In a remote world, communicating with customers is more important than ever. But in a COVID world, doing that at a high level can be harder than ever. It’s a conundrum a lot of marketers are currently facing — eager to continue or increase their video marketing efforts with limited access to all the resources they need. But hold on; just because you don’t have fancy video equipment or the budget to hire professionals, doesn’t mean you’re out of luck.
Video is still right on track to consume 82% of all content creation by 2022 (Cisco), proving that organizations all over the world have found ways to adapt. And we’ve seen it first-hand — so we’re sharing their video production tips and tricks with you. Here are a couple of ways to create great marketing videos on a budget.
- Live Stream
The demand for live streaming has skyrocketed since in-person events have paused. Thanks to months of Zoom meetings, everyone is now more than familiar with live video streams, and our expectations have shifted away from studio-quality productions. Since live streams can be recorded on mobile, they’re easy to create from anywhere. Go live while on-site, showing a new product, or sharing an industry tip. Duration isn’t as important as it once was, so you can go live more often while stressing about substance a lot less.
- Record a Zoom Video
Speaking of Zoom, we’re all on it (+ Google Hangouts, Skype, etc.), so why not let it do the work for you. Just hit record as you conduct an insightful interview featuring a leader of your company or spotlighting one of your employees. Reach out to other colleagues for a short Q&A or create an explainer video. The appreciation for authenticity and humanity is higher than ever, so don’t worry about editing — let the conversation flow. Just make sure everyone has a strong wireless connection.
- Bring to Life a Written Testimonial
Take advantage of the testimonials you already have through animation. Not only does it remove the need for any social contact, but it also allows you to be visually creative without a lot of work. Facebook and other social platforms offer these creation tools during the ad creation process, or you can use an app like Biteable or Vimeo. Simply add motion and visual intrigue to the text, or experiment with voiceovers to bring them to life. Test out which direction resonates best with your audience.
- User-Generated Content
Produce compelling videos using someone else’s content by getting your audience involved. Ask your social media followers or email subscribers to film themselves using your product or sharing how it made their life easier. Make a contest out of participants sharing their stories as a unique way to help you share yours. User-generated content is raw and relatable, and it can become a powerful narrative when pieced together creatively.
- Hire a Little Help
If your budget does have a little wiggle room, consider hopping on a site like Fiverr or Thumbtack to hire a freelancer on a by-project basis. They’ll be able to offer remote support for your own video shoots or handle all the editing post-shoot. You can stay in control of how much work you outsource and how much you pay based on hourly rates. If you’re not 100% confident in your own video skills, this may be the way to go.
Becoming a Self-Made Video Production Expert
If you are willing and eager to get rolling on your own but are worried about the quality of a homemade shoot, here are some helpful tips for creating high-end videos without hiring professionals. (no one will ever know!)
- Focus on the Backdrop. Pay attention to what’s behind your subject. Eliminate any distracting items that could completely steal the show in the eyes of your customers. Make sure the setting matches the tone of your message — ie. if you’re going for professional, then no unmade beds or dirty laundry, please. Or go simple with a solid backdrop. That way, you can always add to it with CTAs or logos during the editing process.
- Consider the Camera Height. People often hold the camera too low when filming. Ideally, the lens should be at eye level or even a little higher. If you’re using a laptop, prop it up on books. A helpful rule of thumb: if you can see the crease where the ceiling meets the wall in the shot, then it’s too low.
- Don’t Forget Lighting. Avoid putting your subject in front of any windows. You want the best light source to come from behind the camera to avoid creating an unsightly silhouette. If you’re shooting at night or in a dark room, place a lamp right next to the camera to maximize illumination.
- Go Horiztonal! If you’re using a smartphone to film, hold it horizontally to create the wide-screen illusion. Not only is it superior in capturing scenes with multiple people, motion, or dynamics, but most social media platforms cater toward landscape formats. IG and Snapchat stories are the two exceptions.
- Do a Mic Check. We highly recommend using a microphone if you have one. But if you don’t, keep in mind the closer your subject is to the camera, the less chance it will pick up ambient noise. Do a test run before getting started.
- Give it a Little Trim. The phrase “video editing” can be intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. Both Macs and PCs offer basic editing software, and there are tons of apps out there like Clips for Apple or Splice and InShot in the app store. Add a short intro slide or text overlay to give your video a professional look. Or simply trim the beginning and end of the video so no one sees you recording.
For more information on getting creative and enhancing your marketing strategy in 2021, contact the Assemble team to discuss your goals.