Check out Trada’s other posts in our online marketing series: How to Market Your Business on Facebook, How to Market Your Business on Twitter , How to Market Your Business With a Blog , and How to Market Your Business with Video. If you’re looking to learn more about marketing with video, join Trada on Oct. 20 for a webinar -Right Brains on Demand: Crowdsourcing Video.
Nothing is more intimidating in online marketing than marketing with video. Marketers are wary of all the equipment and technical expertise required and often shy away. No other form of social media marketing is tells a better story than video (case in point: see Trada’s intro video). There are billions of searches on YouTube each month, and it’s important to have content that resonates.
If you find yourselves one of the timid marketers when it comes to video marketing (I know I am), please read below from advice from the experts on how to get started.
Meet the Experts:
- Ben Ruedlinger is the VP of engineering of Wistia, which is video hosting for businesses. Along with his job title, Ben also helps with marketing, customer support, and beer acquisition. You can find him on Twitter at @Ruedlinger and @Wistia.
- Chuck Lepley is a Colorado native who spent 6 years in Los Angeles as a TV Producer before returning to Boulder to pursue an MBA degree in Marketing and Entrepreneurship. In L.A. he was a TV Producer for shows like “On-Air with Ryan Seacrest” and networks including E! and FOX. Chuck now works as the Marketing Manager for Orbotix (Orbotix.com) – the company behind Sphero. Follow him on Twitter at @chucklepley and check out Sphero’s videos.
- Drew Frey runs all things social media for Vail Resorts, suffers from a crippling case of FOMO, and avoids ketchup and mustard at all costs. Follow him on Twitter personally @frewdrew and see him in action at @snowdotcom. Check out SnowDotCom’s videos.
- Peter LaMotte is President of GeniusRocket a creative agency based in Washington DC. First hired by GeniusRocket to run their marketing, Peter eventually became President of the company at which point he changed the business model from a crowdsourcing company running video and design contests, to a creative agency powered by the creativity of vetted professional community. You can find him on Twitter at @peterlamotte and @geniusrocket.
- Sarah Jane Griesemer is the Community Manager at Occipital, a mobile computer vision company, and creators of 360 Panorama. You can find her on Twitter @savvysarahjane and see a video of 360 Panorama.
1. Video marketing is one of the most technically challenging aspects of social media marketing. Where does someone begin to learn video editing?
Chuck Lepley: There are really two ways to go about creating videos for your business. One is the DIY model and the other is to hire someone to do the videoing and editing for you. If you do it yourself it will cost less but your quality will suffer considerably. First, if you’re not using a good camera, you will notice that the video quality is not nearly as good and you do not have the luxury of using someone who knows how to create good lighting to get the best shots. Second, sound quality will not be good. In order to have good sound quality you generally have to use special mics as opposed to mics that are built into a camera. Third, professional videographers/editors are much better at getting the shots they need and then editing those shots together into a concise video. In post-production they can also color correct the video and do a number of other things to increase the overall quality. For Sphero, we do a little of each. When I edit videos on my own I use iMovie and it is fairly intuitive…it just takes a little bit of practice. When we outsource our videotaping and editing we use Damon Arniotes. (Contact Damon at via email) Here are examples of three different ways we have created videos:
Example 1: Shot and edited myself using a standard HD video camera and iMovie for editing
Example 2: Shot myself using a standard HD video camera and edited by Damon Arniotes
Example 3: Shot and edited by Damon Arniotes
Peter Lamotte: I wouldn’t recommend a marketer take on editing any important content themselves. Living in a freelance economy you can find very talented resources to help edit video. These resources are not only affordable, but highly skilled. However, if you are dead set on learning video editing, start slowly with online classes that allow you to pace yourself.
Sarah Jane Griesemer: There are a lot of basic, easy to use video editors available. I’m a fan of iMovie, it’s simple and intuitive for basic editing functions. Plus, if you are lucky enough to live near an Apple store, they actually offer some free introductory classes to both iMovie and Final Cut.
If you’re not on a Mac, YouTube has a web based editor that covers the editing basics (http://www.youtube.com/editor ) and is easy to use. It’s another great place to start.
I think the key is to start simple. You can make a really nice video that conveys your point with minimal editing. Focus on creating a good script and be honest about what you’re capable of in the editing room.
Ben Ruedlinger: I think the key is to start with very simple tools. Software like iMovie (for Mac) and Windows Movie Maker have very simple interfaces that let you focus on crafting your story rather than getting mired down in all of the technical details that one may face using more complex tools. Once you have mastered the simple tools, then work your way up to Adobe Premier or Final Cut Pro.
2. For small-to-medium sized businesses that don’t have big video budgets, what suggestions do you have for video marketing?
Peter Lamotte: For the first time, video content is within the budget range for small to medium sized businesses. First, the brand needs to decide the quality that they are looking for. (Never assume that higher quality means more engagement or sharability.) If you are looking for user generated videos, you can create a contest on your facebook or youtube page which will often create low quality content, but can act as a quick way to engage your customers. You can also turn to smaller agencies and production companies. They tend to have smaller teams but will generate a higher quality of video as compared to contests. In-between lay companies like GeniusRocket, pioneering new agencies powered by the crowd that deliver the control of a traditional agency at a fraction of the cost.
Sarah Jane Griesemer: Keep it simple, keep it simple, keep it simple. Focus on creating valuable, interesting content over fancy effects and big budget production.
Don’t get caught up comparing yourself to others or setting expectations you can’t live up to. Everyone has to start somewhere, and you are going to improve as you go along.
Gary Vaynerchuk has social media superstar status thanks to Wine Library TV, but it didn’t start out a masterpiece. Check out Episode 1. It’s no production masterpiece, but it works. He is incredibly passionate, engaging, and you believe from the start he knows what he is talking about. If you focus on your message, the rest will follow.
Chuck Lepley: Video marketing is different depending on what type of business you are, what your goals are with the videos, and who your audience is. For our company, we’re currently trying to increase awareness and interest in Sphero. We do this by creating videos that showcase Sphero’s capabilities, but that are also fun, engaging and likely to be shared by our audience or picked up by influential bloggers and press. Our biggest successes have been when influencers have reposted our content. Make sure you spend the money if you need to in order to get it right, it will pay off in the long run. Also, people have a short attention span…Try to keep your videos short and concise.
Ben Ruedlinger: People are often surprised out how large the range is for costs on professional video production. We put together a website called 50 Grove that is an market for video producers which tries to help. Basically, 50 Grove lets you see the work of more than 50 video producers and budgets for each of the projects. Here you can easily see examples of videos that cost less than $1,000 as well as videos which cost more than $50,000 to create.
If you have almost no budget, I would recommend checking out some of the screencasting tools like ScreenFlow (for Mac) or Camtasia (for Windows). These tools let you record your screen or a presentation with voiceover and include simple editing tools to make it look extremely professional.
3. What are your recommended steps for creating a video e.g. scripts, editing, etc.?
Peter Lamotte: Always start with a strategic creative brief even if you are creating the content in-house. The brief serves as guardrails for the project. After the brief the script is the next most important aspect of any video. Make sure your script covers all the positioning that you want to cover. Selecting a production process (agency, freelance, etc.) is next, but remember agencies can help with the script as well. Make sure that you select an agency or freelance team that has experience in the style of video you you are creating. Now isn’t the time to take a risk on someone who doesn’t know what they are doing. Finally, editing is often taken care of by the agency or production team. Just make sure that you have been clear with how you want to the final product to look, and return to your creative brief for guidance.
Chuck Lepley: My recommendations for creating a video are to know what you want and plan accordingly. If the videos are interviews or include dialogue, make sure you know what audio you want for the final video and make sure to get additional broll footage to use when editing the video together. For example, in an interview video someone may have a great quote but you might not want to include all of it. You can cut it down and then insert broll footage to cover up the transition so that it looks and sounds smooth. If you’re shooting something that is more for entertainment purposes, like our Night Golf video, make sure to create a story and plan out all of the shots you will need to get…Including some of the same shots from different angles or vantage points. Additionally, music is often overlooked but it can make or break your video. There’s a plethora of royalty-free music libraries out there, so spend some time finding the right music.
Ben Ruedlinger: First off, figure out what your budget and timeline will support. Will you be doing live action, animation, screencasting, or something else entirely. We are strong advocates of starting on the more simple end (screencasting) and moving up to the more complex types (live action or animation) once you have mastered the basics.
Once you have outlined your basic points for the video, spend a good deal of time creating the script. A good script is a strong foundation that will help guide you on all other aspects of the production process.
Sarah Jane Griesemer: Set a goal for the video: 1 thing you want the viewer to feel, think, or do after seeing your video. Then as you write your script, constantly ask yourself how does what I am writing relate back to this goal? If it’s not a clear connection, remove it from the script.
4. What are common mistakes you see companies make when it comes to video marketing?
Drew Frey: Not managing expectations! This is the biggest mistake by far. So many times you hear companies say, “We need to make a viral video just like Old Spice.” As if any video you record with a standard Flip will receive 1,000,000 views within a few days. (I wish it was that easy.) The fact of the matter is that hours upon hours of videos are uploaded to YouTube every minute and having your video go viral is the exception, not the rule. How will yours stand out?
Going back to the Old Spice example; that video worked because it was absolutely ridiculous! What does any of that have to do with deodorant? The fact that it was absurd made it funny and prompted people to share with their friends. Honestly, a hat tip goes out to P&G for taking a leap of faith with such a non-traditional advert.
Sarah Jane Griesemer: Videos that are too long. If you have a large amount of content you want to cover, break it up into a series of shorter videos and create a playlist. Anything over 2 or 3 minutes that doesn’t contain nudity or puppies is a lot to ask from a viewer. Remember you are competing for attention with baby elephants in a kiddie pool ( and a news anchor mocking the Kardashians ().
Chuck Lepley: The biggest mistake I see companies make when it comes to video marketing is not making professional videos when they should have. I recently saw a series of videos from a company that consisted of interviews with their executives. These videos were obviously shot by the company and you could tell…The lighting was horrible, the sound quality was horrible, and the videos were just one long continuous shot. I think they did more harm than good. They would have been better off investing in a one day shoot with a professional videographer and editor. If they would have done this, the interviews would have looked much better, the sound quality would have been clear, and they would have been edited in a way that would have made them interesting and concise.
Peter Lamotte: The most common mistake is not spending the necessary money. Considering that online video is now considered to be the most effective means of engaging customers, why would you risk the quality of that content in order to save only 5 to 10 percent? Spend the extra money to find a good copywriter, or director, or just go to an agency for the additional guidance rather than creating the content alone.
Also, make sure you are positioning your brand for the long run. Don’t try and copy the latest fad video style or cultural meme. Try to make sure that you can look back on this video in a year and, barring any major business shifts, your messaging and content would be about the same.
Ben Ruedlinger: The most common scenario we see is that people put a great deal of time, money, and effort into creating the video and only consider the details of hosting, marketing, and distribution after the content is completed. That is a big part of the reason why we created our Strategy Guide for Video Marketing. This gives an overview of parts of the process and important considerations for marketers as they craft their strategy with regards to video.
5. Once you have your video created, how do you distribute your content?
Ben Ruedlinger: Obviously, I am a bit biased here as video hosting is our business That being said, as anyone decides how to distribute your business’s video content, here are the things that we believe are most important to consider:
- Is it acceptable for ads (potentially competitors’ ads) to be displayed against your videos?
- Is it important to have video analytics to know how your visitors are viewing your videos and what is working vs. what is not?
- Do you have access to all of the tools necessary for marketing with video (video SEO, post-roll call to action, email marketing integration, etc.)?
- Is it important to have customer support if there is a problem or if you need help to do something a bit outside of the standard workflow?
Chuck Lepley: Once we’ve created a video, we post it to our Sphero Vimeo account as well as our Sphero YouTube account. Vimeo is better than YouTube from a quality standpoint, but YouTube is where many people discover our videos because it has a larger user base. Posting to both accounts also allows third parties to choose which format they want to use to repost our videos. From there, we generally create a blog post and then share it on our social networks. We also do outreach to press to try to gain additional coverage.
Peter Lamotte: You can distribute video either by yourself or through a partner. Of course distributing content on your own can be labor intensive when posting, tagging, and describing the content on every reasonable content site. Turning to a partner can be more costly, but can save you a tremendous amount of time and can often guarantee results.
Drew Frey: Spending time, money and effort on a video is one thing. Even if you have one of the most overly produced videos out there, directed by Francis Ford Coppola starring some A-list celebrity there’s no guarantee that your video will overshadow the latest Rebbecca Black monstrosity.
Look towards the easy wins:
- Your company blog.
These are all places where consumers are as well as your biggest competitors. Think about your content and where this would fit best online.
If you’re selling oranges, look into some of the most relevant and influential food blogs out there. (Outside of Food Network and the like.) Use tools such as Alexa or even Klout to not only find where people are talking but which advocates are talking about you. Email bloggers that are also relevant in the space and share a sneak peek, b-roll footage or any other ‘bonus’ material you might have with them. Even the most humble person loves exclusivity time and again.
6. What do you wish you knew a year ago about video marketing?
Chuck Lepley: Ask me again in a year, I’m always learning.
Drew Frey: If you think your video is short, make it shorter.
I’m not talking about a 2 second clip but people do not have time to sit around and watch an epic 10 minute monologue on. Pay attention to the analytics that you’re provided and monitor how people consume your video. A good rule of thumb is shooting for 2 minutes or less. Not only will it save you time scripting, filming and editing the actual piece but also the time of your viewer who needs to watch ‘Between Two Ferns’ over at Funny or Die.
Ben Ruedlinger: Previous to launching our video SEO capability last year, we had no idea how much easier it was to rank in search engine results for competitive keywords than with simple text-based pages. Because video content is so much more challenging to create and use, there may only be tens or hundreds of video results for keywords with millions of text results….meaning, less competition. In addition, Google tends to weight this content highly in its ranking algorithms, giving you a boost over simple text and image based pages.
Sarah Jane Griesemer: I don’t know that it’s so much what I wish I knew, more than I wish I would have been practicing more. It feels like there is a lot of fear around using video and the best way to dissipate that is to just jump in and go- make a video about your kids birthday or cooking, something just to practice. Don’t worry about reaching perfection from day 1, just practice and get comfortable.
If you’re looking to learn more about marketing with video, join Trada on Oct. 20 for a webinar -Right Brains on Demand: Crowdsourcing Video.