Over the past couple of years, you wouldn't talk about content without mentioning videos. It's safe to say that video is now the king of content, with companies discovering innovative ways of making their products popular by using enticing videos.
For most people, engaging with videos is effortless. That is why videos are great for brand and product marketing. Besides, it's a well-known fact that you can boost sales conversions on your website through product videos. And you can also use them for other forms of online marketing to gain traffic to your site.
With videos, you can considerably increase links to your site. When you post product videos on content websites like YouTube, MetaCafe, and Vimeo, it has the effect of significantly increasing your back-links since your video feeds are syndicated and posted by other video sites. And because these links have been acquired and built organically over a period, through linking with other trusted sites, there is an increased level of search-engine confidence in your site.
Most small businesses are on a tight budget so you’re probably thinking this is not for you, but making a series of product videos for your brand should cost less than £1,000 if you’re prudent.
You’ll need a good digital camera, tripod, good options for a backdrop (white sheets that you can hang from the ceiling), good video-editing software, a good dose of imagination, and a good PC microphone (preferably studio-quality for recording voiceovers so your audio commentaries on products are professional and consistent).
Making product videos can be an arduous task, so this guide aims to help you take some bold steps towards making great videos that will evoke powerful responses.
Our 7 key tips
1. First, have a plan for your video. It’s a great idea to start by writing a script for the key features and benefits of your product for the video. Read it out loud and time yourself. If it’s a well-drafted script then your final video should be less than one minute – 45 to 60 seconds is ideal. A great product video should show a zoomed-out still of the product, then highlight key features before ending with another zoomed-out still shot of the product to wrap it up.
2. Always use a tripod for recording, even when you’re recording somebody talking or demonstrating products. This way you can avoid camera shake and other distractions that can be difficult to edit out of the video or mask with filters and effects.
3. Record a lot of practice videos to be sure of what works and what doesn’t. Try and experiment as much as possible until you build up some experience. Once you’re able to your first set of videos, editing, and finalising them, you can then start to refine your work during shooting and editing.
4. Maintain consistency across all videos. For demonstrating products, cover your table with a white sheet and make sure the area is well lit. Maintaining the same look and feel across your videos is very important, even when you’re talking about various product brands.
5. Zoom in on products to reveal their details. Keep every shot static and focused on the product feature or detail that you want to display. What this means is that you shouldn’t zoom in or out during this recording process.
If you need to display different shots or angles while demonstrating, it’s better to stop and change the position of the camera/tripod, then zoom in to get a close shot of the detail, then start recording.
The product sequence shots can be blended during video editing. You should try and record from various angles as they can all be used in editing to merge a better-quality product video.
6. Create separate file folders for each one of the digital video sets/products you are demonstrating – this helps with organisation and editing. Make sub-folders for sounds, source videos, final video, and audio to keep things organised. This also helps when you need to add-in other content like background music and audio.
7. When editing, if you have to, condense some shots, scrap some, or shoot them again. What you want to achieve is a final video that is a blend of your best video recordings which can present a good product story. If you have 20 minutes of video after the shoot, most of it can be trimmed down if you’re using the right video-editing program.
Also, you can make use of effects from your video-editing software to conceal some of the problems that might crop up when shooting these types of videos. However, don’t overdo it with the effects and filters. This also helps to ensure you make videos with consistency in their look and feel across all your product videos.
You can buy some royalty-free background music (to avoid problems with copyright), then edit in a professional voiceover recorded with no background noise (this is why you need a good microphone). You can overlay the voiceover in your final video production copy using your editing software to adjust the timeline to fit.
You should check out product videos on your competitor websites or on YouTube to see what could work best for your brand and products before making your video. This will ensure that you come up with a good plan for your video before you start recording.
That’s your guide to filming your own product videos for your brand. If you’re feeling inspired, you need to take all that you’ve learned in this piece and start filming. If it takes a bit of time to discover what works or if you’re finding the editing part difficult, you should know that these things take time and they can only get better with practice.
To give you a heads-up, you need to know that you’ll probably have a couple of failed attempts before you get the final product but it’s all a part of the creative process, and you need to enjoy it!
There’s no denying that the internet is saturated with content. In fact, one of the biggest challenges facing business owners and marketers alike is the mounting pressure to keep up with demand.
A regular supply of fresh content brings with it increased traffic, engagement and conversion opportunities, yet it can also prove to be an inherent drain on time and resources.
An increasingly common solution is to simply repurpose existing content. From giving evergreen content a quick tidy up to completely reformatting old blog posts, crack the process of repurposing content and you’ll soon have a wealth of new opportunities at your fingertips.
To get you started, here’s a quick look at how and why repurposing blog content for video could directly benefit your content strategy.
85% of businesses now have internal video production resources in-house, while by 2019 it’s predicted that video will represent over 80% of all traffic online. There’s certainly an increased demand for video, and repurposing existing content to fit this popular format can be one of the most time and cost-effective ways of introducing video marketing to your existing content strategy.
The benefits of repurposing blog content for video include:
New audiences – like it or not, there are a significant number of people out there who simply don’t have the time or inclination to read lengthy blog posts. A recent survey revealed that 59% of executives are likely to choose video if both text and video are available on the same topic. Presenting content in a new format that’s more focused on visuals is one way to tap into this audience.
In-depth metrics – tools like Google Analytics give a good idea of how written content is performing, yet video has the potential to go one step further. Many platforms will give you a view of how much content has been watched and the point at which users are exiting the video, allowing you to learn more about what works best for your audience.
Increased ROI – 52% of marketers name video as the type of content that offers the best ROI. Repurposing existing content allows you to reduce the amount of time spent researching a topic, in turn becoming one of the most efficient ways to make video a regular part of your content strategy.
There’s really no right or wrong when it comes to determining which blog posts to repurpose first. Those that attracted a high level of organic traffic in their written form are obvious choices, yet you may find that some posts naturally lend themselves to being repurposed for video more than others. The key is in mining each blog post for the most important detail and using these to determine the angle of your video content.
From YouTube to Slideshare, video can take any number of different forms. You may opt to work existing copy into a slick voiceover script or to set yourself up in front of the camera and take a more freestyle approach. Whatever you choose, keep this new format in mind and focus on covering only the highlights, in a way that’s visually appealing as well as informative.
While entertaining the audience is a big part of any video marketing strategy, it’s important not to lose sight of your content’s message. Whether the original blog post was written to inform, instruct or generate discussion around a particular topic, your video should ultimately be created with the same aim. Statistics suggest that audiences are increasingly turning to video for informative content too, with searches related to “how to” growing by 70% on YouTube from 2014 to 2015.
Video should be an extension of your existing content strategy, not an entity in itself. Therefore, things like tone of voice and brand identity should be carried forward and kept in mind throughout the production process.
Engagement levels are highest on videos less than 2 minutes in length, so it pays to be picky about the content you choose to include. For longer, more in-depth posts, consider highlighting the main points in your video before linking to the post in full for those who wish to find out more.
While many marketers would cite time and cost implications as a key reason for their reluctance to introduce video into their content strategy, repurposing existing blog posts is a great way to ease these pressures.
Additional benefits, such as the ability to reach new audiences, go to show why repurposing content for video is becoming an increasingly common process for brands and businesses of all sizes.
If the human brain processes images 60,000 times faster than it processes text, it is logical that including images and videos in your content strategy will have serious benefits.
When a wall of text is too long, people may not stop and read it. Images may lack the depth of information needed to satisfy a searchers needs – so how best to capture and keep attention? (more…)
With 64% of marketers using video as part of their content strategy, those that don’t are in the minority — and according to a recent study by Animoto, they could be losing a quarter of their customers.
Of the study’s 1,051 participants, 1 in 4 admitted to losing interest in brands that don’t use video marketing, and nearly three quarters considered videos that describe services to be important.
Video makes maximal use of available screen space in a way that even the most mobile-friendly website cannot. There’s no scrolling involved, no distractions, and the experience is fully immersive.
55% of consumers watch at least one video on mobile each week, so make it easy for them: include captions on Facebook videos, and keep things short. Two thirds of consumers prefer videos under 60 seconds long. While longer videos — like interviews, reviews and event coverage — can still have a place in your campaign, they are often difficult to watch on-the-go.
While YouTube is an incredibly valuable marketing tool, video is much more likely to increase conversions when it’s embedded on-site. As with any type of online marketing, the goal is to keep visitors on your website, not send them to a YouTube where they’re likely to get distracted by other people’s content.
Embedding videos on webpages gives a notable SEO boost. Brands that also provide a video transcript will see even bigger effects on their rankings — naturally, the transcript of a video will include relevant keywords, and on a properly optimised landing page, this rich, targeted content will not go unnoticed by Google.
Consumers are 50% more likely to read an email newsletter when it contains a video. With the number of bland marketing emails that land in our inboxes every day, it’s not surprising that an alternative to text- and image-heavy emails is so refreshing.
MailChimp has recently started supporting the use of emojis in subject lines. Including a movie camera emoji in your subject line is a great way to visually indicate that your email contains a video, without cutting into valuable character space the way using “[VIDEO]” might.
Video can be extremely powerful on social media, too. 84% of consumers said they had liked a company video in their news feed, and nearly half of consumers have shared a brand video on their own profile. Thanks to Facebook’s autoplay feature, marketers have more than just one still to grab their audience’s attention. The first few seconds of a video are the most important, particularly on social media, so making them compelling is key.
Video is very quickly becoming an imperative for the success of brands rather than an optional extra. A 2014 Cisco report predicts that of all global consumer internet traffic, 79% will be IP video traffic by 2018.
Used in the right way, video is powerful content that can create brand awareness and engage new customers—it allows for informative and educational content, while also being entertaining and perhaps less intimidating than other marketing channels.
Here are five reasons why you should start using video marketing and work towards making it a core component of your marketing strategy.
Video has the potential to be more powerful than copy. Huge amounts of information are conveyed in a short space of time, engaging those who may not have the time or patience to read your web copy. 44% of email marketers in the US reported a significant increase in their engagement with clients if their emails contained video.
Relevant, keyword-optimised video helps increase your website’s SEO, providing another rich channel to not only disseminate your content, but also bring new users to your site. It is proven that consumers are much more likely to click on video adverts rather than standard banners. Video is easier to share, and hugely effective on social media: Facebook has reported that since June 2014, it has averaged more than a billion daily video views with more than half of daily Facebook users consuming at least one video a day on the channel.
The use of video will aid a smooth, sleek, user friendly experience on your website. Video helps to engage with passive users on your website, preventing bounce rates and increasing the likelihood of conversion rates. Reports suggest that retail site visitors who view video stay two minutes longer on average and are 64% more likely to purchase than other site visitors. Video is also highly optimised for mobile; its use has increased 65% globally. It is also reported that mobile video will account for 69% of total mobile data traffic and increase 14 times.
Video can be used to educate about your brand and convey multiple messages to customers. If you invest in good quality video, reports suggest 87% of video ads get watched to completion if relevant to the customer. This also in turn increases time spent on your site by the user.
Videos have a huge impact on your credibility as a brand, increasing brand association up to 139% if used in the right way. Training and how-to videos are good content to convey knowledge and expertise as well as proving your company to be an information resource. This allows your video and its message to stay relevant for years.
Every digital marketer should be looking at how they can use video as part of the marketing mix. The sleek and engaging nature of video allows core messages to be conveyed cleanly, and opens a whole channel to support your wider marketing activity.
Unlike written content pieces, video marketing can quickly grab attention, convey a large amount of information in a short time and create instant engagement.
For some great examples of video going viral and creating real brand buzz, take a look at our blog post on the top viral video campaigns of 2013. If you want your message and content to reach a large audience, video is the medium with the highest potential.
2014 is all about taking video marketing to the next level. With technology developing quickly and an improving awareness of how to use video as a marketing channel, expect to see some truly innovative video marketing campaigns this year. Here are the key video marketing trends to look out for in 2014:
Viewing video on mobile devices doubled in the first half of 2013, but it will be bigger than ever in 2014. As more networks embrace 4G, faster services and improved bandwidth are making watching a full-length movie on your mobile a breeze.
With the rising use of smartphones and tablets across the market, mobile video is predicted to grow 25-fold by 2016, with video expected to account for up to 70% of total mobile data traffic. With this exceptionally high level of predicted usage, mobile video is a channel with a huge potential audience.
A renewed focus on agile marketing
Agile marketing is the use of live data to create marketing tactics that quickly react to new trends. This is now an essential consideration for creating video content, ensuring that your videos are as up to date and as relevant as possible. By drawing on information from current trends, news events, customer feedback and social media, agile video marketing enables you to craft tailored campaigns that audiences will connect with instantly.
It is key to identify emerging trends and respond to them appropriately. To maximise the speed of response, marketers have to consider ways of processing large amounts of incoming data, perhaps using online tools to identify trending content.
Short-form will go large
Increased video consumption doesn’t mean that audiences want to watch long videos. Short, sharp messages are key to creating video campaigns that get audiences hooked. Short form video platform such as Vine and Instagram, have already shown the popularity of the medium, with almost 150 million users between them. These brief bursts of video are the most effective way of creating agile marketing content.
It’s not all about keeping videos short for low attention spans. Short form video gives brands the chance to give teasers of new products or bite-sized round-ups of trending headlines. Anything over 20 seconds is likely to fall by the wayside, so it’s time to embrace the potential of short-form video.
Tailoring video content
With such a crowded marketplace for video, it will become even more important to ensure your business's video content is tailored to your audience. Consider the audience that you're looking to engage, their interests and concerns, and then create something which speaks to them, whether it's informative, educational or entertaining.
Video advertising and music will become even more closely linked
Music elicits strong emotions, whether it's exhilaration or sadness, so it's perhaps no surprise that it's playing a key role in how video advertising is evolving. Music videos still account for 99 of the Top 100 positions in the all-time Unruly Viral Video Chart, which has led to many brands seeking out pop stars for glossy video adverts – be it Volvo and Swedish House Mafia or H&M and Beyonce. So if you're making video content this year, think carefully about your soundtrack. It will probably make or break your lovingly-crafted viral vid.
In conclusion, it's clear that video will continue to be an influential tool in the development of effective content marketing in 2014. It has quickly become a channel that no business can afford to ignore.
‘Virality’ is the key aspect of any video advertising campaign today.
When your video ‘goes viral’, this means that your content has become exceedingly popular through online sharing in a very short period of time, whether it’s through video-hosting platforms like YouTube, or social media websites like Twitter or Facebook.
The future of viral video has more surprises in store for us, no doubt, particularly because of high-efficiency video coding (HEVC) being just around the corner. This new coding will allow us to load ten-minute videos in just ten seconds; combined with new, crisper resolution in the coming year, it’s clear that we have a lot more to look forward to.
In the meantime, let’s take a look at some of the cream of the viral video crop for 2013 so far.
Evian: ‘Baby & Me’
Evian’s ‘Baby & Me’ advertisement, part of their Live Young campaign, generated 29 million hits in just five days, making it, surprisingly, the most watched advertisement on YouTube ever. Evian stated that their video campaign aimed to focus on its ‘longstanding commitment to the Live Young lifestyle message: youth is not a matter of age, it’s an attitude’.
How did they manage to pull off this amazing marketing feat? Firstly, they generated buzz around the campaign through social media as a part of their pre-launch campaign strategy. They also had YouTube-Twitter integration on the YouTube page for the video, which allowed users to share their comments directly on both platforms in one place, which helped increase the amount of engagement and shares.
Going further, Evian has now developed a mobile version of the ad as an app for iOS, Android and Facebook. The app allows the user to choose an existing image or take a new photo and select a skin tone and eye shape, thereby ‘baby-fying’ the photo. And yes – the app includes social media integration too, allowing users to share their ‘babified’ pictures.
Google Glass: ‘How it Feels’
In order to showcase their new, innovative product, Google used crowdsourcing content in order to make their Google Glass video, ‘How it Feels’, go viral. As of today, it has over 22 million views on YouTube.
Critical to the video’s success as a viral marketing tool was making mundane, everyday events seem magical and extraordinary through the eyes of Google Glass. The video is composed of short clips taken through the headset, deliberately showcasing the most publicised feature of the device: the ability to record memories from the person’s viewpoint.
Aside from the product, the video itself is something to marvel at. It seamlessly cuts in footage of fighter jets doing barrel rolls, to a table tennis champion giving it his all, to the more everyday memories, like following a ballerina down the stairs as she prepares for her show.
Kmart: ‘Ship My Pants’
Kmart was in a quandary with its advertising not too long ago. Its ad agency, DraftFCB, was going through some tumultuous times, starting off the year without a CEO. Having lost a few of their big clients, the future wasn’t looking too bright, particularly with Kmart’s financial woes.
DraftFCB managed to pull through the darkness in April this year with their ‘Ship My Pants’ ad, which effectively solved a number of problems at once. The commercial was a viral hit, being viewed 20 million times in less than four months. This pulled Kmart out of the slump and brought the brand a more youthful audience, too.
The commercial owed its success to its unique harnessing of toilet humour. The double entendre of the title took viewers by surprise, ensuring that pretty much everybody would want to share the video. Hot off the success of this video, DraftFCB has kept up with their output, releasing a follow-up titled ‘Big Gas Savings’.
It’s clear that viral success largely depends on having a truly unique idea. A totally unique product or service, like Google Glass, could potentially sell itself, but it takes a measured advertisement to show audiences what the true potential is. Once you have an idea, you need to make sure that you’ve picked the right channels and platforms to distribute it. The final step in securing ‘virality’, as it were, is to make your audience want to share it.