Content creation is such a huge slice of the Internet marketing pie. Ever had someone cut a piece of a pie, and then joke that the rest of it is their piece? When content creation does that, it's not joking.
Google updates its algorithms all the time, This isn't news, but the changes aren't complicated to understand, either. Basically, it's all about providing value to site visitors. And what do site visitors want? Quality content. BAM! Just like that, you understand it.
And in today's day and age of digital media, it's not all about written articles. Multimedia content opens a whole world of possibility to marketers and audiences. If you do it right, you can score viral levels of attention for your website with video content.
Not convinced? Check this out...
The Benefits of Video Content
There are SO MANY benefits to using video content, but here are the top three to be aware of:
1. You Can Target Multimedia Search Engines Like YouTube
When we hear "search engine," the names that come to mind are Google, Bing, or Yahoo. It's true that people find videos through those means, but more often than not, people bypass these search engines to search directly in the likes of YouTube or Vimeo.
If you don't have anything to show for their search, you're missing out on some potential traffic. You can see just how much you'd be missing out on in this snippet of an infographic from a Marketing Tech Blog post:
As you can see, YouTube is the second-biggest search engine (after Google) with more than 4 billion views per day. It's another way for people to find you, so why not take advantage of that?
2. People TRUST Video Advertisements and Recommendations
Yep, that second half of the infographic snippet above is bang on, too. Whether it's because they don't think scammers and spammers would bother with video production, or it's the human element that the visuals and audio can give to video content, consumers trust it.
Videos starring yourself (or a friend, if you're a little camera shy) can be the easiest of all to make, and the most endearing to an audience. Got a webcam? Or a phone with video capability? Then you're most of the way there! More about that in the "how to" section below...
3. It's Just Way More Interesting
People need to be entertained. They're fussy. Even when they want some boring information about a boring product, they want it to stand out and entertain them. Some brands are fantastic at it.
Here are two boring products with fantastic interesting videos to draw attention to their product and brand:
"Purina Friskies" Cat Food:
"PooPourri" Air Freshener:
Two boring products, cat food and air freshener, but I have seen these videos passed around friends just for entertainment. That's lot of exposure to people who weren't even searching for those products, but might need them either now or in the future. And that kind of video stays with you for a lot longer than a boring ad.
With the Internet constantly at people's finger tips, they're like a lazy emperor sitting on a throne, waving his hand absent-mindedly as he commands some poor visiting performer, "Entertain me, or I will cut off your head and move on without a second thought."
You need to catch consumers' attention as they watch videos on their iPads, sitting on their "thrones." So the next question is: How?
How to Create Video Content People Actually Want to Watch
The best way to tell you how to do it is to answer four basic questions about video content production.
1. Where Do I Start?
Everything must start with a concept! For some, this is the most fun part. For others, it's a dreaded mission akin to getting that dastardly ring to Mordor. Either way, the best advice I can give you is to look around for inspiration.
YouTube Searches for Concept Research:
- Funny ads
- Your niche name
- Your product type (e.g., cat food)
- Your product type reviews
- "How-to" videos related to your niche
See what comes up, and just watch the videos that naturally stand out to you, not the ones that are boring. What makes them interesting? Do they still have enough information about the product? Think about what you would ideally like to create.
Obviously it doesn't have to just be a narrative video. You might want to just review a product, or create a how-to, but this research should still give you ideas for how you could add an interesting touch to your videos.
2. What Do I Use to Record my Own Video?
You basically have 4 main options for filming your own videos. They vary in quality and cost but they're all great options to get some video content going.
- Great for product reviews, or for how-to's if your webcam is portable, like a laptop cam.
- Phone camera
- Super portable, great for filming in any location without hassle, especially for short clips or "vines."
- Your own camera
- Own your own camera already? Great! Get some use out of it, play around with what you can do around the house or neighborhood...
- Hire a videographer for a more professional video
- This is obviously the most expensive option (unless you invest in a professional-grade camera of your own), but if you're already making some cold hard cash, it can be worth investing in this to get one or two key brand-promoting videos in circulation on the web.
Video production doesn't have to be hard or complicated. You just need to play around with a little trial and error to get your head around what you're filming.
After all, I hear that Albert Einstein was a pretty smart dude, and he said himself, "A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new." It's not about being Steven Spielberg straight away: it's about giving it a go and finding your groove over time, and having some fun along the way.
3. To Stock Footage or Not to Stock Footage? That is the Question...
If you don't want to do any of your own filming, you can always use some stock footage. I need to warn you though, that stock footage can look really, really bad... If it's too obvious, then you're losing a lot of the genuine nature that video content can bring to your brand as it starts to look outright fake and boring.
I'm not saying you can't use stock footage, I'm just saying I want you to do it right. Make sure that it's high quality... While perusing the Interwebs, as the kids these days call it, I came across this stock footage video:
This video was made by the stock footage site dissolve.com, which makes it another great example of entertaining brand promotion.
The footage itself is fantastic and beautiful, and you could use similar stock footage with amusing and obvious narration to make a point about your brand and why it's awesome.
Other good stock footage sites include...
I think the ultimate rule with stock footage is to not use it too seriously. If you are using it in a light or comical way, or even an inspiring story (being careful not to be cheesy or cliché) then it can be really great.
The bonus with stock footage is that you only have to do the audio. For this you have three main options:
- Record it yourself: Again, a phone or webcam mic will do in a pinch.
- Hire a voice actor to do it: You can find them on sites like Fiverr.
- Use royalty-free music and subtitles for the message you want, either throughout, or just a title at the end to make your point.
- Once again, be careful not to be too cheesy or cliché.
- It's a good idea to use royalty-free music in the background of narration too, not just when using subtitles.
- You can find royalty-free music by searching for it in Google, but you'll either have to pay for it, or hunt around to find something that's free AND good, which can take a little while... I know because I've done it myself!
4. What Do I Use to Edit my Videos?
Video editing can be the most daunting part for some people. I use Adobe Premier Pro personally, but that requires a bit of money and effort to get and learn to use properly. If you want something simple that won't break the bank, here are two great options for you:
Alternatively, you can hire a video editor to do this for you. A cheaper option would be to use a freelancer, once again from a website like Fiverr.
If you have a little more spending money to play with and you're after something really professional, even if you filmed the footage yourself on your phone, use a service like Candidio. These guys are really friendly. They gave me a Skype tour of what they have to offer, and I have to say it looks pretty darn good!
Any of the above options are fine. None of them are "right" or "wrong"; it all just depends on your budget and preferences.
The No. 1 Tip for Video Creation
I want to leave you with my own personal number one tip for creating great videos...
Just have fun!
It sounds silly, I know, but I can't stress this enough. Not only will it keep you motivated to keep working on your videos; it'll keep your videos interesting. If you find it boring, chances are others will too. If you have fun with it, chances are that will show through in the final product.
Life is too short to make bad videos. So have fun, and make great ones instead. Get some friends to help you out with ideas. Make a day of filming, and do some bloopers for you and your friends to watch with a cold beer or two at the end of the day.
Interview someone who's passionate about the topic of your niche. There's likely someone in your local community who will have a job that aligns with your niche topic, or some students who study it.
Whatever you do, just give it a go, get something up, and see if you can't get some nice new traffic opportunities for yourself.
A quick final note: Just like with your written content, it pays to do a little keyword research for your title to make sure that people can find it easily in YouTube or even via Google. You can easily do that using the keyword research tool in AffiloTools here. If you're not very familiar with keyword research yet, or it's something you struggle with, there's a free lesson for you here.
And of course, feel free to comment below if you have any tips for video content that I haven't covered. We'd love to hear 'em!