It is a common perception that having video on your website means that you have to hire a professional to come in and do it for you. That's not always true - depending on the purpose of the video and what you are trying to achieve with the video, you can get away with producing it yourself.
Online video is rapidly growing in demand and popularity, and there is a lack of good video content - only few businesses are doing it and even fewer are doing it well, mainly because people think it is hard and are perhaps scared of it. But video is becoming a great and easy way to improve your website results. Read our article on the benefits of online video.
We have a few steps for you to consider when making a video:
1. Plan the content
Have a plan in place for the purpose of each of your videos. Some great examples include:
- Video testimonials - Your customers endorsing your products and services can build trust and credibility
- Video tutorial on how to use your products - How to use and get the best out of your products. If you have a blog, you could do regular features on different products. For example, Belly Beyond, an e-business dedicated for mums and babies have a dedicated blog for their videos and use it to run tutorials on products.
- A video explanation of your service - Great for conveying a complex service and making it easy for your prospects to understand what you do.
- A video tour of your facilities - Great for showing prospects around your accommodation, day spa, sports club etc.
- Video reviews of your product - Get in an expert or do it yourself. Publish regular reviews of your products such as wine, movies, books, games etc.
- Make it social - Get your customers to share with each other through video - for example, Giapo.
- Expert interviews - Get opinions and advice from the experts in your field. This can be someone within your company as well.
2. Make it unique and memorable
Make your video something memorable. It can be something funny, maybe something a bit bizarre, it can be a useful post on something that adds value or maybe even a controversial topic - but make it very easy to follow so the user can absorb the information quickly. For example:
- An interesting environment and background - For example, The Wine Vault guys often review their wines in a great cosy environment, getting drunk and talking about wine :-)
- Experts having a debate
- Make sure you the video to remove any unnecessary pauses
- Use scripts to ensure that you say the right things and don't forget anything. This will also ensure that the content will not include anything you shouldn't really be talking about.
3. Set up a YouTube channel
You really want to embed the video on your website and make it very easy for your users to watch. You want the video to load very quickly and you want it to play smoothly and without hassle. The best way to do this is to use a third party to host your video such as Youtube, that everyone is familiar with.
YouTube is the most popular video hosting site which is free for users. To start using this for your business, set up a channel with all the business details and also explain what the channel will be used for. Once this is set up you can upload your videos to this channel as soon as they are ready.
Hosting your video on YouTube can also help with market your video because:
- Google rewards pages with multimedia rich content - for a Google search, Google likes to serve up interesting and rich content (i.e., not just text, but images and videos). Website pages with video included on them are often favoured over a plain text result.
- Google including direct links to video in the search results. This means that you will not only have your website (with video) featured highly on the search results but your video itself (on YouTube) will feature in the search results.
- YouTube itself is the second largest search engine after Google. If you don't have a video on YouTube it will not be found.
Once your video is on the YouTube channel, you can embed the videos on your Zeald website and also promote it using social media.
4. Choose a champion
When looking for a champion, you might want to choose someone from your business that is comfortable with talking in front of a camera. But you may find that someone who is an expert in your field and is passionate comes across very well on video. Don't limit yourself to just one speaker - you can use multiple people if you are getting different opinions on a topic or even covering different areas of expertise.
5. Get a camera
There are plenty of options for cameras that can take videos in the market at the moment and most of them have inbuilt microphones so the audio is recorded through them.
For a more formal recording where you have a dedicated environment, you can use a heavier camera that produces high quality video. It's a good idea to invest in a tripod too because that will make it easier to film for long periods of time (especially if you want a few takes to begin with), rather than someone holding the camera in the right angle for a while. Plus it will make the video a bit more professional and you can do away with the camera man.
For an impromptu interview type video, even hand held smart phones like iPhones and Android handsets can do the job. They can be great if you are filming something off the cuff as they can add a certain rawness which will add to the effect. Just make sure that there is plenty of light and no loud background noises if you are using a phone to film.
6. Keep it human
Sometimes a video with a certain rawness can come across more human and personal that a highly polished commercial video. People know it is not an actor, that it is a real person from your company, it is coming directly from the expert.... and it has a personal feel, builds trust and credibility. And it doesn't look like a commercial advert. But in saying that....
7. Bad video warning
As mentioned earlier, depending on the purpose of the video, the quality of the video can have a big impact especially if you are using the video to showcase your products or something that requires better quality. The video ultimately becomes a reflection of your business and a badly made video with bad sound quality and unclear video can actually be harmful as it reflects negatively on your business. Make sure the video is high quality and adds to the online experience of your visitors, not put them off.
Consider using a professional
Doing video yourself also means that it can take up time, resource and there is a cost involved in getting all the right equipment. Of course if you are looking at doing many videos for your blog with different topics regularly it is still worth it for you to do it yourself. But if you are using a video as a one off resource to load onto your home page or somewhere on your website to explain your products, services or as great video testimonials - something that usually won't change for a few months, it pays to use a professional. You might find that this option is much easier and you can achieve really great results (even the raw effect) when working with a professional. Please refer to our directory of video specialists.
Just do it.
Pick up the camera and give it a go today..... you might find that it is easier than you think.