I received a challenge last week when I was visiting local small business CEOs to find out what they wanted to do differently this coming year to help them increase their sales.
Many want to increase the use of video for their website as well as their social media marketing. They asked for tips on creating high-quality video marketing content on a low budget.
I directed them to a SCORE content partner who shared some of their expertise. Drew Gula is a Marketing Copywriter at Soundstripe where he helps clients put together sound and video to produce a high quality product. Here are some of his tips.
Developing high-quality video marketing content is something every business should be working towards. After all, video content is much more shareable than blog posts or images (up to 1200% more shareable), and video marketing has the best ROI, according to 52% of marketers.
All you have to do is hire a production team – producer, filmmaker, editor, sound engineer, etc. – and buy $30,000 worth of equipment. It’s not too much, right?
It’s not too much if you’re working with a big budget or have an in-house creative team. But for anyone with a small budget, it is unrealistic to hire a handful of film specialists or invest in expensive equipment. You may not even have the funds to outsource to an agency.
But there’s good news here: you don’t have to completely cancel video marketing. In fact, you might already have everything you need to create high-quality video marketing on a startup budget. All you really need are a few basic tools and some creative ideas.
1. Use available materials
The latest iteration of smartphones puts powerful cameras right in your pocket, and you’ve probably seen awesome videos on YouTube or Facebook that were shot exclusively on an iPhone or Galaxy.
Don’t worry about the $10,000 camera you don’t have. Don’t buy an expensive drone or lighting kit. Don’t feel like you have to rent gear just to capture footage.
If you really want to get specialized equipment, you can find iPhone videography accessories to help you out. This will be your easiest – and cheapest – way to achieve the “big budget production” look without having to spend your entire budget.
2. Find the right tone and style
Video quality is important, and don’t let anyone try to convince you otherwise. Everyone has stopped watching a video with bad sound, bad lighting, or bad visuals.
But you’ve also probably stopped watching a polished, professional video out of boredom. That’s because presentation matters too.
In other words, don’t focus on cinematic drone close-ups if your audience wants “floating-head” video. And don’t do comedy sketches if your viewers want to be inspired.
Only you know what your audience wants. And if you live up to their expectations, viewers will often overlook certain technical “issues” while you develop your production skills.
3. Make good use of data
Digital marketing is about collecting data and learning from it. So it only makes sense that you take the same approach in your video marketing process. It also gives you a track to test things out as you continue to produce and post videos.
Most social media sites provide basic analytics data to content creators. But you can invest in things like TubeBuddy, Unbox Social, or Sprout Social to get deeper insights and track engagement across different channels.
The point here is simple: take your digital marketing knowledge and find ways to use it with video content. The exact processes will be different, and you’ll likely need new tools to collect and interpret the data, but it’s a great way to increase your ROI on a shoestring budget.
4. Take advantage of web tools
Living in the digital age means that if there is something you want to do, you can probably find a tool for it on the internet. And that certainly extends to video production.
There are thousands of startups and small businesses that don’t have the budget to tackle high-quality video marketing content, and so there are thousands of apps and web tools that simplify the process to a fraction of the cost.
Some popular tools that work for small teams and solo filmmakers are Studiobinder (production management), Biteable (animation tool), and Soundstripe (stock media content).
5. Build your video content strategy
A solid content strategy is about pairing creative ideas with data-driven insights.
You already know how valuable video can be for your business. Now all you have to do is follow these tips and start incorporating video content into your strategies, whether it’s simple social media content or a scripted promotional video.
Either way, you have everything you need to create high-quality video marketing content on a startup budget.
Dean Swanson is a SCORE Certified Volunteer Mentor and past SCORE Chapter President, District Director and Regional Vice President for the North West Region.