DISTRIBUTION PART TWO: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT SOCIAL MEDIA DISTRIBUTION
If you have a brand to promote and target audience to reach, video is still the best tool to get beyond the noise of everything else on social media.
And as we discussed in a previous blog post, Video Marketing strategy really begins with figuring out how and where you will distribute your videos. It should be no surprise that social media channels have become a huge part of that distribution.
If your videos live in Social Media your strategy will change – sometimes rapidly – as social media usage and rules are constantly in flux.
Previous blogs I wrote on this topic are still big-picture relevant, but the details, such as video length and format, are already helplessly outdated.
For instance, for SEO the former all-important keywords 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 as you react to channel changes, 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.
The Technical Mechanics: Hosting, SEO, and Analytics
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.
As you can see below, video marketing is a circular affair: Strategy starts with being clear on distribution channels.
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.
Here is what we’ll go over in Part One:
What is Video Hosting?
Best Platforms to Host Video for Small Business
Why Search Engine Optimization is Important for Video Marketing
You know that awesome feeling when you teach something and then it totally lands?
That’s how I felt when I watched this video:
Last year, I taught a class at a Bronx high school for an EDsnaps summer program run by Susanne Cappendijk. Her daughter, Lisanne, listened to my class and then went off and made this video from scratch. I love every frame of it!
Editing took her about 3 full days – which sounds about right for that amount of footage and a first time editor. She used a pre-set graphic template that iMovie offered with a school-theme (how perfect is that) and used music from a royalty-free YouTube music library recommended by her brother.
Lisanne is a fantastic example of how with a little guidance, you can create a great DIY video for your organization or business.
Lisanne is a fantastic example of how with a little guidance, you can create a great DIY video for your organization or business.
Throughout this blog post, I will provide you with what you need to know and consider when organizing your edit, choosing editing software/apps, and what to consider when you’re thinking of hiring a video editor.Here’s what we’ll go over in this blog postA
Once you’ve determined how Video Marketing fits into your overall business Strategy and determined what kind of Storytelling will best engage your target customer, it’s time to shoot your video.
This post will run down what you need to know when it comes to creating a video for your Small Business, whether you’ll be behind or in front of the camera, or both!
Here’s what we’ll cover:
Choosing the Right Location for Your Shoot
What Camera Should You Use for DIY Video
Accessorizing for a Smart Phone Shoot
How to Light a Talking Head Shoot
A Bit More on Backgrounds
What to Wear – or not Wear – on Camera
Framing a Talking-Head Shoot
Shooting a Talking-Head Video
There’s a lot of information, but I’ve broken it down into these chunks so you can feel aware and prepared going into your DIY video marketing shoot.
So let’s get started!
1. CHOOSING THE RIGHT LOCATION FOR YOUR SHOOT
Looking for and finding a good spot to shoot can make or break the “quality” look and feel you may want to portray of yourself and your company.
Modeled after the steps that a location scout will go through on a professional video shoot, I’ve created this simplified checklist for finding your DIY video location shoot.
I’ll go deeper into some of the steps below (background, lighting) in this guide, but if you don’t start off with a decent location then you’ll be setting yourself up for a more difficult experience than necessary.
The advantage to being late to the year-beginning trend-game is, that you get to wear the “hindsight-is-20-20” glasses and hold the “I knew it!” space.
And, since I gave up calling video marketing trends last year in favor of talking about best practices my timing is perfect: Right after everyone else has posted their 2018 trend blog posts. So, what’s dominating trend predictions and what can we call best practices for this year?
TOP DIGITAL- AND VIDEO-MARKETING TREND FOR 2018? => MOBILE FIRST
So, what does that mean for you?
Mobile First means that your content, i.e. your videos will be watched FIRST AND FOREMOST on mobile devices.
That means you should be creating video content that will display and play best on mobile devices.
With Mobile First, the best practice is to take mobile user and consummation behavior into consideration when creating your videos.
90% of video content is being consumed on mobile devices: If you do produce videos, make sure they look their best on mobile!
Almost 50% of internet users are looking for video related to a product or service: If you’re not into video yet, you’re losing out on 50% of potential customers!
75% of all video content watched on mobile is being consumed without sound: Make sure your video is still relevant if watched without sound, OR: give them a reason to turn on the sound!
Of course, there are plenty more trends, some more obvious than others. I put the ones I found to be of interest for Video Marketing into categories for ease of navigation and ‘digestion’:
Here’s a resource that’s a little different. The folks over at shutterstock put together some great examples from modern cinema to talk the importance of pacing in video editing. While you may not be creating the next blockbuster, there are certainly great takeaways and inspiration in this article! https://www.shutterstock.com/blog/video-editing-pacing-your-film
Now that you have all your tools, it’s time to frame your perfect shot.
FRAMING A TALKING-HEAD SHOT
As you choose your frame look out for the following:
Check if the lens of your phone on the same height as your eye line (for details see video below)
Check what is inside the frame: you can cut off the top of your head, but be sure to leave enough space at the bottom for closed captions and graphics (never frame a shot to be right on your chin, go to at least mid-chest)
Put yourself slightly off center in the frame, it’s a more pleasing composition
Make sure the light source is behind the camera. If there is a window in the room, you should be facing it – don’t have it behind you or the background light will make editing a nightmare. It looks even better if you turn on a 30-degree angle and have the light source hit your face halfway from the front and side
Don’t stand under a headlight – it will cause shadows under your eyes and nose
If you’re not comfortable with lots of editing, shoot until you have an entire run-through that’s good and can be used as is
Do not use a cheat sheet – the camera will pick up your eyes shifting back and forth
If you need to, make sure you powder or blot your face between takes
If you’re using a ‘natural’ background make sure there’s nothing weird: like a plant that appears to be growing out of your head or a book shelf with embarrassing book titles, etc.
Find out more about framing by watching this video:
SHOOTING A TALKING-HEAD SHOT
Be patient and follow these tips and you should be all set:
This might sound basic but, don’t forget to hit record! I just recently did a GREAT shoot, only to realize that I never recorded it
Talk slowly and be aware of your filler words. I tend to go nuts on “ahems”… a nightmare to edit and tedious for the listener
Err on the side of authenticity and a longer natural shoot, rather than a fully scripted and prompted one or a stiff-from-memory-delivery
Record a first take and then immediately watch to make sure everything looks and sounds great
Between takes turn the recorder off and back on again it makes finding stuff easier later than having to slosh through a massively long take
If you take notes (and I suggest you take notes!) hold up a post-it with consecutive numbers for each take. Write down which takes are the best and refer to the numbers on the post-its – this will make editing later so much easier
Upload your clips immediately after shooting (I use airdrop – which is much faster than uploading to Dropbox, Google Drive, or iCloud)
The following video has tips on how to look and sound your best on-camera:
The videos above were all shot with an iPhone 7 using a clip-on microphone and edited on Adobe Premiere. The graphics were prepared in Adobe Photoshop and then imported into Premiere.
Altogether, it took me about 50 minutes to shoot four 2 to 3.5-minute-long videos. That time does not include scripting beforehand and getting ready in terms of wardrobe and makeup – everyone has a different threshold for preparation.
WHEN IT COMES TO B-ROLL
Keep it simple and get lots and lots of coverage
B-roll is the footage or the clips that support the story you are telling, often things like establishing shots of a building or the room you are in. So, if you own a bike shop, your b-roll might be interior shots of the shop, the mechanics at work, customers shopping, a cyclist pulling up to the store with her bike, etc.
You might ask yourself what b-roll is for? Let’s say you give an interview and you’re talking about your bike shop it’s a hundred times more interesting to see images of the bike shop than hearing you talk about it. The principle is: Show don’t tell. If you are a service provider this is – obviously – a bit harder, because you don’t have a physical product to show.
Don’t try to follow the action, let the action unfold in the frame (following action is for pros)
Keep the camera as still as possible (see above)
Get as close to the action as possible
Shoot in short concise spurts
Don’t attempt to “cover” the entire event or happening: Choose key moments and concentrate on those
If you shoot your product (i.e. bicycles) go slow and steady and keep camera movements to a minimum. You can always create movement in editing or jazz the footage up with upbeat music
There are many variables to any shoot. If you’re starting out with DIY video marketing, keep it simple and short. Give yourself time to try out what works for you and what doesn’t.
If there’s anything else you’d like to add to these lists, let me know! I’d love to hear your comments.
We tell stories, we invent stories, we share stories, and we make stories up. Some stories are small others epic, but they all are a constant in our everyday lives.
So, why are so many business owners petrified of corporate storytelling, especially when it comes to video marketing?
We’re just sharing what we’re up to, right?
This is what gets in the way:
Overthinking the storytelling process
Getting tangled up in industry jargon
Talking about concepts rather than telling a story
Being attached to looking good, rather than real, like-able, and authentic – there, I used the “a” word
Trying to pack too many stories into one video
And the list goes on.
So, how do you remedy being stuck on telling your story on video?
If you’re selling a product, show the product while you tell the story about why you are selling it.
If you’re selling a service, you are the product! People are buying working with you.
Show them the product: You! And, tell them your story.
Most of my clients are service providers and when they ask me what kind of story to tell, I recommend a couple kinds:
There’s “The Classic”: i.e.This is my passion and this is my business. Chances are, that you have the content for that video already. It’s what you talk about when you meet new people and introduce yourself.
Blow a sample: And a note to reader: if you have any samples of your own, I’d love to feature it here and replace the below video!
And here a video that talks about finding content for those kinds of videos:
I also love any kind of expert tip series, especially if you are a service provider.
I was hugely worried about coming up with content, but once I found a chapter structure for the 22 videos, it was so easy to come up with expert tips, because I’m passionate about sharing my knowledge and helping small business owners.
And, if you sell a product you can even do a tip series on that product: how to take care of it, use it, and work with it. Or you can talk about something related to the product.
So, if your product is road biking gear, you could talk about bike maintenance tips, race training tips, and bike routes.
No matter what kind of video you’re putting together, my advice is:
Keep it simple
Keep it short
Work with what you have
Stay clear of jargon
Be yourself, and
What are your storytelling-challenges? I’d love to hear from you!