term investment, consider Avid, a professional editing suite that Hollywood filmmakers use. It might be too much for a beginning video editor to take on, but if you have someone in your company who knows a bit about video editing and you plan to create videos in high volume, this may be worth the costly investment (roughly $3,000 – but it’s something you’ll always have).
Hire Your Talent
You may want to consider hiring a spokesperson or searching around for volunteers to appear in your videos, or simply enlist the help of someone within your own company.
The person (or people) that you choose for your video should be personable, outgoing, energetic and most importantly a good communicator. The last thing you want is someone who’s boring and speaks slowly or unclearly who will lose viewers’ attention right off the bat. Enlist someone that you know would like to be in front of the camera (some of the most outgoing people are incredibly camera shy, so be wary of this) and would deliver for you well.
Plan Your Shoot
Have an idea in mind for what you want your video to accomplish before you even attempt to shoot it. Take the time to map out a storyboard that will keep you focused and directed when you go to both shoot and edit your project. Write out a script or plan out interview questions for your video and make sure your “talent” is aware of the plan well in advance of the actual shoot.
This process is called pre-production, and it can make or break a good video. The only thing pre-production will cost you and your company is time, so be open and willing to put in the thought, effort and necessary creativity well ahead of time if you want a successful video.
Post It On Your Site
When you have a finished video product, think about where you are going to post it online. If you are using your video for branding or commercial purposes, post it on YouTube to gain more views and potentially drive a bit of traffic to your site. If, however, you plan to use your video for the sole purpose of driving traffic to your website, you may want to consider other options.
There are several third-party video hosting services out there, like Wistia or Vimeo Pro. While you will pay for a subscription to one of these services, the content will belong solely to you, and when it is embedded onto your website, it will appear to search engines as existing only on your site, not on the third-party site.
This is beneficial for search engine rankings and driving traffic to your website, among other reasons. Once you post any video on your site, submit a video XML sitemap to Google Webmaster Tools (they will teach you how to do this in their help section), and check up on it until the video is indexed. You should then start seeing the benefits of having the video on your website, and you will know that you have placed it there without spending thousands and thousands of dollars on hiring a professional production company — money better spent on video marketing.