We live in a content-driven world. From Facebook to Twitter and Instagram to TikTok, our society has a voracious appetite for new content. With the touch of a button, we can share anything we want to with the entire world. But how do we take advantage of that ability within our businesses? During the COVID lockdown, I saw so many entrepreneurs taking to social media with videos of them doing anything and everything. Whether they’re meant to entertain or to educate, business owners everywhere need to understand how to use this tool. We need to be shooting video for business marketing!
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One of the beautiful things about social media and smartphones, for today’s business owner, is the ability to effortlessly connect with our client base. We can pull our phone out of our pocket, open our favorite social media app, and within seconds, broadcast ourselves (and our businesses) to the world. But is it really as simple as that? I can tell you from firsthand experience that not all of us were meant to be videographers.
In our zeal to promote our businesses, we often sacrifice the quality of the content we are pushing. This isn’t to say that we shouldn’t take to Facebook Live, Instasnap, or Gramchat to promote our businesses. According to my dear friends and professional videographers, Kaleb Buckner and Ryan Stanley, we are winning just by pressing record. However, there are important tips to consider when shooting video for business marketing.
Before we can effectively market to our customers, we must know who they are. You know, day time programming is full of soap operas, as we now call them. But do you know how they got that name? Believe it or not, it was because of their marketing. You see, advertising companies would always place ads for laundry and dish detergent (soap) during the day time dramas. They did this because they knew that their target audience was the stay at home mother, the homemakers. They were the most likely to purchase their products so they were the ones that they put their products in front of. As a result, the television shows that these companies sponsored became known as soap operas.
It’s a simple concept with very sophisticated tactics. Know your product or service and understand who would be most interested in it. Once you’ve identified your target market, you can begin finding clever and creative ways to put your product in front of them. Okay, so, how do we do that? Well, if your target demographic is the young professional, it makes more sense to post your content to a platform such as LinkedIn than to Snapchat. Basically, if you’re a fisherman, follow the fish!
So, we know that we have a target demographic and we understand that we need to put our content in the places where we have the highest engagement with them. But how do we make quality videos that get them to stop and take notice? Well, for starters, if you’re using your phone to record, don’t turn your phone sideways. Remaining in portrait mode is better suited for an audience that views most of their social media video content on their phones.
Another important thing to remember is that you’ve got to hook your audience in the first seven seconds or they’re gone. So, no more starting your videos with footage of your dog saying hi to everyone. They need to know, immediately, what the purpose of your video is. With that said, it’s actually a really good idea to already have at least a rough idea of what you’re going to cover during the video. Today’s market is so accustomed to instant gratification that if you don’t grab their attention right away, they’ll never stick around to hear what you’ve got to say. Therefore, when shooting video for business marketing, be intentional!
There is a little more leeway with the seven-second rule when going live on Facebook or Instagram because people aren’t expecting a “produced” video. But you really need to keep the energy high and get to your main point quickly. On the other hand, if you’re going for a more polished and produced video, the aforementioned seven-second rule is an absolute necessity. Most people aren’t going to stick around for a professional-looking video that lacks professional content delivery.
As many of you know, I shoot videos for The Financially Simple podcast on a very regular basis. In addition to these, I like to hop on Facebook Live from time to time with helpful tips and words of encouragement. Well, my friends, Ryan and Kaleb, went back and watched all of my videos across a fiscal year and they had some helpful advice regarding my image and appearance. What they told me was that I looked best in white, black, or blue and that I needed to get a tan. I have to tell you, it was a little humbling to have someone telling me how I should look. But they were right. Whether we like it or not, people respond more positively to attractive people and those who have a polished appearance.
Believe it or not, the color of your shirt really matters. The wrong color or pattern can drastically impact the camera’s color banding. So, it really is best to stick with solid whites, blacks, and jewel tones. Additionally, trying different camera angles can help you to find just the right light and angle that gives you the most flattering look.
In the traditional ways of television and radio advertising, there are some pretty strict guidelines for how long an ad can be. Typically, the allotted time would be 15 or 30 seconds. Well, that’s basically the same rule of thumb when advertising on social media platforms, but there are some exceptions.
If you can’t communicate what you’re trying to sell in 30 seconds or less, there’s a good chance that you will experience viewership dropoffs. However, Facebook actually promotes videos that are in the 1-3 minute range because it keeps people on their platform longer. So, you’ll need to make a careful decision when it comes to timing. If you go longer than 30 seconds on your advertisement video, you might lose viewers before reaching the end. On the other hand, if you can get in that “sweet spot” where the platform promotes your video, you may actually reach more people. If you’re paying for the advertisement, it’s probably best to stick to the 30-second rule. But, if you’re just going live on Facebook, it may be a better option to try to have your video promoted by them.
When it comes to shooting video for business marketing, business owners have a choice to make. Do it ourselves or hire professionals? I don’t think that there is a right or wrong answer to this question. Both can be effective and beneficial to your business. Ultimately, I think this decision comes down to whether doing it yourself is the best use of your time. As long as you can do it quickly and effectively, without disrupting your business, then go ahead and do it yourself. However, if you find that you’re just spending way too much time on it and you could be making more money by working on something else, then it’s probably a good idea to call in the professionals.
I recently used the analogy of trying to save money by mowing your own lawn. While it may cost you $100 dollars to have your lawn mown by a professional, you lose more in potential earnings than you end up saving. The same principle can be applied to the choice of shooting video on your own or allowing a professional to do it for you. You might even get a larger return on your investment.
So, with the understanding that it sometimes makes more sense to hire a professional, is there any reason to have a mix of professional and self-shot videos? Absolutely! You probably want to leave anything on your website to the professionals. But creating an active and engaging social media presence can be a great way of directing new traffic to your website. Once they’re on your site and see the ultra-professional video, that generates even more buy-in.
Creating your own social media content allows your target clientele to develop a connection with you. Even if you’ve never met, they begin to feel like they can trust you and that they know you. Then they come to your site and see this clean, polished, and professional video content, that still has your message and voice, and that’s where they go from “followers” to clients.
The point of shooting these videos isn’t to become internet famous. No. Instead, we are all just shooting video for business marketing. So, are there specific types of videos that can effectively take people from casual observers to paying clients? There most certainly are. In fact, there’s a psychology to effective marketing. With that in mind, there are five types of videos that your business needs to have in order to successfully funnel new clients into your organization.
Now, as I have already mentioned, I was fortunate enough to be able to take a moment with my dear friends, Ryan and Kaleb, to get all of the great information for this blog. They are the owners of Always Abounding in Knoxville, Tennessee and they really do incredible work. But more than that, they truly care about helping small business owners to grow their companies through marketing. If you’re looking for professional video work, these guys kill it on a daily basis.
Even if you’re only interested in the DIY model, they have provided some helpful insights for business owners, with their video series, The 5 Videos Your Company Needs. Each video is short and engaging, but also provides excellent information for business owners. They also email them to you over the span of several days, so that you have time to really absorb the information without feeling overwhelmed. So, check them out! You could find some great new ideas for reaching your consumer base.
Friends, marketing your business is challenging. It really is. But it’s an absolute necessity if you want to thrive in today’s market. Understanding how to reach the people who are most likely to use your products or services is so important. Otherwise, your simply throwing spaghetti against the wall and hoping that it sticks. Marketing in that way is a huge waste of time, energy, and money.
I hope that the tips we’ve provided you with will help you to more effectively engage with your target demographic, enabling your business to grow. One of the most important things to remember when you’re shooting video for business marketing is to be yourself and have fun. After all, you are your business and people respond to genuine sincerity.
I know life is hard. This year has been tough. Video marketing can be complex and frustrating. But it doesn’t have to be. With these helpful tips, shooting video for business marketing can at least be financially simple. Hey, let’s go out and make it a great day!
If you have questions about these or other marketing strategies, please, contact us! The business experts at Financially Simple have helped thousands of business owners just like you, to effectively market and affordably market their businesses.