In 2010, we were all challenged to think more creatively about our businesses—it was crucial to staying afloat as the economy took its unpredictable turns. Many of the trends that came out of this Renaissance-like period will continue to blossom in 2011. First up is Web Video.
I don’t have to tell you how BIG this one is right now—but I’ll just say this: the #1 activity people are doing online these days is watching videos. Want to know why?
Web video is a great way to stimulate the senses of your audience. Each of us absorbs information differently. Some people learn better by hearing, others by seeing, and still others by reading. So if you aren’t yet thinking about ways to market with video, you’re ignoring a very compelling communication channel.
So why isn’t EVERY one creating a Web video presence? A few reasons I hear from my clients are:
- You don’t like being in front of a camera.
- You don’t have the technical competency to shoot, edit and post video footage.
- You can’t afford to buy the equipment and software you think you need.
Well, the great news is, making a Web video does not require expensive gear, tech-geek prowess, or you to magically morph into the perfect TV persona.
I’ve broken down the process into 4 easy steps, so you can get a Web video up in no time!
STEP 1: Examine Your Goods
If you own a digital camera, you’re already equipped with all you need to film a Web video. Most digital cameras have a video feature, and you might want to check your cell phone as well—a lot of the new models shoot video. But for best results, pick up a solid, small video camera like the Flip Mino, which shoots and then plugs right into your computer for instant upload to your desktop. They are less than $200.
STEP 2: Shoot to Minimize Errors
To keep your editing process simple, I highly suggest breaking up your shoots into small chunks versus doing one long take. That way you reduce your chance of errors and you won’t have to bother with cutting out parts that are boring, or have any blunders.
Here’s how to segment out your video: Let’s say you have an intro, then point #1, point #2, Point #3, the pitch, then contact information. Write up a loose script that you can follow as you shoot each take, or keep an outline nearby so you can reduce room for errors. In Step 3, you’ll see how beautifully these short takes will work with transition slides to pull together a really polished video.
Wear solid colors that pop, and powder your face if your skin gets shiny. And a big time-saving tip: Try to shoot more than one video at once. Often what takes the most time is all the setup, so you’ll save time in the end. (And ladies, why not only do your hair and makeup once?)
STEP 3: Create Slides to Aid Your Message (or Replace You)
PowerPoint slides are a great way to elevate the quality of your videos, and it’s also perfect for those of you who are too shy to get in front of the camera. If this is you, all you need to do is put together a nice-looking PowerPoint presentation and narrate over as you click through your presentation.
Let’s say you do want to be the star. PowerPoint slides are a great way to cleanly transition between your points and reinforce your key messages (like your pitch, your Website, etc.).
A basic slide setup would look like:
1. Introduction Slide (include your topic, name, Web site)
2. Title Sequences – this gives your video a sense of structure, as you present the information (ex. Lesson #1, Question #1, Problem #1, etc). Keep this to a minimum though, maybe 2 to 3 max.
3. Call to Action (Tell your viewers what to DO next. Should they go to a certain web page to learn more? Call your toll-free number? Click on a link elsewhere on the page the video will be posted on?)
STEP 4: Edit Your Video Easily
These days, there are many free, user-friendly options for editing your video. Two popular and simple ones are Microsoft Movie Maker and Apple iMovie. Take an hour or two to go through some of the built-in tutorials and you’ll be uploading a stellar sales video in no time!
List All the Ways You Can Use Video Now
A few ideas are: for your home page as a welcome/intro to your site, explaining a specific service or product, driving traffic from Facebook and YouTube to your website, motivating people to sign up for your teleseminar or webinar, or as a thank you message to your clients. And that’s just a start!© Copyright 2010 Ali Brown