Online video content has exploded in recent years, with more platforms than ever offering new ways for users to share and enjoy video.
Recent statistics from Nielsen show that the highly coveted 18- to 34-year-old market spends more time watching YouTube videos than they do watching cable television. By itself, YouTube reaches more 18-49 year olds than any cable network in the U.S. Now, you also have Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and newcomer, Musical.ly, on the scene with plenty of eyeballs up for grabs. If you’re a marketer or advertiser of any sort, you can’t afford to leave video out of your marketing mix.
Yet, while many marketing departments are trying meet the skyrocketing demand for video, their budgets aren’t always keeping pace. What do you do when the production budget you need is escalating, but the budget you have is flatlined? Fortunately, there are ways to produce massive amounts of content without breaking the bank.
1. Produce en masse.
If you’re working with an agency, one way you can save money is by producing a lot of content at once. Every time you bring in a camera crew, actors, stage lighting, etc., you’re starting with a basic set of costs. The more you can shoot on a single day, or on one set, the more cost-effective you will be—just like buying in bulk. So, work out a production schedule with your team to produce a series of videos in a way that makes the most financial sense. How and when you release the videos is up to you.
2. Look internally.
There are times when you need to bring in professionals for high-end video content. But if you run a “vlog” (like a blog, but with video), you may not need slick production for everything you publish. Vlog entries and how-to videos can often get by with a simple setup, meaning they can be produced with the help of someone within your organization who is knowledgeable about basic best practices for lighting, shooting, and editing. Maybe their experience is nothing more than shooting great home movies with their kids—a little practice can go a long way toward getting you started. Sometimes, your audience is looking for quantity and creativity over production quality, so, do whatever it takes to keep them captivated.
Ask, “why would someone stop what they’re doing to watch this?”
3. Provide value.
If you use YouTube or other social media platforms for marketing, don’t just think of these channels as a way to blast people with your message. Imagine you are producing a TV show with occasional commercial breaks. Ask, “why would someone stop what they’re doing to watch this?” If you need to tell customers about your products and services, do it sparingly, and make sure most of your video content is useful in some way so people have a reason to want more. Share inside information or helpful tips and tricks they can use. Help them see that you are a subject-matter expert with great insight, stories, and resources to offer. Eventually, some of them will want to do business with you or join in your cause.
4. Use gear you already own.
If your content is interesting, viewers won’t care what equipment you use. Look at famous YouTuber Casey Neistat: he produces two, sometimes three, videos per week on his Canon 60D. He produces high end commercials when he needs to, but most of his content is shot on the cheap. Most smartphones can shoot decent-enough video for social media, and there are some great add-ons you can buy if you want to up the quality just a little bit. However, if there’s one thing not to skimp on, it’s audio equipment. Audio is simply not as forgiving as video, and if you’re not careful, your content can be grating to the ears. Don’t force your audiences to run for the hills (or the mute button)… Either record in a sound booth or invest in a decent microphone that can connect to your camera.
5. Keep it simple.
Don’t worry about trying to create a masterpiece. Edit together some quick shots with a neat music track underneath. Add some text and—voila—there’s your video. Or identify someone in your organization to be the company spokesperson, put them in front of the camera, and have them talk about the topic of choice. It doesn’t need to be Gone With The Wind. It just needs to provide value to your audience. Look at Apple’s YouTube channel. Yes, they produce some of the best, most expensive commercials in the world featuring movie stars like The Rock. But they also produce simple “how-to” videos that almost anyone could make, allowing them to provide value to their customers on a regular basis.
Don’t be intimidated by video. It’s an important part of your marketing mix, and there’s plenty of ways you can produce very simple content using tools you already have. Still not sure what to make or how to make it? Come talk to us. We can help you get set up with easy-to-use video templates, simple equipment, and content strategies to unleash your video potential.