At the risk of stating the obvious, companies are constantly looking for ways to talk to their potential clients and customers more effectively, and a lot are now recognising that using video is a great way to reach out to the world. If you want proof of this, take a look down the feed on LinkedIn or Facebook and notice how many videos there are these days. Unfortunately, a lot of these videos could be much better if they followed a few simple rules.
1. You may be using a small mobile phone, but try to use the same rules as big productions
Think about things like your background and lighting as well as where you are positioned on the screen. Take that quick look down your LinkedIn or Facebook feed again, and you will start to see regular, very avoidable, mistakes. From trying to make video with noisy backgrounds to unflattering camera positions, most of these problems are avoidable. It really is worth the investment to have a little basic training in the first principles. We can do this for you, but there are some great examples online as well. No, you are not a filmmaker, but that doesn’t excuse not putting in a little bit of effort to do it right.
2. That said, don’t try to overproduce either
Video can be very time consuming, particularly if you have big ideas that require a lot of editing. It is much better to do the basics well, keep your titles simple, decide on relevant content, and so on, then you only need to call in the professionals if you want anything more complex. The next tip explains why this is so important.
3. Don’t just talk, talk in story
Human beings are the only animal that uses narrative to communicate. Use that unique view of the world when you make your video. The best ‘homemade’ videos have a clear beginning that leads to an easily understood message and wraps up with a call to action ending. Every time you step outside this simple formula, you are risking reducing the effectiveness of your video. Once you are used to making your videos, maybe you could think about doing some ‘thought leader’ style content where you discuss relevant issues. Engaging videos need engaging content. Think ‘one story, one video’ – the next tip is one reason why you need to do this.
4. Practice first so you can keep it short and keep it lean if you want attention
All marketing requires you have the attention of the target audience, but over long or rambling video loses it very quickly. You will see various suggestions about the most effective video run time, and they are probably all correct. There is an old film maker’s mantra which is ‘In late, out early’ and it means get into what you are saying as late as possible and stop as soon as you have said what you need to say. To put it a little more bluntly, ‘don’t waffle, just get on with it then shut up’. If you do this, your video will usually create the right runtime itself.
5. Integrate, integrate, integrate, then integrate some more
The way we use video has and still is, changing. It offers a world of possibilities to integrate it into all your practice. How-to videos, general company information, personal recommendations, and meet the team all spring immediately to mind, but there are many others.
Making a good video is not a dark art that can only be mastered by the film making wizards who are the holders of secret knowledge. Just like any other marketing asset, of course there is a point where you need to call in people with very specific knowledge and insight, but to get a good, serviceable video that does what you need, is a matter of a few simple principles like these. Which is why it is so frustrating to see so many easily avoided mistakes on social media feeds.
One final thought on video. Of all the above tips, the last one is probably the most important. Integrating video into your wider approach to marketing and the way you present yourself to the world is becoming more important all the time. Many recruitment companies, for example, are turning to tools such as Odro or Hinterview to help them really integrate video into their practice, and it is paying dividends in both brand awareness and meeting their growth goals.
There really is a lot more to say on the subject of video, so we will come back to it again, but for now, hopefully, these tips will give you an overview.