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Video Snaps Picture-Perfect Content

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Mention “content,” and the first things that come to mind are words and pictures. That misses one of the fastest-growing segments of marketing: video.

Amanda Webb keeps that target in her sights. A social media and content marketer who specializes in digital marketing strategies, she talked with digital marketing expert Madalyn Sklar about building a content strategy with video.

“There’s something special about video, particularly when it has you or the people you work within it,” Webb said. “Your customer gets to see you, know you and trust you.”

She noted how video helps with every phase of a customer’s journey with these advantages:

  • A quick way to tell a story.
  • Reaches people who’d rather watch than read.
  • Shows the benefits of your products and services.
  • Helps customers by answering their questions.
  • Showcases your happy customers.

“Best of all, if people watch a video on Facebook or Instagram, you can re-target them with ads,” Webb said. “So, as long as your video is hyper-relevant, you can get a warm audience who knows you and are ready to buy.”

To make her case, she cited these statistics:

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“Set goals for what you want to achieve from your video,” Webb said. “Video making is time-consuming. It’s important to map out what you expect to get in return. Is it increased reach, brand awareness, sales, better conversion rates?

“Create an amazing hook,” she said. “The first 10 seconds of your video determine if people keep watching.”

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She added these pointers:

  • Get straight into the meat. What’s the video about? What problem does it solve?
  • Online video dampens down your energy online. Go over the top with energy levels.
  • Write a script that focuses on one key problem or topic.
  • Turn the script into a storyboard. Planning visually helps you create better visual content.

Webb wrote a post about storytelling and included a template.

Metrics tell the tale

“Don’t forget to measure the results,” she said. “If you don’t, you’ll feel like giving up.”

According to Webb, there are many places entrepreneurs can use video:

  • Their website
  • Facebook feed
  • Facebook stories
  • Instagram feed
  • Instagram stories
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Youtube
  • Snapchat
  • Tiktok

“Choose networks relevant to your audience and the type of video you created,” Webb said, citing a video that “would make little sense if it wasn’t embedded on a website. It’s brilliant and amusing.”

She agreed that video content should be re-edited to suit the social media platform it’s posted on. For instance, landscape format video works well on YouTube while square works well on Facebook and LinkedIn.

“Vertical works best in stories,” Webb said. “Use a tool like Kapwing to create versions for these formats.”

She addressed this subject in her podcast.

“I also like to add a 20-second still to the end of YouTube videos so I can add end cards without disturbing the video,” Webb said. “Each network has restrictions on length. Twitter is still 140 seconds, although some advertisers can upload longer videos. Instagram is 60 seconds in the feed and 15 in stories.

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“There are optimal video lengths for some networks, too,” she said. “Facebook encourages you to post videos three minutes long or more. YouTube likes longer videos, eight minutes or more Sometimes it’s choosing the right video for the platform rather than re-cutting for each.”

Trapped in time

Because it’s so easy to get involved, video editing can become a time suck.

“I love editing, but you can certainly get lost for hours if you aren’t careful,” Webb said. “Fortunately, there are ways to save time.”

  • Log your shots as you shoot. Make a note of the take that was the best for each shot. This will save you time reviewing all the bad versions later.
  • Keep all the clips for one video in a folder together. Name the file after the shot they contain: “CU-Take-One-Me-To-Camera.mp4,” for example.
  • Create a rough cut first. Then trim the videos down for a more refined edit.
  • Avoid using effects unless it’s really crucial. For example, green screen is cool but difficult to get right.

Similar to print content, video also has search engine optimization considerations.

“Videos help you get found just like blog posts and articles,” Webb said. “They appear in search results both on YouTube but also on Google, Bing and others. Use the same keyword research techniques you do for other content.

“Include keywords wherever you can in your headline, description — make it long and keyword-rich — and tags,” she said. “Add a subtitle file. It’s great for accessibility, for people watching with the sound off. It also gives search engines something to crawl.”

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Video inspiration is limited only by imagination.

“I love the Watch channel on Facebook,” Webb said. “It’s fascinating to see what videos appear there. Marketing expert Mari Smith is doing a lot of video challenges at the moment, and of course, she rocks. But also look at the people joining in her challenges.

“I also love what local Irish business Glamping Under the Stars did in a challenge we ran in my Facebook group,” she said. “They cover everything with their videos.”

Webb watches creator and influencer videos on YouTube.

“They will help you keep up with trends in online video,” she said. “When you watch TV and movies, try to decode the shots they choose to use and why. You can learn a lot of techniques and visual language from them.”

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Jim Katzaman
Jim Katzaman is a manager at Largo Financial Services. A writer by trade, he graduated from Lebanon Valley College, Pennsylvania, with a Bachelor of Arts in English. He enlisted in the Air Force and served for 25 years in public affairs – better known in the civilian world as public relations. He also earned an Associate’s Degree in Applied Science in Public Affairs. Since retiring, he has been a consultant and in the federal General Service as a public affairs specialist. He also acquired life and health insurance licenses, which resulted in his present affiliation with Largo Financial Services. In addition to expertise in financial affairs, he gathers the majority of his story content from Twitter chats. This has led him to publish about a wide range of topics such as social media, marketing, sexual harassment, workplace trends, productivity and financial management. Medium has named him a top writer in social media.

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