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Making videos – is it worth it?

Posted by Sherene Strahan, 15 Apr, 2016 | 6 Comments »

Everyone’s saying you SHOULD do video for your business. Should you?

If you’re only thinking about it because everyone says you should, then I’d say – don’t.

Instead spend your creative energies and budget on things you believe in. Doing something half-baked just to get in on the action is no reason at all.

But if you are interested, where should you start?

Start with Why

This isn’t about the mystical “Purpose” of your business. This is about why you want to spend time and money making videos for people to watch. What’s the payoff for you?

ATTENTIONWho are you and why should I care?

Increase awareness with videos of around 30 seconds to one minute. They need to be informative and entertaining to be shareable. Facebook, Instagram and other social media are great for places for posting your videos and also for checking out other people’s videos to learn what to do and what not to do.

TRUSTHow do I know you are good at this?

Demonstrate your knowledge, expertise or product capabilities through explainer/ tutorial videos, webinars, and introductory videos that put a face to your business. You can also use customer testimonials and case studies about people who’ve benefited by buying from you.

SELL SOMETHINGHow can you solve my problem or improve my life/career/business?

There’s nothing wrong with selling that has the customer’s needs in mind. Product demos and reviews, testimonials and case studies present the answer to a customer’s question/problem and show that it’s worked for others.

BUILD FANSGive me more and I’ll recommend you.

This type of video helps your customers even after they’ve paid up. Examples are how-to videos about getting the best from your product/service (ala Ikea) as well as culture videos that tell your story in a warm-fuzzy kind of way. Buyers enjoy sharing the great product/business they’ve discovered.

Think carefully about What

Before you press record, plan what your video will look and sound like based on these main questions:

  • Who am I talking to? (go for your ideal client, not a broad audience)
  • What do they want to know? (about this product/service)
  • How will I tell them? (make the language conversational, not salesy)
  • What can they do next? (If they’ve watched all the way through, they WANT to know more) 

It’s easy to learn How

There’s plenty of free material to help with the technical aspects of making a video. If you want to do it all yourself, visit Wistia, a US website with ideas on content creation and how to use the right equipment (properly) to get the best look even on a tight budget. Video Brewery is another US video production company with tips and advice.

Another option is to shoot it all yourself and then get a professional to edit it. Candidio (US company) provides a very reasonably priced editing service, with templates for guiding content planning and filming. You send your smartphone footage and details of the video you want, and they turn it into a professional looking production. Their website has great free resources too.

Finally if you prefer hard cover, I picked up a nifty little book from Lonely Planet called ‘Best Ever Video Tips’ that covers shooting, lighting, audio, editing. It was just $12.00 from Big W. Great investment.

Just get started

If you’re serious about getting into video, there’s no better way to learn than to just get started. You won’t know what you like or what you can do until you give it a try. It’s a great time to start out because viewers are bored with slick corporate videos. They want something that’s real, even if it is raw. People want to know what you do – video is an effective and powerful way to show them.

Sherene Strahan

Sherene Strahan

Sherene is a marketing consultant who specialises in helping business owners to get their real messages and stories across to people, using writing and video.
Sherene Strahan

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6 Responses to “Making videos – is it worth it?”

  1. Maeve says:

    Thanks so much for your guest post Sherene. Do you have any good example DIY videos made by local businesses? It would be really cool to see what others are putting out there as inspiration.

    • Sherene says:

      Thanks Maeve – got to admit I don’t know of many local DIY videos EXCEPT… the one you made that I thought was terrific! You should write about how you did it.

    • Maeve says:

      haha thanks! Actually, one of our other client’s Matters of Taste just started making their own videos > https://vimeo.com/mattersoftaste/videos I reckon these are awesome! Short & sweet, and very genuine. What do you think?

    • Sherene says:

      These are, as you say, short and sweet and the presenter has a lovely warmth on camera and the testimonials from the cooking couple was nice.
      But overall, they were simply ads – it would be nice if we got something of value from the videos, which leads us to follow their series and ultimately want to buy their products. Explainer videos, testimonials, case studies, product demos etc are all great but we have to think about why a viewer would spend their time watching? So in the cooking school one they could have started with a recipe tip – something for the viewer. It generates interest, establishes credibility and builds trust in what they’re trying to sell.

  2. Pete says:

    I like videos that are in the same genre as infographics, short, sweet, and to the point. I tend to respect any sort of marketing if it is more informational than promotional.

    • Sherene says:

      I agree Pete – I think we have to respect the fact that people are giving their time and so give them something in return. I’m from a TV journalism background so this has been drilled into me -accurate, concise, direct. But I also love longer video storytelling too, like this one via Mashable (not sure if the link works but you can always copy & paste to check it out) http://mashable.com/2016/03/04/lowline-new-york-founders/#Nia5tIDlNGqj

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