23 / 03 / 23

How to Make Videos for Marketing your Business

They say a picture paints a thousand words. High praise, right? Try saying 1,000 words one after the other; that’ll take you the better part of an afternoon! Your standard video typically runs at 24 frames per second – in other words, 24 pictures per second. So, if one picture paints a thousand words, what about 24 pictures? You get where I'm going with this. Videos are a powerful tool for marketing your business because they allow you to say more with fewer words.

Think about the last YouTube ad or TV commercial that had you glued to your screen. Chances are, it wasn't loaded with tonnes of information; the best ads are simple, clever and are full of stunning visuals that get the message across quickly and clearly. And that's the beauty of using videos for your marketing campaigns.

Is it any wonder then that video marketing has taken off with such gusto? During the pandemic, the average Briton is estimated to have spent around a third of their day (or at least five hours each day) watching videos.

What do you reckon that is in pictures? Mind = Blown.

This is up from one and a half hours pre-pandemic and hasn’t yet fallen back to this level since (that is if it ever will).

It appears that now more than ever, video is here to stay. If you think there are a lot of videos today, buckle your seat belts because there’ll be a whole lot more in the future.

The Importance of Using Videos for Marketing

From a marketing perspective, video is a treasure trove of opportunities.

The use of videos for marketing purposes isn’t anything new, but what’s changed is the medium of video itself. Nowadays, the technology for producing video is more accessible and advanced than ever before. Furthermore, we can now contain and export our videos with something as ubiquitous as a smartphone, shareable to almost any hosting platform imaginable.

This newly revivified form of video is a tool that essentially has both infinite power and infinite reach, and it has totally revolutionised digital marketing.

Video has risen to become the second most popular format of content used on social media platforms to increase audience engagement. YouTube is the second most visited website after Google.com, with Facebook and Twitter rising to third and fourth place having invested a considerable amount of resources into their video hosting.

The mere presence of a video on a webpage is enough to increase its SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) as it increases the likelihood of visitors staying to watch it, with 31% of marketers using video for this very purpose. Even webpages without native uploads are shown to benefit from having videos present.

The line between videos for entertainment and marketing has become so very blurred, and consequently, there are many styles to choose from to market your product or service. Here are just a few you can use.

Types of Videos for Marketing

  • Commercial: The most commonly seen form of video marketing, commercials are easy to learn yet difficult to master. It's difficult to go wrong with a commercial, but the same is true of making commercials that really rock your socks off. Each commercial is as unique as that which they market with the objective being to bring in new customers with a broad appeal, so make sure to only include information that the audience absolutely needs.

    The most successful commercials are those that are memorable. Maybe they have a catchy jingle that you can’t help but hum to or are so bizarre and left field that there’s no mistaking it for a competitor. The sky is the limit with what you can do, so flex those creative muscles of yours!
  • Product Demo: These kinds of videos are ideal for marketing a physical product, and sometimes, the product just speaks for itself. The product demo is your opportunity to showcase your product in full, from its most minute details to its practical applications.

    Your demo should inspire confidence in the customer and answer their fundamental questions: “Why do I need this? What makes it different from its competitors? How do I know if it’s right for me?” Quality footage is essential for success, whether it’s dramatic close-up shots or realistic, staged uses of the product (nothing too contrived or people will think it’s a parody).
  • Social Content: Similar to a commercial, only you’re going to want to tailor it exclusively to social media platforms. Shoot the content in 1080 x 1920 so it conforms to a smartphone screen. You should also capitalise on the very limited time you’ll have, as the average user scrolling through their feed will have an attention span of around 7 seconds. Your content must be bold, impactful, punchy and rapid to hold the attention of as many users as possible.

Choosing a creative style for your videos

That’s not all! In addition to the format of the video, you need to settle on a creative style.

'What’s a creative style', you ask? Put it this way: the format is the skeleton of your video; the structure is there but it needs some substance too. The creative style is the muscle to the format’s bones.

Let’s say you have a commercial, do you want it to be a narrative piece following unnamed characters related to your product somehow? What about a mini-doc (mini-documentary) centred around people whose lives have been impacted by what you provide? An animation? How are you going to relate what you’re marketing to the way you market it?

Now begins the pre-production. From here you’re going to work from the ground up, planning and/or preparing the shoot. This is the most important phase of any video production as you’ll be referring to everything laid down in pre-production as the process develops, so anything written down now is invaluable advice to your future selves.

  1. Outsourcing vs. in-house video production 

    Firstly, you’ll have to decide whether to hire a production company or produce your own video in-house, according to your needs. Video technology has become far more accessible, it’s true, though the scale of the technology owned by dedicated video providers will far and away surpass anything that can be contained within a smartphone (at least for the time being).

    Once again, it comes down to what you can afford vs what you need, do not feel pressured into hiring a whole production company if you’re only looking to create fun, bite-sized social videos for your marketing.
  2. Brainstorming initial ideas for your video

    After this decision, you need to bring all your greatest minds at hand together and collaborate on a brainstorm where you will hammer out the fundamentals of your video. It’s vitally important that you contribute your ideas, no matter how zany or ambitious they might be, and to not shut down (or be shut down by) other ideas that your team brings to the table. Not every idea will manifest in the finished article, but each new idea is a potential core element that can be connected to the ideas of another, offering near-limitless combinations. The rawer the material, the more options you have available to you.

    Should you be working solo, the inverse can also be true. With only the two halves of your own brain to bounce ideas between, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the sheer volume of what you have available to you. Think of the great masters like Da Vinci and Michelangelo, who produced wonders of art with only a handful of tools and resources at their disposal; when such limitations are imposed you may find yourself using those resources with more creativity and getting the absolute most out of the tools to hand. Set your limits with the intention of breaking them.
Videos for marketing need a storyboard to outline your plans
  1. Creating a storyboard

    Once your ideas are down, you should focus on a storyboard. The storyboard is a visual aid to make sure that all parties involved understand what it is that the creative lead can see in their mind’s eye and the general direction that the video should take. They only need to be small doodles with a few captions here and there should anything need describing in more detail, there’s no need for an artistic masterpiece here so long as what is being drawn can be understood by whoever sees it. Using a box to draw in is a massive help here, as it replicates the frame of the camera and makes clear the proportions and focal length for the videographer who will be shooting the video. Use arrows to convey camera movement, and annotate objects if you must, so long as the creative vision is clear.
  2. Organising the shoot

    Now for the main event itself: production. This is the core process of videomaking, everything you planned should be taking place at this stage. Cameras should be emulating what was laid out in the storyboard, audio levels should have read-outs (you want audio to be peaking between -12db and -6db generally speaking), the set and subjects should be well lit with dedicated lighting units. Make sure everyone is quiet on set and well behind the videographers, out of any light so as to not cast shadows etc. Think of the set as a holy place that’s also coated in acid: don’t make a sound and don’t touch anything - look around to make sure you’re not going to bump into anything. No pressure!
  3. Editing videos for marketing: post-production

    Once the video is shot, the post-production begins and the video is edited so that it is suitable for viewing. Unless you’re undertaking this in-house there’s not much to do here except review the process at regular intervals to make sure everything is to your liking.
    If you’re doing the editing in-house, remember to use quality editing software where possible. Pay attention to how long any given shot lasts (keeping the audience’s attention is vital, so show no more than is needed) and make sure the cuts are clean and logical. Add in music that fits the tone and pace of the video, making sure you’re not in breach of copyright if you don’t hold any appropriate licenses. Make sure all the graphic work is behaving correctly and not clashing with any other effects.
  4. Optimising video for SEO

    Remember the spiel about video helping SEO? This is where it comes into play. Once you have the video, you’ll want to make sure the metadata is fit for purpose. Metadata refers to any data that provides information on other data (take a minute to wrap your head around that if you need to). However, in the world of marketing it usually refers to what’s called ‘business metadata’, such as data tags, classifications, keywords and the like. You want to pick around five keywords that describe the video, aiming to make them as relevant as possible (among these be sure to include the business name, product/service name and the video name) to optimise the video to appear in searches that use those keywords.  

    Given that the vast majority of people search for products they want to buy the moment they want it, and that 71% visit the retailer website and app when making their decision, it is crucial that your SEO is in tip-top condition to rank highly in search results and maximise traffic. 

    Think of it in the same way a bank might invest money by loaning money to a business: they are more likely to invest money, and continue investing, if they think their client stands to make more money.  

    In the same way, a search engine will place a webpage higher in the search results if it contains video content, as video content is proven to be more engaging with users and improve their user experience.  

    SEO can be further improved by embedding the video on all relevant platforms available to you, including your website if you have one. Be sure to edit items such as tags and descriptions within these hosts as well as the metadata. Have a think about owned distribution and paid distribution if you have the resources to spare, and…that’s pretty much it!  

    We’ve covered all the whys and hows, now all that’s left is for you to put it into practice and see the results for yourself! 

    If you're looking for help creating eye-catching videos for your business marketing, Formation Media’s video team are on hand to help

Written by Formation Formation