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Cheat Sheet

Video Marketing For Dummies

From Video Marketing For Dummies by Kevin Daum, Bettina Hein, Matt Scott, Andreas Goeldi

Video marketing is absolutely necessary for any business in today’s digital, social, and visual world. There’s a lot to do, but taking a step-by-step approach to creating an effective video and building a great campaign over time will give you a real advantage over your competitors. Here are four tools to help you get there in an organized manner.

Finding Subjects for Marketing Videos

You want to make some marketing videos but you're not sure what to communicate. Here is a great tool to help you figure that out. Start with determining your communication choke points. Choke points are areas of your message that are redundant, confusing, or inconsistent. Print out the prompts below and fill it out by consult with members of your team, fill out the card below. It shouldn't take more than about 20 minutes to come up with a bunch of subjects for your new video marketing portfolio.

If only our customers would understand the following three things, I would close more deals:

1.

2.

3.

We wish we could get our salespeople to say the following the same way every time:

1.

2.

3.

We wish we could stop telling our employees the following over and over again:

1.

2.

3.

Shooting Your Marketing Video

You finished your script, and you're ready to commence production of your marketing video. But, if you've never been involved with a professional video or film shoot before, you may be overwhelmed or baffled about what elements need to come together, and in what order, to get your marketing video made.

Here's a list of the essentials you'll need to shoot your video:

  • HD camcorder: Choose a major-brand camera that suits your price range and records to an SD card, flash drive, or internal hard drive. An external microphone jack will allow you to record better sound. Make sure you also have at least one extra battery, a charger, and extra recording media.

  • Lighting: Make sure you have adequate light in your shooting locations. If the ambient light isn't enough, invest in a light kit or camera-mounted panel light.

  • Sound: Consider upping the quality of your sound with a camera-mounted shotgun microphone, or a boom microphone plugged directly into your camera and operated by a crew member.

  • Location: Choose a location that suits your script where you also have enough time and space to shoot your video with minimal interference. Make sure there's also a waiting area for your cast and room to store and charge your equipment. Remember — you can often barter free or cheap space with an offer of free publicity through your video.

  • Props/costumes: Go through your script and make a list of every prop and costume you'll need. To avoid continuity errors, pay close attention to what your actors are wearing scene-to-scene.

  • Cast: Cast the roles in your video with people who not only look believable, but can also speak and act well. Go with trained, experienced actors, if possible. Your local arts scene will likely offer up a community of actors that will suit your needs. Craigslist.com and Backstage.com are both great resources for casting.

  • Crew: The most-essential crew positions are:

    • Director: in charge of all creative and technical aspects of production, calls "action" and "cut."

    • Producer: coordinates the overall production, keeps the shoot running on time and on budget.

    • Cameraperson: operates the camera, works with the director in setting up the shots.

    • Production Assistant: this position ranges from "go-fer" work to assisting in sound and lighting

  • Scheduling: Once your cast, crew, and location are secure, schedule your shoot with ample time to get the footage you need. If you don't need your full cast all at the same time, stagger their arrival times.

  • Shot list: Use your script and storyboard to create a list of every shot you need. Group the shots with the same location and cast members together to make the best use of time. Remember, most scripts are shot out of order.

Editing Your Marketing Video

Editing a marketing video (or any video) is much more than just cutting out the unwanted scenes. The editing process is as important for telling a story and getting your message across as writing the script.

Take the following steps to edit an effective marketing video:

  1. Organize your footage.

    Import all your footage to your computer and organize your clips in folders to group clips that belong together. Then watch all your footage and take extensive notes. Make sure to discard clips that are clearly unusable and to mark the very best clips.

  2. Revisit your script.

    Go back to your original script and check to see if you have all the footage you need to convey your story. If you need to reshoot something, now would be the best time to do that.

  3. Collect additional material.

    Your video might need photos, graphics, and sound effects. Collect all these additional assets and prepare them for editing.

  4. Make a rough cut.

    Assemble your footage in sequence to create a first-draft version of your video. To do this, go through your script, find the best clips for each scene, and put them on the editing program's timeline in the right order.

  5. Start refining.

    Go through your video several times and make improvements to the timing of your edit by cutting your clips more tightly or rearranging the order of clips. Be patient — finding the right rhythm for a video is a process that takes a few iterations.

  6. Polish your edit.

    Once your video's timing is solid, add transitions to make scene changes more visually appealing. Fill gaps with b-roll footage. Use color correction to get the best out of your footage.

  7. Add bells and whistles.

    Add music, sound effects, and a voiceover narration track if you need one. Append titles to the beginning and end of your video. If you need more complicated visual effects, put them in at the end when your edit is already perfect. This will save you a lot of time.

  8. Get feedback.

    Make sure to get feedback before you release your video. You will be surprised by what other people see in it. The most useful feedback comes from people who are as close to your target audience as possible.

Video editing is a fairly time-consuming process. If you don't want to spend the time yourself, you can always use a professional video services firm that will edit your video footage for you.

Publishing and Promoting Your Marketing Video

You want as many people in your target audience as possible to see your marketing video. And even more important, you want them to act once they've seen it — ideally by buying your products. Reaching the right audience with your video requires skillfully applying a combination of specific techniques and promotion channels.

Follow these steps to get your video in front of your target audience:

  1. Publish your video on YouTube.

    YouTube is not only the largest video-sharing platform by far, it's also the second-largest search engine in the world. It reaches more people than any other video site across all demographic groups, so you need to put your videos on it.

  2. Place your video on your website.

    A video is one of your most attractive marketing assets, so you should use it very prominently on your website. Use multiple videos to enrich the different sections of your site, such as product pages, news items, or educational content.

  3. Use social media to reach more people.

    Use your Facebook page and Twitter account to promote your video. This not only will get you more video views, it will also make your social media outlets more attractive because people like video content.

  4. Engage with the online community.

    If your video is any good, you will get reactions. Make sure to join the conversation on YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter. People love it when a company is approachable and responsive.

  5. Optimize your video for search engines.

    A lot of traffic to marketing videos comes from search engines. Make sure your videos have titles, descriptions, and tags that will enable your target audience to find them easily.

  6. Consider a paid ad campaign.

    YouTube and other ad providers make it easy to reach more of your target audience — if you're willing to pay some money to get it. With a relatively modest ad budget, you can get thousands of views from the right people.

  7. Measure.

    Make sure to frequently check your video's success by looking at the analytics that YouTube and other hosting services provide. Specialized video marketing software tools can save you a lot of time doing this.

  8. Improve constantly.

    Set some time aside at regular intervals to analyze your feedback and numbers. Then decide what you need to do to improve your video marketing results. Options to consider are more and different content, an enhanced promotion strategy, and clearer calls-to-action.

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