Cut the costs, not the quality.
If you’re like most companies, video content is skyrocketing on your priority list. But tight timelines and even tighter budgets can stand in the way of getting that content produced.
You don’t have to spend a fortune to create amazing video content.
As the owner of a Winnipeg video production company called Dirty T Shirt Productions, I work with companies every day who want to tell their story through video and connect with customers. Recently, I went behind the scenes of a TV commercial shoot with MTS to show you exactly what goes into the making of a large corporate advertising production. Check out the awesome on-set experience here.
But of course, not every business is in the market to advertise at that scale – and new technology has opened the floodgates to making video production accessible. With the equipment you already own, a little bit of creativity and these helpful tips, you can create high-quality videos with a limited budget.
1. Grab your phone
There is a time to call in professionals for a high-end production video, but there are many opportunities to roll up your sleeves and use equipment and tools you have on hand. Just grab your smartphone and film what you do on a regular basis with the world. Your customers are likely to find the behind the scenes footage of your business interesting.
Gary Vaynerchuk, social media megastar and owner of global marketing agency VaynerMedia, talks about the idea of ‘documenting, not creating.’ He explains that, “if you’re passionate about something in your world, you can make a big difference.” But Vaynerchuk cautions that people sometimes get worried about not having fancy equipment and lighting instead of just getting out there and creating something interesting. The moral of the story: just go for it.
2. Get in front of the camera
Get over your fears and become the star. The hardest video that you ever make will be your first one. Everyone thinks they look silly on video at first, but with experience comes poise. Once you get comfortable in front of the camera you will have a critical advantage over your competitors, so don’t wait another day.
3. Know your message
Create a goal and a call to action for your video. Why should people watch and what do you want them to do next? Make your goal the central theme of your video. If you have a second goal, then split it out into a second video.
If you’re calling in a professional video production company to tell your story have a clear understanding of your desired message and make sure it aligns with your current marketing strategy. If you can convey your desired messaging to a production company they will be more likely to get it right on the first try.
4. Audio matters
Nothing ruins a video like poor audio quality. If you’re recording your own videos, make sure it’s done in a quiet area and try to position yourself as close as possible to the microphone so that your audio and your message comes in loud and clear.
If you’re recording voice-over to add later, try using headphones with a built-in microphone, and record your voice with a free plug-in like Simple Audio Recorder for Chrome. Recording audio in a carpeted room with soft materials can make the sound much more pleasing.
5. Keep it short and sweet
You’ll often start shooting and realize you have more content than expected. That’s a fantastic problem to have, as it sets you up to produce additional videos that people will click through.
For example, if you’re filming a two-minute testimonial-style video with a handful of your past customers, you can make micro videos from each testimonial. Instead of having just one full-length video you can make many short ones to post on different webpages, blogs and other marketing materials online.
6. Build a community
Think of the audience that will be watching and create content that is relevant to them. It will capture their interest and is more likely to be shared. A great example is when Brandon Realtors Ryan & Jenn Shields did a campaign called “30 in 30,” where they grabbed their smartphone and a selfie stick to profile their 30 favourite spots in Brandon. Sharing their knowledge and passion for the community made for more compelling videos.
7. Don't skip the promotion
I fell in love with YouTube when it was introduced to the world in February 2005. Savvy marketers could finally take advantage of this new video platform to help tell their stories online. Load all your videos to your business YouTube channel and make use of the “embed” feature to insert those videos into your company website and blog. Add annotations to each video to entice viewers to clickthrough to additional material like related videos, special offers or landing pages.
You’ve also likely noticed the rise in the popularity of Facebook videos and this could be a perfect platform to share. Remember that many people will end up watching your video on mute, so be sure to add captions that they can follow without turning on the sound.
Businesses are also having great success promoting their videos on Facebook via paid advertising for as little as $5 per day. For such a nominal amount, you can target a very specific demographic based on geographic location, age, interests and many other factors.
For more inspiration, watch these corporate videos highlights from our website and see how you can easily profile your company and business community. Start shooting, publishing and promoting your content, and you’ll quickly win over an audience who cares as much about your story as you.
Don't miss the behind the scenes of the MTS TV commercial shoot below.
About the Author
Steve Langston is the owner of Dirty T Shirt Productions, a Manitoba company that uses video and the Internet to help tell stories online. Since the company was founded in 2010, their documentaries have been seen across Canada on channels like CBC, RadX and MTS Stories From Home. They’ve also worked with brands like Dauphin’s Countryfest, Birchwood Automotive Group, Assiniboine Community College and many more of the province’s most visible companies.More Content by Steve Langston