"Video is the future of online marketing" as some online gurus would tell you. And in all probability- it's true. Videos are interesting, interactive, and are able to get the message across much faster than text and images can. If done right, video content can be an integral part of your marketing strategy.
However, there are a lot of people who are camera-shy, who might have second thoughts putting their faces in front of the camera, and who would shudder at the thought of putting themselves in the spotlight.
If you're one of these people, fret not. There are a lot of ways with which you can utilize video, with you staying comfortably off-screen and out of the limelight. Here are the steps to get you started.
Step One: Use a Storyteller's Approach
Think about the kind of story that you want to tell to your viewers. Do you want to explain the services you provide or the products you sell? Do you want to share how you got started in the business? It's important to note that there are various approaches to video that you can use to tell your story, and none of them would require you to show yourself on the camera.
For example, an explainer video about your products and services is a good place to start. This kind of video introduces your business to the public, and this is where you can talk about the kind of work that you do, and what your business or brand does. Explainer videos work well as shareable content on social networking sites like Facebook.
Take for example, a restaurant. A video that talks about the kind of cooking techniques employed in this restaurant, where it sources its ingredients from, and why their recipes are special, can be utilized to great effect if you know what you're doing. Get an awesome narrator, shoot some unscripted scenes inside the restaurant, get a professional to edit everything, and you have yourself an epic and interesting video.
If you're not fond of explainer videos, then try how-to videos. These videos are special in that they're not just entertaining, they are educational too.
As the name suggests, how-to videos teach viewers how to do something. If you own an arts and crafts boutique for example, you can try making a video on how to create various origami animals using the art papers that can be bought in your shop. And even if you don't like having your hands in front of the camera, you can just use still pictures to show the origami-making process. There are lots of slideshow/videomaking tools online which you can use to create these kinds of videos.
Videos, as much as possible, should be able to touch and resonate with your customers. The more personal the approach is, the more that people would be willing to engage with it. Your brand and business becomes more "human" in the public's eye.
A great example of a video content that can resonate with people is a video that tells an interesting history about a product (oreven the business itself). How did this product (or brand) came to be? What is the motivation for its development? How was it developed throughout the years?
Testimonial videos are great too. Get some of your most loyal customers and have them tell the world why your brand is special. Your employees can also get in on the action. Your team can share what they feel about working in your business, and how it has managed to improve their lives and such. Not only does having real people make testimonials add a more personal touch to your videos, it also feels heartfelt too.
Best thing of all, you wouldn't even have to be on camera! Other people are already doing the talking for you.
Other great video ideas include seasonal videos (e.g. themed videos for Christmas, New Year's, Valentines are popular) and straight-up promotional videos.
Step Two: Gather Content For Your Video
Of course, you can shoot using your own camera. Or you can hire a professional to shoot for you. However, if you're running out of time (or just want to save up on marketing expenses), there are various shortcuts that you can use.
Take stock of your current marketing assets. Do you have existing audio-visual content and images that you've used in other campaigns and projects? Social media postings, printed materials, campaign flyers, and website graphics are great sources for reusable content.
Images that you can use for video can include company logo, product shots, team photos, customer photos, and photos that were previously published in other marketing materials like flyers and brochures.
If you're on Snapchat and Instagram, you can download the "Stories" that you have published on there. For Instagram, just click open your chosen Story, tap the bottom of the screen, and tap the arrow icon. For Snapchat, the whole process is pretty similar: just head on over to the Stories section and tap on the download icon.
Aside from your own marketing materials, try user-generated content! Browse around and see if your own followers and customers have been making videos about your products and services. Just make sure to reach out and ask permission from them first before using their videos in your campaign.
Step Three: Putting It All Together
Text still plays a huge role in creating a great video. Text can be used to tell the story itself (if there's no narrator narrating), and explain what is happening on-screen. Keep the text short and sweet- it should be as concise as possible so that your viewers will not feel as if they're reading a slideshow.
Think up an interesting title for your video. Don't fall into the clickbait trap and title your videos with spammy text like "You Won't Believe What This _____ Did To This ______." It's annoying and passe.
When you think about successful marketing videos, the first things that will pop up might be personality-driven ones like Old Spice's "The Man Your Man Could Smell Like" campaign. However, this is not always the case. You can create creative and interesting videos of your own, without you being on-cam, if you have the creative mindset for it. The possibilities are just endless.