Video is King. Aside from many analytic tangibles, as small business owners, social media is the one affordable and effective way to market ourselves. We all do it: the tweet, the ‘on-the-job-selfie’ and the now seemingly endless vertical videos.
How ironic is it that I am using a blog entry in advocating the use of video over the written word? Life is funny.
Statistics overwhelmingly show, people engage with a video over any other form of social media post.
Video drives a 157% increase in organic traffic from search engines
Videos up to 2 minutes long get the most engagement.
Video on a landing page can increase conversions by 80% or more.
Native videos on Facebook have 10 times higher reach compared to YouTube links. *source: www.wordstream.com
People would rather SEE what you do, than be told. So why are you NOT using video? The common answer will be its too expensive. Every one of you owns a smartphone. So that myth is debunked. It’s better than affordable, its free! Did I just talk my way out of a job?
In the right conditions, the video cameras on today’s smartphones are decent. Laptops have webcams built in, as do tablets. Like a lot of self-promotion, all it takes is a little bit of time, a little creativity and some tips from a video-guy.
Behind The Scenes of SOAR-TV
You now have it in your mind that you will create some video blogs (vlogs) for your social media. Excellent! Start by considering what products or services you offer, and how you may use video to show people you an “expert”.
You want to leave the viewer with the answer to the question, “why would I hire you?”. You might want to consider some simple “how-to’s”, or you may want to show off some of your creations.
Give a tip! Do a review of a related product! The key is to populate your social media channels with relevant video. Kittens, puppies and inspirational stories are great, but they are not relevant to a professional social media channel.
You can shoot videos whenever you have time. But the most efficient way is to shoot many at once so that you can plan to release them over time and they will all have the same “look and feel”. Book off half a day and just create videos!
Plan to change outfits for each video so people don’t KNOW you shot them all at once. Once you have content for a few videos, you will want to set yourself up in a space with decent lighting and sound.
Clap your hands (clap on…clap off) – if there is echo, the room is too lively, and your sound will not be clear. Find a quiet space or a “dry room” as we call it ‘in the biz’.
For lighting, consider a room with natural light, but DO NOT SHOOT INTO IT. Overhead fluorescents are terrible and cause all kinds of shadows on your face – and they tint everything green. Some CFL’s produced soft, white light. They are ok. If you want to shoot outdoors, an overcast day is IDEAL lighting. The clouds diffuse and soften the sunlight so there are no shadows, and you won’t be squinting or needing to wear sunglasses – another alternative is shoot in a shady area. Avoid direct sunlight.
Now…camera position is a biggee. Many self-shot videos I see are done from a laptop. So, the person is sitting at their desk or at a table, with their webcam facing up at them. Ideally, you want the lens at your eye level so you are connecting with your viewer. If you are using a webcam, place it on something that will elevate it to your eye level. If you are doing the smartphone-selfie, hold the phone with your arm parallel to the floor AND, (wait for it) rotate your hand 90 degrees so that your camera position is…….you guessed it, horizontal! You want your video to fill the frame. Other options would be placing the camera on a table, shelf or stationary object that can act in place of a tripod.
When you shoot a person’s face, their eyes should occupy space about 1/3 down from the top of the screen. Visualize the frame in horizontal thirds. Your eyes should be in line with that line across the top third of the screen. That means there should be very little visible over your head. A shot from the chest-up is perfect framing for a vlog – just remember that “rule of thirds” as it will help you frame not only your vlog, but photos and videos you will expertly be shooting after the fact! PLUS, shooting at that distance keeps you close enough that the mic on the device should hear you without need for shouting.
Do a couple of tests first and make any adjustments you feel you need. I normally shoot people at least 3 times…once just to get a feel for the script. A 2nd time to run through any adjustments, and hopefully by the 3rd take the talent is comfortable and can deliver the information clean. Some of you will be one-take-wonders! That’s awesome! Shoot it again anyway so you have an option. The last thing you want is to record a series of videos, only to notice you don’t like how you look or sound.
The next step is post your videos. This is easy – every channel has their own app with a posting feature. But be wary, they all have varying time limits. If you keep your video to 60sec or less, it will work across all the platforms (twitter, facebook, Instagram etc). The key is once you have posted the videos, to add hashtags to the descriptions. This will make your video “Searchable”. People subscribe to certain hashtags. Do not hashtag words that nobody will look for. For instance, you may hashtag a video as #howto. This means anybody searching for how-to videos may see your post, watch it, and even LIKE it. They may like it so much they start to follow your channel. Don’t stop there, keep adding more hashtags that are relevant to what you are posting. Make it as ‘searchable’ as can be. Creating a following will take time. But think of it as planting a seed. It will take time for it to grow into a full tree. But it will if you keep feeding it.
These are a few basic tips to get the most out of your self-shot videos. Without bias, video is a must for every business if you are trying to turn your followers into customers. Depending on time constraints you may feel it’s best to have someone take care of all the filming details for you and this is where I come in. In less than a day we can shoot professional looking content for your website and social media. You’ll receive it edited and ready to post at your discretion!
We want to thank Guest Blogger and Video Producer Extraordinaire, Piero Marinelli from Marinelli Media! If you have questions or comments, feel free to contact him