Considering creating video content for your company website or blog? Does the process seem overwhelming? It’s so much easier (and cheaper) than you might think. Allow me to debunk five myths about creating video content.
Myth #1: Video equipment is very expensive. Modern technology allows you to take professional-looking videos with even the most basic, entry level equipment. You can use equipment you may already have– your iPhone, Flipcam, even your digital camera’s video setting. If you do have a little bit of money to spend, you can outfit yourself for a few hundred dollars or less, depending on what you’d like to do. I was able to fully equip the company I work for with a budget of less than $500. That included the camera, lights, microphone and video editing software (Steve Garfield’s fabulous book, Get Seen, helped me figure out what to buy). With that equipment we’ve created a video library on YouTube with 28,000 views. And we’re just getting started.
Myth #2: Production needs to look polished and professional. This was one of the most wonderful things I discovered when I first started researching video content creation. Most consumer audiences are very forgiving when it comes to video production. Depending on your brand, it may even benefit you to look casual and unpolished. When things aren’t perfect, your customers see you as “real” rather than corporate.
Myth #3: Video editing is complicated and hard to learn. Sure, there are people who make a living editing video, and doing all kinds of fancy transitions and animation does take some practice. But using a very, very basic editing tool like iMovie (free), Windows Movie Maker (free) or even the iPhone app Splice ($1.99) can generate surprisingly good results. When I wanted to do some more sophisticated editing, I “graduated” to Sony Vegas. And with a little help from teenagers on YouTube, I got some really helpful tutorials. (I could still use a Dummies book, though…)
Myth #4: Video editing takes a long time. There are some videos that you can film in one take, others that will need more cutting and splicing. It’s true that it can take time to edit a video, depending on how sophisticated you want to get. Once you become more familiar with the editing software, the process will start to go faster. Here’s a time-saving tip: create a standard intro and “outro” to your videos and use those same clips over and over. Also, if you’re making a video similar to one you’ve made before, save a copy of the old one and use it as a template for the new one.
Myth #5 YouTube isn’t professional enough for your business. Once a repository for silly home videos, You Tube has become a major player in social media. Sure, your product demo videos may share space with laughing babies and SNL sketches, but it will also share space with huge corporations like Toyota, Coca-Cola and Cisco, all of whom are eager to take advantage of YouTube’s incredible reach. If you create a channel for your brand and optimize your videos for SEO, your company’s presence on YouTube could attract a significant number of new viewers (a portion of whom could become new customers). If you’re still hesitant to create a presence on the YouTube site, you can simply embed YouTube videos on your own website or blog. Your customers don’t care where the video is hosted. They might not even notice. Just make sure to turn off the related videos function, or your audience might get a few video recommendations you’re not crazy about.
What has been your experience creating video content for your blog or website?