The stats for video marketing cannot be ignored. Among them, video marketing will make up 80% of all web traffic by 2019.
With a 200-300% boost in click-through rates on marketing emails containing video, and 90% of customers reporting that product videos help them make purchases, simply put:
You need video in your marketing strategy.
But what if you’re not a video expert or filmmaker?
Cheesy videos may have charm as a matter of entertainment, but that doesn’t necessarily translate well when you’re trying to create quality content that elevates you in your industry. So how do you choose the best option when incorporating video into your marketing strategy?
Budget and other Considerations
For many small businesses, budget will ultimately make the decision for you. That doesn’t, however, mean you can’t make good quality videos on a shoestring. There are feature length movies that have been shot on an iPhone. So aside from budgeting, ask yourself what sort of video you want to shoot.
Fancy equipment is second to emotional resonance.
It doesn’t matter how much you paid for your technology, how many props you have, or how fancy your editing is post-production. If your video resonates with viewers on an emotional level, it can be stunning. Sometimes the best you can do is go low-tech and keep it real. Shooting the video yourself with a smartphone or a nice camera such as a DSLR is entirely possible if the content of your video is passionate and shows the heart of your brand.
You can go a long way with a smartphone and a $20 smartphone tripod. Pair that with a lapel microphone for good audio, and you can be set up with minimal investment in dollars and time.
Make sure the lighting is natural. If you’re in an office with fluorescents, it can wash out your skin and make you look sickly. Sticking close to a window, opening the blinds, or even strategically placing a couple floor lamps nearby and turning off the overhead lighting can solve this problem. If it’s within your budget and you’re starved for good lighting, Amazon has an inexpensive lighting kit for less than $100.
Choose a simple background and pick up the clutter. You can shoot in a living room, break room, or retail store space for interest, but it’s best to avoid a white wall as a background. The video star can come off as a talking head that way. Nice, neutral colors, some wall art for interest, or some plants can make your shooting space surprisingly homey.
To Outsource or Not to Outsource
Perhaps you have a robust video publishing schedule, or you’re interested in marketing your products or services in commercial grade markets. DIY might be a little too shallow in the technical department for those goals. If you’re shooting video explaining a difficult concept, or a technical aspect of your business, perhaps it’s a good idea to consider outsourcing your video making to attain the next level of quality.
Pros and Cons of Outsourcing
It’s great to know you can rely on a good quality filmmaking or editing team to smooth out the rough edges of your videos. The best part is there are no up front costs to purchase equipment. You have access to higher quality equipment by hiring a professional videographer, and they will have all the lighting and props necessary.
Another benefit of outsourcing your video production is getting an objective opinion from a trained professional about the ideas you’re interested in filming. Professionals are up-to-speed on trends and can steer your content toward what’s popular now. Plus, this is what they do for a living, and if they’re good at it, they’ll come up with creative ways to feature your brand that you might never have thought of.
There are drawbacks, though, such as the time it takes to find the right team and getting on their schedules. Negotiating the budget can also be a big time consumer. Plus, cost is always a consideration. If you’re shooting offsite or at their studio location, you could be adding travel costs to your budget on top of the higher overall cost of the outsourcing solution. You also have to work within their parameters of receiving the finished project. With the DIY method, you have control over the length of the entire process. While relying on experienced professionals, you’re more at their mercy, so that must be built into your marketing schedule.
Pros and Cons of Creating an In-House Filming Team
This is perhaps the best way to have the highest quality video entirely within your control and creative purview. From location, time spent, lighting, editing, and release, you make the decisions to create the best possible video you can with knowledgeable team members to guide you on technical or creative aspects.
But there are no schedules to squeeze into. The team is your team, and they’re there to unleash their creativity and insight specifically for your brand. While this might diminish their objectivity, it could open doors in other ways. And the deadlines are yours to make or break.
Of course, the cost of such an endeavor could be prohibitive. There are salaries to consider, all the equipment, space, and software required for editing. Not to mention, the maintenance and upkeep of that equipment. It could also take a significant time investment to hire the right professionals. While Jack from Accounting may be able to narrate like a pro, finding the best lighting, the best sound acoustics, and editing out the bad parts can’t be left up to someone moonlighting from another department. A team capable of producing your videos has to be carefully curated. You want their creativity to shine for your brand, not clash with their teammates, or miss the message you want your videos to convey. It’s a talent search, and that takes time.
Whether you go with a DIY approach or jump all in with your own production team, video marketing is not going away any time soon.
We are a visual society, and when your customers respond as well as we all do to video, it’s a potential marketing avenue that would be detrimental not to capitalize on.