Category Archives: Video Marketing for Small Business

An Introduction to Video Marketing Strategy

A few years ago, as I started focusing on video marketing for small business, it all seemed crystal clear to me. There were only five stages of video marketing:

  1. Development
  2. Creative
  3. Pre-Production
  4. Production
  5. Post Production

As you can see, these five steps did not include strategy, distribution, or analytics! See, the above categories were what I knew as a filmmaker. I have come to realize, that what I knew about back then was video PRODUCTION, not video MARKETING.

The moment we talk about video marketing, versus video production, we also need to talk about strategy, distribution, and analytics.

Continue reading

What You Need to Know About Social Media Distribution When Planning Your Videos

Video Marketing Life-Cycle

Video marketing strategy really starts with the end of the video marketing cycle: Figuring out where you will distribute your videos. 

If your videos live in Social Media that strategy might change rapidly as social media usage, rules, and are constantly in flux.

To learn about the current top trends and tips, view the video below.

Video Distribution – An Ever Changing Game

In Video Marketing, distribution is part hands-on technical stuff and part strategy.

The technical part deals with the mechanics of getting the finished video out into the world, which is video hosting. It also deals with SEO (search engine optimization) and with analytics.

[Read the pervious blog post: Hosting Video for Small Business – What I Learned the Hard Way for in-depth knowledge on the technical aspects of distribution].

As you can see below, video marketing is a circular affair: Strategy starts with being clear on distribution channels.

The first question when you start with video marketing, is: “For which [social] media channel am I producing my videos?” – or at least it should be the first question, once you get over the fact that “Which camera shall I shoot with” is NOT the first question to ask.

The challenge is that the social media distribution channels change constantly. The blogs I wrote on this topic (less than 6 months ago) are big-picture still relevant, but the details, such as video length and format, are already helplessly outdated (see links below).

For instance, for SEO the former all-important key words no longer hold the weight they did only a few months ago and Twitter now allows for videos 140 seconds long, where before they capped it at 60 seconds.

This means, you will find yourself – most likely – re-doing, finessing, re-shooting, and re-editing the same content repeatedly. Reacting not only to channel changes, but also to overall trends, and consumer behavior. And you, as a small business owner, will need to pivot much more often with your content and offerings as well.

You might find in your analytics that your viewers jump ship at a certain spot in one of your videos and moving things around, or supplementing your video’s content with text, or a graphic is needed so the viewer doesn’t miss the most essential information.

Whatever the data may show you, the one thing that is certain is that video is no longer that one big investment asset that stays the same for a long time.

Video today is either built for a very short consumption time frame, or in constant flux.  And this is especially true for small business, and even more so, for content produced for social media.

So, what has changed since last fall? Well, first it’s all about Facebook and secondly, it’s all about mobile.

This means that small businesses (and big ones too) look for their clients on Facebook over Google ad words and over any other social media platform. And, video is the highest ranking asset on Facebook. Meaning, if you reach out with Facebook ads to prospects, you better have video.

Here the key take-aways:

  • The Facebook algorithm delivers relevant over recent content, prioritizes friends’ over page content, and prioritizes heavily shared posts over recent posts
  • Video should be posted natively (i.e. directly to Facebook, and not linked from YouTube or any other hosting service so it gets preferred treatment from Facebook (YouTube is Facebooks’ nemesis)
  • 90% of all FB users sign in on mobile, and 85% of those are watching videos on mute!
  • The video advertising platform default is for video to auto-play, on mute
  • This means: Use text overlay, captions, logos layered over footage
  • Show your brand or product within the first 8 seconds of video (this gives you 3x more engagement)
  • Keep your videos super short and “snackable”
  • Use hashtags as you would on Instagram, but don’t overdo it – it allows for easy search of your content by a few keywords as it does on other social media

For more in-depth reading about video for social media, video hosting and SEO check out these links:

Curated Link Pack – Strategizing for Social Media

  1. It’s 2017: Social networking isn’t just for millennials anymore and Facebook is angling for a total mobile experience. One thing remains crystal clear: Video is on everyone’s agenda.
    https://contently.com/strategist/2017/04/19/social-media-trends-2017/
  2. As major social platforms evolve to better accommodate audience demand for video, it’s even more necessary for video content to be built to succeed on each platform. This Wistia strategy guide with start you off right.
    https://wistia.com/library/social-video-strategy
  3. Video content on social media is not just about metrics, it’s also an essential part of your customer journey. Focus on posting on the social media that is best suited to your target audience.
    https://www.impactbnd.com/blog/which-social-media-post-your-videos
  4. Are you just beginning to incorporate video into your social strategy? These 10 steps are a simple start…
    https://simplymeasured.com/blog/10-actionable-video-basics-for-social-media-marketing/#sm.0006cgze119wper8vkq2h9f4lur55

 

Hosting Video for Small Business – What I Learned the Hard Way

A few weeks ago I was at a two-day conference about all things business video, hosted by Wistia (a video hosting platform). I got home with a notebook and head filled with new ideas.

The best part (other than the awesome parties), was to meet so many fellow video marketers and like-minded people, and to realize that I’m not the only nut running around teaching and coaching small businesses on how to create video marketing fitted for their needs!

But: Back on topic.

One big take-away from the conference also fed right into a pain point of mine: Replacing videos, but keeping the same URL/link intact.

The day before I left for the conference, I had to take down two videos from YouTube – where I host all my videos. A client asked me to take them down, despite having a signed agreement (and he had a good reason), and I felt obliged to do so. He had switched job and the videos caused turmoil with his new bosses.

The ramifications were awkward to say the least. Broken links mean SEO penalties and – far worse – potential clients with “oops – this video no longer exists” links.

Not good.

You see, YouTube doesn’t allow for a video replacement under the same URL, or embed-code.

And, this wasn’t a new problem.

I had faced this issue before in a different scenario: A few weeks after writing a guest blog, I created better versions of the explainer videos that I had originally, quickly thrown together.

But, it turns out the host of the guest blog didn’t have the manpower to embed the newer versions.

Had I used a full-featured hosting-service like Vimeo or Wistia, I could have switched out the videos in both scenarios, without having to inconvenience anybody, or creating broken links.

I host my videos on YouTube because it’s such a powerful search engine – and it’s free and easy to use. Turns out these are not good enough reasons if you are using your videos for business.

I will continue to host videos on YouTube, but solely as a social media platform.

For hosting my business’ videos that get embedded on my website or get sent to clients, I will start using a “proper” hosting platform. Vimeo and Wistia are the two most relevant choices:

What I’m looking for is:

  1. The option to exchange video while keeping the URL and embed-code
  2. Awesome analytics
  3. Serious privacy settings
  4. Great integration features into third-party platforms
  5. A growing, active and customer-support centric culture

My choice is Wistia.

Some might prefer Vimeo which is less expensive, but I have had issues with Vimeo videos not playing on my website, especially on mobile phones.

Here is a good article that looks at pros and cons of using YouTube vs. Vimeo vs. Wista if you want to dig deeper.

And, herewith a few links to other blog posts I wrote on the topic of “Hosting Video for Small Business”:

Nina’s Favorite Video Edit Apps

What software do I use for video editing?

A myriad of different apps: One for each occasion ;-).

Seriously, I do use a few different apps.

Some are great for a quick in-phone edit and instant upload to social media (iMovie).

Others are full-featured apps for longer pieces, or videos with more layering in terms of graphics, b-roll, or slides (Premiere).

Some videos need lots of “love”, like fixing color-, or sound-issues, or editing away lots of runaway sentences in an interview (Premiere).

And sometimes it’s just important to show someone how to edit in the most time-effective way possible (iMovie).

And sometimes there’s a very specific feature you’re looking for and it’s easiest handled on a certain app (Animoto: Split screens, Magisto: Music beat-synching to cuts).

Sometimes you want full control (iMovie, Premiere) and sometimes you want an app to put it together for you with the magic of Artificial Intelligence (Magisto). Continue reading

How to Hire a Video Editor: 5 Questions to Ask

If there’s one job to fill with a professional in your video marketing efforts, it’s probably going to be a video editor. Herewith the five questions to ponder and get answers to during the video editor hiring process:

  1. What makes a good editor?
  2. What do you look for in an editor?
  3. What do you discuss with your editor?
  4. Where do you find an editor?
  5. What does it cost? How long does it take?

Let’s jump right in: Continue reading

How to Approach Video Editing – VLOG

As an iPhone user I’m very partial to iMovie. It’s a no-gimmicks, full-featured app and is adding features constantly! My only gripe is graphic placement: There aren’t many options.

For in-phone (both iPhone and Android), as well as cloud-based desktop editing try ANIMOTO and MAGISTO.

Animoto is based on the traditional editing module and super easy to learn. Their phone app offers split screen videos which is amazing for “how to videos”.

Magisto is AI based and does the editing for you. Not my favorite thing, but very powerful for mood pieces and in particular for use with music – it synchs the photos/videos to the music. If you’ve ever edited a video to music you know that that can take hours. Their AI does it in seconds.

I’d love to hear from YOU, what in-phone edit apps you’re using! Please share.

For a full edit roundup check out: How To Make Video Edits Work for You

 

Herewith a link pack to all other blogs that cover video editing:

Nina’s Favorite Video Edit Apps | Original date 06/23/17

How to Hire a Video Editor: 5 Questions to AskOriginal date: 06/09/17

How to Make Video Edits Work for YouOriginal date: 05/12/17

How to Approach DIY Video Editing | Original date: 04/29/16 | Update: 05/10/17

How to Create a Workflow and Organize an EditOriginal date: 05/13/16 | Update: 5/10/17

A Post-Production Glossary for Editing |Original date: 05/06/16 | Update: 5/10/17

How to Make Video Edits Work for You

My very first client sent me on this crazy journey from big corporate video productions into video marketing for small business, and he is still my poster-child for the pitfalls of DIY video editing. And he’s by far not the only one.

I taught him what equipment to use (his iPhone), how to set up a shot (not against his window), what to look out for during the shoot (eye-line).

We had a great shoot and the video clips all looked awesome (despite the fact that we DID shoot against his window). We uploaded the footage to his Dropbox. I showed him how to organize his clips and start a project in iMovie.

He’s an engineer by training and he was very hands-on during the shoot. I was sure he had it all under control.

I checked in with him a few days later to see if he had any questions and how the edit was going: It wasn’t.

I checked in a week later: Still nothing.

I checked again a week after that, eager to see the results, a rough-cut maybe? Nothing.

So, what happened? And why so early in the process?

He was overwhelmed: That’s what happened.

Video footage can be daunting. There are so many clips, and they all sound and look more or less alike. I’ve been there, I know.

Typically there is a 20:1 ratio from shot material to final video.

That means you have about TWENTY 30-second clips to go through for a 30 second video. It doesn’t sound like much, but much like a wine tasting, unless you’re a connoisseur, it all becomes an indiscernible mish-mash very quickly.

25 years of being a producer has taught me that an editor who can sift through footage fast and pick out the raisins, is worth her weight in gold.

Don’t fall into the trap of footage overwhelm before you even start editing:

  1. Be realistic about what you can handle: Keep clips super short. Stay with a single clip
  2. Do an edit “dry-run” with a sample video clip. Try a few apps and see what you like (For guidance & inspiration: I’m posting “apps to make videos with” soon)
  3. Take notes while you shoot & identify each clip (see photo below)
  4. Organize your footage into folders (follow link for more info)
  5. If you have a longer, or complex story to tell: Hire an editor
  6. If you have little, or no time: Hire an editor
  7. If you’re not patient and don’t love figuring out “things” (aka software): Hire an editor
  8. For real-hands-on editing advice check out the Curated Link Pack below: The first two articles by Wistia will set you on the right course
  9. For in-depth video editing learning I also recommend Lynda.com

Ralf from LenditApp with a “slate” – simple numbering (and corresponding notes) can save an edit

 

Curated Link Pack:

Editing Apps and Software change at a rapid pace. Your best bet is to Google: BEST (or TOP) VIDEO EDITING APP (or Software). You can add the words “FREE”, “2017”. And, make sure to set your search to filter articles no older than a month.

  1. How to Edit Video for Social Media by Wistia (August 2016).  I love Wistia’s resources: Always fun, always on point. This one is no exception. If you ready anything additional before you jump into editing, it’s this article.
  2. Editing Basics for Business Video by Wistia (2016). This will set you on the right course. It’s a great walk-through of basic video editing steps and has a glossary and great video examples.
  3. Video 101: Editing Basics by Vimeo (2010). Although a bit older, still relevant. Step by step video guide through basic editing. It’s cute and well done, if a bit slow at times.
  4. Top Rules for Video Editing by Lifewire (August 2016). Ten easy steps to keep in mind while shooting your video that will set you up for a simpler editing process.
  5. Top Video Editing Effects by Lifewire (March 2017). With so many editing effects available on even the simplest platforms, which should you use? This article provides some suggestions on when and how to best use those effects. My take: Less is more!

And, herewith a link pack to all other blogs that cover video editing:

Nina’s Favorite Video Edit Apps | Original date 06/23/17

How to Hire a Video Editor: 5 Questions to AskOriginal date: 06/09/17

How to Approach Video Editing – VLOG | Original date: 05/26/17

How to Approach DIY Video Editing | Original date: 04/29/16 | Update: 05/10/17

How to Create a Workflow and Organize an EditOriginal date: 05/13/16 | Update: 5/10/17

A Post-Production Glossary for Editing |Original date: 05/06/16 | Update: 5/10/17