How to create marketing videos on a budget

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Marketers are responding to our ever-shortening attention spans by making content more visual and it’s safe to say that it’s paying off. In the last couple of years, there has been a surge in the popularity of video marketing. Whether it’s funny cats, people falling over or make up tutorials, we can’t get enough of video.

What this means is that if you don’t already have a video marketing strategy in place, you’re missing out on a valuable opportunity to reach out to and engage with your audience. If you’ve never considered using video as part of your online activities, here are just a few of the reasons why you should.

It’s what your audience wants to see:

If you want a highly engaged audience, video is the way to achieve it:

It helps with SEO:

It’s the future: 

As a small business, how can you make video marketing work for you?

When you’re a small business owner with limited resources, how do you even begin to compete with big corporate companies and their huge marketing budgets? Believe it or not, you can and below I explain exactly how.

Utilise your keywords

Optimising your videos with the right keywords not only extends your reach, it’s also a very effective way of creating low-cost videos.

This video, ‘How to bathe a cat’ is a great example of how to make your keywords work for you. Google quickly recognises ‘how to’ as a phrase associated with video and will therefore prioritise it. The title is simply ‘how to bathe a cat’ and the key phrase used in the video description is ‘cat bathing.’

Other factors working in favour of this video is it’s of optimal length, it has a lot of views, it offers practical advice while being humorous and it was of course, very low-cost to produce.

Action points:

  • Do your keyword research. Brian Dean explains more about the types of phrases Google likes to associate with videos and how you can find them.
  • Use keywords that are ideal for short, simple videos – for example, ‘how to…’
  • Use relevant title and video descriptions that include your target keywords.

Look for low-cost video marketing opportunities

Focus on simple, low-cost video production opportunities. Sure, it would be great to create feature-length videos with special effects and guest appearances from industry influencers, but when budget is an issue, you need to get creative with the type of content you can produce.

Again, ‘how to’ videos are great because they’re easy to make and people will watch them because you’re offering something of value.

Introductory videos also work well. This is something you may have on the home page of your website which tells your visitors who you are, what you do and the problem you solve for your customers.

A huge benefit of these types of videos is that you don’t need to pay for a studio or a presenter. You want people to get to know your brand so where better to film than at your office and who better to be the star of the show than the people who work for you?

Action points:

  • Brainstorm ideas that are easy to put into production – examples include ‘how to…’, an introduction to your business, meet the team, your services, your product in action and client testimonials.
  • Keep your videos short – 5% of viewers stop watching after one minute and 60% will drop off within two minutes. Short videos are actually great because as well as ensuring your audience stays engaged, you get to spread your content across several different videos. For example, meet the team – have a separate video for each employee rather than introducing everyone in the same film.
  • Make the most out of the resources you have. Do you have a member of staff who would love to get in front of the camera? If an employee goes to an event, can they create video footage there? Can you rely on user generated content from your customers?

Keep your editing process simple

There’s no need to spend hundreds of pounds on high-end editing software. There are plenty of applications available which are low-cost yet powerful enough to produce slick, professional-looking videos. What’s more, they’re simple and straightforward to use even for those who don’t have any editing experience.

Action point:

Download a simple video editing app. Many of these can even be used on your phone which is great if you have a very tight budget and will be filming on your mobile device.

  • Filmora video editor – (free trial available and then $44.99 a year). Create amazing videos using a wide range of powerful and easy-to-use editing tools. Available for Windows, Mac, iOS and Android.
  • Squareready for video – (free). Specifically designed for Instagram users, this app allows you to crop video footage onto white backgrounds so you can create a cleaner user experience.
  • iMovie – (free). Create beautiful HD videos with a range of themes, titles, transitions and soundtrack capabilities.

Make the most out of what you already have

  • If you need to rent a studio, camera equipment or a presenter, plan to film all your videos in one day. This will work out much cheaper than renting everything out on multiple occasions.
  • Re-editing old video footage is a great way to get more for your money. You can freshen it up with new music or a different voiceover or even mix some old content with new footage.
  • A great way to rehash old content or spread new footage across several videos, is to add animations to your content. This is a great example from Asana. A lot of the video is made up of digital graphics which means that they won’t have had to spend too much time or money worrying about producing live footage.

Enlist the help of students

One final tip for creating marketing videos on a budget is to enlist the help of your local college or university. Students studying media, journalism, cinematography, film-making or anything else that might require them to shoot videos for their course, will be incredibly grateful for the opportunity to add something to their portfolio and it won’t be anywhere near as expensive as using a professional.

As you can see, having a tight budget doesn’t mean that you have to compromise on the quality of your videos. Incorporate any of the above points into your marketing strategy and you’ll be producing fantastic content that will keep your audience engaged and see them return to your website time and time again.  

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After completing her degree in Journalism, Monique began her career at a digital marketing agency. It was here she discovered a passion for online marketing with a particular focus on content creation for the web. Six years ago Monique set up her own copywriting business, Copyworks Group, which specialises in creating content for websites, blogs, newsletters and social media pages.

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