The Ultimate Guide to Social Media Video Marketing
Did you know that the second biggest search engine is YouTube? That’s right, a platform dedicated to video is second only to Google. And, as Google owns YouTube, you can bet that video is only going to get more popular.
Don’t believe me? The new kid on the block, social media giant Snapchat, logs 10 billion videos each day, and is fast becoming the dominant platform.
In an effort to adapt, veteran platforms Facebook and Instagram have brought in Facebook Live and IGTV.
But, contrary to popular belief, you don’t need super expensive equipment to get involved.
A camcorder, DSLR camera, webcam, GoPro or even a cell/mobile phone that is HD or UHD (4K), is all you need.
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Before you can run, you need to be able to walk! Here’s a list of some of the basic equipment you will need to start recording video campaign.
“I’m useless with a camera” I hear you say? No worries. Check out this useful SEMRush guide for information on recording length, aspect ratio… basically, just watch the video!
Pretty self explanatory, you need something to record with. As mentioned in the intro, there are some entry-level cameras and camcorders that will do the job.
If you are going to be sitting at a desk/table when shooting, you might even get away with a webcam.
For anyone on the move, or if you’ll be interacting with other people often, a smartphone is compact and easy to carry around.
Regardless of what you’re shooting specifically, the key requirements are that it records in Full-HD 1080p or UHD 4K and at least 30 or 60 FPS.
Best value action camera (for fast-moving video): SJCAM SJ8
Best value desk camera: Panasonic Lumix DMC-G7MEB-K
Best value “on the move” camera: Sony FDR-AX33 Camcorder
Depending on what you’re going to be shooting, you will also need to consider things like whether it’s water and shock resistant. The GoPro is the runaway winner in this case.
You will also need to pick out memory cards, lens’ and carrying cases. Carrying case boils down to personal preference.
It’s better to choose a large capacity memory card if you will be shooting 4K.
Lens’ can be pricey, so I’d advise sticking with the default one that comes with the base camera initially. If it does not come with one, look for a cheap wide-angle or 18-55mm lens. Just make sure it fits your particular camera.
Stability, which governs how steady the camera will be, is a very important part of video production.
The human body will always move or shake to some degree. So, even if you are a trained sniper or surgeon, you will still need to get some kind of stabilser in order to get the best shot possible.
What will you need? Well, it depends on the type of recording device you have!
Best value desk tripod/stand: Manfrotto PIXI Mini
Best value “on the move” tripod/stand: Amazon 52-inch Carbon Fibre Travel Tripod
Best value selfie stick: Fugetek-568
Unless you’re making silent movies, you will need a microphone to pick up sound - whether it’s you or the surroundings.
Most cameras, camcorders and smartphones etc will have in-built microphones, but these aren’t usually the best quality as they are suited for “general” use.
In order to get top quality, you will need to invest in an external microphone.
Best value desk microphone: Blue Microphones Yeti
Best value “on the move” microphone: Comica CVM-VM10II
The elements may be out of your control, but making sure you have the right equipment to deal with them, isn’t.
Be ready, whatever the weather.
As mentioned earlier, the GoPro is a great choice for anyone filming in or near water.
To shield your non-water resistant camera, camcorder or phone from the rain, see if you can get a removable case or jacket that fits your particular model.
Highly underrated. There is a reason professional photographers use additional light sources when they can.
Even with editing, a poorly lit photo or video is the last thing you want.
Unfortunately, the light sources or “flash” that come as standard on most cameras, camcorders and smartphones, are simply not good enough.
If you are going to be filming inside or in dimly lit areas, consider using additional light sources such as lamps and torches.
If you are going to be on the move or outside when shooting, you should also invest in a foam or furry mic muffler.
Luckily, these usually come as accessories with the external microphone.
Also, be careful if you shoot in public environments. Even with a muffler, sensitive microphones will pick up ambient sounds like people talking, cars, sirens and everything in-between. Move to a more isolated location if this is becoming an issue.
This one is more common sense than anything else.
When you are shooting, think about your backdrop and surroundings.
Make sure you have permission/are ok to film there and try not to have something in the back that will distract from you in the foreground, unless that is the subject of the video.
Static backdrops are best if you want viewers to focus on you throughout. If you are filming in a public place, frame it so that the majority of the shot has you as the focal point.
Making the perfect video campaign doesn’t stop at filming.
Think of a Hollywood movie, a huge amount of time is spent editing it before it is released. In fact, some effects can only be achieved in post-production.
It’s important to chop and change your raw content.
A computer or laptop is a must.
Now, I know you can download video editing apps on smartphones, but the truth is, both the phone and app are NOT advanced enough to cope with proper video editing.
You can film on your phone, but upload it to a computer or laptop when you need to edit it.
Windows, Linux or Mac will do. In the creative industry, Mac’s are usually preferred, because of their design, but not essential.
Make sure your hardware is fairly new, and has a good enough processor and graphics card to handle video editing.
For the tech-savvy, building a cheap but powerful gaming rig is more than enough to cope.
If you don’t know where to begin, visit your local computer store or specialist and ask them for something that can handle video/movie editing.
Remember, depending on the type of recording device you have, you might need to purchase an external card reader. Most modern cameras and camcorders come with a USB or HDMI cable, so make sure you have these slots on your computer or laptop.
There isn’t a great deal of (affordable) editing software out there to be honest.
There are some free or 'freemium' pieces of editing software out there, but I advise you to ignore these and invest in a paid solution.
If you want to know the difference between each piece of software, the PC Mag website has a great little guide for reference.
And here we are! You have the edited footage, now what do you do with it? Emailing Steven Spielberg is probably not your first port of call. Making it viral is!
The platform you upload your video campaign to, depends on your target audience.
Despite its popularity, Facebook actually has an ageing user demographic. Snapchat and Instagram are the platforms for a younger audience. Linkedin is for business professionals and Twitter for everything in-between.
For those serious about video campaigns or vlogging, Youtube is still the golden standard!
Each platform has slightly different requirements/restrictions and approval process. Here are links to the guidelines of the most well known platforms:
You’re ready to start film…. NOT JUST YET!
The digital marketing world is fiercely competitive and cutthroat.
So you don’t find your first video in a YouTube cringe compilation, read through these tips on research, planning and strategy.
They might sound boring, but they will come in handy.
Creativity is King
You can have all the money in the world, the best photo/video equipment available and a studio rivalling a Hollywood production company, but if your content isn’t engaging, relevant or just plain boring, you may as well give up now.
Good content is still the number 1 way to convert leads.
You need to have something which sets you apart from everyone else, so spend a lot of time researching market trends, newsworthy events and controversial topics.
Then, find your own niche. Inject your own personality into it, if there’s one thing in the world that is truly unique, it’s you.
Have a Strategic Marketing Plan
Do you know how many times I have seen huge blue chip companies without a proper marketing strategy? Too many.
Modern marketing only works if you plan, plan and plan. It’s so competitive and fast-paced that you need to be constantly uploading new videos and engaging your viewers. I’m talking a few times a week at a minimum.
Planning allows you to be on the ball with seasonal events such as national holidays, Halloween, Christmas etc. As well as anything on a national or local level.
You’ll also know how, when and where you should be pulling the trigger on video campaigns.
No missed opportunities!
Production Quality Matters
You don’t need to spend thousands on a professional crew to shoot and edit your videos.
Your Logan Pauls’ of the world are always going to have the budget to hire the extra help, but if you’re just starting out, you’ll still be able to appeal to the masses if your videos are shot correctly and edited well.
Check out some of the mid-tier social influencers on YouTube. They use vibrant, catchy thumbnails, well researched (and not stuffed) keywords in their video description, and they are well shot.
Cinematography and editing are important, so check out the competition and make sure your videos look like them, or better.
Structure Your Videos
Even before you shoot and edit your videos, you need to have a script and/or storyboard.
That’s right, you get to be your very own director.
There’s nothing worse than “winging it” in a video campaign. You don’t “wing” other aspects of marketing, so why do it here?
Following a script means less rambling and more quality content. Story-boarding helps with pacing and ensures that your viewers are being engaged all the way through.
Finally, rehearse the script until it’s imprinted in your brain. Don’t just rely on an auto-cue.
Share on EVERYTHING
Once you’ve completed your video, it’s imperative to share, share, share.
If your video has been uploaded using a social media site such as Facebook or YouTube, you can easily share this through your other social media accounts.
Snapchat, Whatsapp, blogs, websites, Instagram… You can even put it in your email signature. Make them bang on trend with fun stickers, emojis, hashtags and filters.
Sharing your video through more than one platform will also gain you more exposure and interaction from your audience.
Know Your Target Audience
Knowing the audience you want to target is the best way to build your client base.
Keep an eye out for up to date trends that will relate to your prospective client’s age groups, interests and habits and use this to your advantage.
Using a popular song, the latest craze or a popular celebrity phrase can all help with attracting new and existing clients to your business.
Also, look at the tone of voice you are using. Is it suitable for a younger audience?
Encourage Audience Interaction
Videos are a great way to interact with your clients on a regular basis and make them feel valued.
You can ask questions and ask for feedback in the comments section, create ‘how to’ guides or offer small rewards for sharing your content. You could even get them involved in the actual videos, depending on your business.
Gaining audience interaction will also encourage your company to gain more exposure.
People liking, commenting and sharing your work is basically free marketing.
Video marketing is quickly becoming the biggest way to engage your existing customers and bring in new ones. Follow this guide and we’re sure you’re video content will be bringing the customers in no time.
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