Read a great newsletter from the folks at BizActions about how using videos can enhance your brand. Video, as a marketing medium, is especially important given the high-tech world in which we live. It also recognizes that people have different ways of learning or being engaged by content. Some people like to read their information, some like to hear it while driving and others enjoy videos. A good marketing and communications plan has all of these elements.
What the newsletter article doesn’t emphasize enough is the role that video, or more specifically your own YouTube channel, can have a dramatic impact on where your firm lies in the search engine rankings. YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world (behind google). That is people go to YouTube and search. Sometimes they search for videos of cats, other times they search for “how-to” videos. And it’s these how-to videos you need to be creating. The other benefit of your own YouTube channel is that you will appear more often in google like searches – pushing out the competition!
But back to the article. The good news is that your videos don’t need to be Spielberg-esque productions, and BizActions offered a couple of ideas to get you started.
1. Script and Content
Develop content that you find interesting. If you are interested in the topic, it will show through loud and clear on the screen. Great videos are often scripted and rehearsed in advance, but spontaneous and impromptu reactions from staff, clients or strangers frequently have the highest online appeal. A solid strategy is to do a combination of both formats. Interviews of company executives are an excellent way to grant your audience “behind the scenes” footage – be the first to break the news about upcoming changes to your viewers. Consider taking the most important piece of an article (in one minute or less) and discussing its implications on screen. Or reviewing the highlights of a current event or pending legislation.
- Remember your audience is coming to you to learn. They have searched for ‘tax help,’ so make sure your content teaches them something, not just sells them something.
- Do develop a script and rehears it until it sounds natural.
2. Lighting and Direction
Your video should be shot with the best available lighting, sound, focus and steadiness of the camera. Be mindful of controlling background noise when you can, such as turning off a television or radio if it’s not part of your scene. Have fun with the creative aspects – put on your Director’s cap when determining what to capture and how to capture it.
- Buy a tripod – a good one shouldn’t cost more than $50.
- Maybe also buy a lavaliere microphone for best sound quality. It doesn’t need to be wireless but you’ll notice a dramatic improvement.
- Make sure your video reflects who you and your firm are. For example if you’re not a formal suit wearing firm, then please don’t wear a suit in the video.
Brevity is the gold standard. One minute and thirty seconds is the optimal length for web videos, and less than one minute is usually even better. If you have five minutes of high quality content, it will likely be more appealing if published as multiple shorter productions. A series of brief, concise and compelling videos will help your brand more than one long video that won’t be able to maintain viewership and attention. Don’t get too fancy with editing tricks. Your audience will forgive amateurish aspects of your video production, provided that the content is interesting and engaging. Be sure to publish video that makes you smile and makes you proud. What is in your video is more important than how flashy it is.
- There is some good editing software out there for the do-it-yourselfers, however this might be where you want to spend some money; perhaps on a training course for someone in the firm.
4. Embrace Serendipity
One thing to remember when developing your own video content is that you just never know how good it may turn out. Sometimes, you get lucky and unintended circumstances contribute to your content having such wide appeal that it gets passed along and shared by many people. Embrace the idea that your videos need not be “perfect” and that you may not fully understand the elements that help a video “go viral”.
My only additional comment would be to ’key word’ it correctly. Think of the terms that people be using to find these answers.