Video content is king, but you don't have to be a technology expert to create it.
5 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
Unsurprisingly, video content has quickly become an essential part of social media branding. According to research from Renderforest, video content on social media generates 1,200 percent more shares than text and images, and 90 percent of viewers state that a video helps them determine whether they will buy a product. But if you have a small marketing team or lack professional equipment or know-how, the idea of creating a stunning social media video can seem impossible.
However, this doesn’t have to be the case. In reality, even those without any tech-savvy can create engaging, well-crafted video content that drives social media engagement. You just need the right process — and the right tools. Here are some guidelines for making it happen.
Leverage existing content.
For many who are new to creating video content, even the idea of coming up with topic ideas can seem intimidating. The good news is if you’ve been doing your due diligence in other areas, you already have a great source of video content ideas: your old blog posts.
Look at your most popular or most shared posts to get a better idea of which topics most resonated with your audience. Typing your blog URL into a site like BuzzSumo is an easy way to determine which entries generated the most engagement. Once you know what's performed best in the past, you can start repurposing what you’ve already written to formulate your video script.
In a blog post for Social Media Examiner, Serena Ryan recommends creating videos that target different portions of the marketing funnel: brand awareness, building relationships and making the sales pitch. “Your videos might not use all of the content from your blog post,” she writes. “Your main goal is to deliver the material most relevant to each part of your funnel. Choose the best content to create a one- or two-minute video with the information your funnel requires. To pack the most value into each video, cut introductions and instead display text or titles in the lower third. What’s important is to get your message across clearly and succinctly.”
Set things up for quality recording.
You can certainly film social videos using only your smartphone, but to get good results, you still need to set yourself up with the right equipment. For example, a sturdy tripod will stabilize your smartphone to avoid shaky, handheld camera-esque footage. The right lighting will drastically improve image quality and make it easier to edit your video later on. Soft, natural light is best. Try to avoid harsh shadows or bright sunlight. If you'll be speaking in front of the camera, arrange the lighting so that your face is evenly lit.
The right location can make all the difference. After all, if you’re filming a product video, you don’t want a busy background to distract from the product itself. If you'll be speaking in front of the camera rather than dubbing in a voiceover, you’ll need to film in a quiet area free of excessive background noise. Speak directly into a microphone, and focus on your enunciation so that your voice is easy to understand.
Take advantage of user-friendly editing apps for polish.
Once filming is complete, you’ll need to edit your video to give it a quality look. Fortunately, editing is no longer limited to film experts. One tool that I’ve found to be particularly helpful is VideoBoost, a free app in the BoostApps suite that offers easy-to-use templates and animations that can integrate with your business’s logo, as well as trimming and formatting for various social platforms and helpful editing filters. You can add your own video and text or use stock footage and pre-written copy.
You should also be mindful of how different social media platforms can influence your video formatting. For example, Instagram videos have a maximum length of 60 seconds, and most users prefer a square 1:1 aspect ratio that matches the style of photos found in their feed. With Facebook, on the other hand, you can post videos as long as 120 minutes (not that that’s recommended). Landscape video in a 16:9 ratio is preferred. Don’t let the wrong formatting throw off your marketing efforts.
Creating engaging video content that you can share on your social platforms doesn’t require that you purchase expensive film equipment or hire a video-editing tool. By following these practices and taking advantage of the resources that are readily available to you, you can create great, dynamic content without breaking your marketing budget.