If you've been wishing you could create video to share online, it's actually easier than you think!
Short videos -under five minutes- are currently one of the most popular online marketing mediums, and they require remarkably little experience or hardware to create. If you have an iPhone from the last few years, you already have all the basics needed to make short films. The same is true for many Android devices, for that matter.
It helps if you have a nicer camera and (especially) a better mic, but it's honestly not a requirement, especially for short films. Shorts can be as simple as a single "talking head" shot, with you speaking directly to the camera\audience on a topic where you have authority. If the content is good, the low budget won't matter.
The Popularity Of Short Video
So why are video shorts becoming such a hot way to market? Short videoss are...
- Easy to consume, and don't require a significant time commitment.
- Addictive, when the content is compelling.
- Focused on a single subject with a clear point or value proposition.
- Simple to share and spread across social media and aggregator websites.
- Repurposable, with plenty of opportunity for cross-channel reuse.
- Cheap and easy to make, even for relative newcomers to video production.
Currently, video is recognized as the most-shared content type online. In pretty much any survey, videos are the across-the-board favorite among online users. Video is especially big business on mobile, which has seen increases in viewership of hundreds of percent per year, for the last several years.
So, short videos truly hit a sweet spot of being easy to produce and easy to consume, while still providing valuable or entertaining content. That makes it a great fit for just about any social media outreach strategy.
Integrating Video Into Your Social Media Strategy
There's honestly no need to get fancy about your video integration. In a lot of cases, the most popular forms of video content are pretty much the same as other online mediums. It's just filmed, rather than using text or slideshows.
Here are some suggestions for places to start:
1 - Top (X) Lists
According to Hubspot, lists are the most-shared of all content. A clever and snappy list of best or worst things always has a chance of gaining traction online, plus they're always short and to-the-point. When filmed, like David Letterman's venerable Top Lists, there's very little need for production value beyond inserting a few appropriate pictures to accompany your points.
The big key here is to tailor your lists to your audience. Dig into your viewership stats and demographics, then look for topics of common interest that are relevant to your business.
2 - How-To Videos
People are eternally looking up how to do things online, and many of the most popular video channels like YouTube are devoted to giving how-to demonstrations. If you're the first in a niche to produce accurate and informative how-to vids, it's a virtual guarantee of popularity.
While it's possible to do the demonstration in one-take talking and doing simultaneously, our recommendation is to do it in two passes. Film yourself doing the activity, then record the commentary separately. It will sound more professional, and there's less chance of messing up while trying to multitask. (Providing good commentary while doing something is harder than it looks!)
3 - Event Coverage
Are you attending a trade show, industry event, world premiere, or even a really great company Christmas Party? Break out the camera with an eye towards producing a video about it afterwards. Anyone who's interested in the event, but couldn't attend, is highly likely to check out a video made about it.
The trick here is largely in editing, since you may not even need voiceover. Pick only the best material you film and stitch it together. Long interrupted shots, especially on cell phone cameras, get wearying for viewers
4 - Teaser Trailers
Mega-blockbusters like the new Star Wars aren't the only products that can get teaser trailers. If you have a new product launch coming up, a video teaser can be a fantastic way to build interest.
A well-made teaser, like the name implies, shows JUST enough to whet people's interest. If you have a new physical product, try taking a lot of footage of closeups and film it from odd angles. Don't ever show it straight on. If it's a service, get some testimonial-style comments from the developers or beta-testers. But only highlight a couple key features.
Ideally you could keep this up for months leading up to launch, just like a movie buildup, slowly doling out more information with new videos.
At this point, there really is very little reason not to start looking into video. It's easy, it's affordable, and it's highly likely to boost your social media visibility!