How to use video to promote your business (without spending a fortune).


In the good old days, we would watch TV, happy to watch the scheduled programmed shows, or record them for later. 

But now we're seeing a huge shift away from TV to digital video, preferring our own choice of content to watch anywhere at any time we want. 

The good old days are not 50 years ago. These are emerging trends from the last five years. There are statistics that indicate that from 2014, on average we are watching about 3.6 hours of digital video per week. In 2017, this has jumped to 12 hours per week. 

 Edelman Digital Trends 2017 report

 Edelman Digital Trends 2017 report

They are predicting that by 2020, this will be almost 20 hours per week. Twenty hours a week indicates we're no longer sitting down in front of the TV, we're in fact, watching online in some way shape or form. 

What do we mean by digital viewing

When we talk about digital video we are talking about streaming services like Netflix, Stan, Apple TV, Amazon and YouTube. All of these feed the trend of people wanting to self-program, watch what they want, when they want it. 

It also includes other types of video content, such as live videos from Facebook, YouTube or Periscope. 360-degree video, augmented, and virtual reality are also additional options for digital video viewing. 

These last few might seem like peripheral trends, however, if you can recall how a few months ago, the Pokemon trend that swept the world? That is augmented reality. If you have played with the face filters in Snapchat, this is facial recognition and augmented reality as well. 


The graph from the CISCO VNI report shows how big this shift is, with the majority of data use on the internet being for video and audio. 

This is, to some extent, a shift that is driven by cheaper data plans, faster download speeds and better devices to watch on. 

But we can also see that Facebook and Google, are actively pushing this trend as well. 

This graph is indicating the amount of contracts in dollars that Facebook are paying to organisations to produce and put content onto Facebook Live. 

Top of the list is a $3 million contract for BuzzFeed, followed closely by New York Times and CNN. This indicates that Facebook is looking to take on the traditional broadcasting industry and disrupt it. It is also positioning itself for a share of the market against the other behemonth in this market, Youtube (Google).

It’s also interesting that it’s not all traditional media outlets in this mix of paid to generate content. There is a shift in what we want to watch, and indicates the power of the creator market. Anyone producing interesting content can build an audience with traditional barriers to entry to producing video removed. This is particularly true when you consider how popular many Youtube channel owners are, the fact that YouTube, has launched its own paid channel called YouTube Red for $10 a month and Facebook has also just launched their own Video channel. 

We also know that video content is favoured by platforms such as Facebook, so it provides another reason to use video in your digital marketing mix.


How can use video for your own business

The following are some ideas and apps to show you how you can apply video to your business without having to go to the expense of hiring a videographer, along with the budget that goes with that.

1.    Talking head - Facebook / Periscope

Facebook Live and Periscope, which is also live, is a great place for you to start. The barrier to entry for a Facebook Live session is low. All you need is your mobile phone, open up your Facebook app, and start a Facebook Live session. 

Some of you are probably thinking, "I just don't want my head on camera." If you don't want to be recorded talking to an audience, then just turn the camera around, film and talk about what it is that you're seeing and doing. 

When doing a 'live broadcast' you need to watch your upload data speed to ensure the video is not choppy or cuts out. Also, you have the flexibility of doing this from both your desktop or mobile. If you're doing it with your mobile, make sure that you're keeping steady, and do think about your sound. 

The quality of sound is really important as you want people to be able to easily hear what you are saying. The microphone from your smart phone may not be sufficient, so do test before you go live. Also, be careful of the noise around you. You don't want to be infringing on copyright with any music that is back ground noise, but in fact will be an infringement of copyright rules. 

2.    Interviewing 

This is a really easy way to make your Facebook Live sessions even better. Instead of just you talking, you can interview people or have a chat session with other people as part of your live video. Facebook allows you to invite people in to your live session, so that you can have a conversation as part of your live video session. Not a lot of people are doing this at the moment, and it does add an extra dimension to your story, with more entertainment value, than just as a talking head. In order to invite someone in to your Facebook Live session, all you need to do when you are live, is to swipe left on your screen. You can see who is live at that point in time, and you can tap on the icon and invite one of your viewers to your live session. 

3.    Broadcast events

If you're in a business where you get out and about a lot, doing on the spot reporting at events is a really great way to generate content. Again, doing either videos for editing later on, or doing a live session. It's great to make comments, and provide in the moment sharing of what you are seeing. The other thing that's really powerful about this idea is that for others that are also viewing or interested in this event, using hashtags and sharing to that community helps, you get in front of a much broader audience than you might otherwise. 

4.    Image + augmentation

A great way to produce images that are a little bit special, with a bit of movement is with the app Lumyer. This allows you to add special effects to still images or to video. The example I've included here is a still image, but I've added a palm tree which is fluttering in the breeze, and some reflection from the sunlight. Whilst this isn't effectively a story being told, it does add movement and a bit of interest to what might be otherwise a very boring image. This app provides you with lots of different special effects, mostly on the fun side, and with a little bit of imagination can bring a bit of extra oophm to your content. 

5.    Add moving words and images

Another easy app to help you generate great video content is Lumen5.  This is a desktop app, but what's so powerful about this is it can take a page of content from your website, or you can copy and paste the content that you want to produce into a video as your words and images, and it will automatically generate a set of slides as moving text and images. You can, of course, search for different images or upload your own, and video can also be used as well. 

You can add copyright free music as a bonus and the interface for editing is very simple. You can pull together a video in a very short amount of time – minutes, not hours! The example I've included here took me about 10 minutes. 

6.    Combining images, words and video

Similar to the above, taking it to the next level, this app, called Animoto, is more flexible with more control over the design element of the final video. 

This is a desktop and smartphone app, which means that you can not only work on your desktop, but that same video can be picked up and continue to work on your mobile, or vice versa.  

Similar to Lumen5, this allows you to combine images and video together, but what is powerful about this particular app is that it has a heap of templates that you can tailor and guide you, if you're not very good on the design of your video for a professional look and feel. 

It also offers a voice over feature for each of the frames, or to select from a range of copyright-free music. 

For format, you can choose between either a landscape or square format. Landscape being important for Facebook, but in fact, square being important if you want to post to Instagram, or in fact, just get better capture in your feeds.


Additional things to think about   

When producing video, there are a few things to think about. 

  1. Storyboard what you want to be in the video
    Creating a video on the fly with no plan is difficult and you can spend more time producing a video than you really need to. I've provided a simple storyboard planner for your video as a template that you can download from my portal to help you plan out what you want in your video.
  2. Know what images/scenes/ locations you need
    The next thing to do is know what images, scenes, or locations you need in order to produce your entire video. Writing down the text and the content for each of the frames will make for a much more cohesive video. It will also save you time when it comes to putting it all together. 
  3. Framing
    Make sure you film in landscape or square, except if you're doing an Instastory, which you should do vertically. Landscape or square is important to avoid the black lines down either side of your video when it's posted.
  4. Stability when you're filming
    Make sure that you film with both hands, use a selfie stick, or tripod, or even consider purchasing a gimble. A gimble is a device that you'll mount your phone on and allows you to be stead as you move about. 
  5. Lighting
    Natural light is always best. You should face the light, particularly, if you're filming a face. Be careful of shadows, and don't put the light behind you unless you've been trying to be artistic and not show your face.
  6. Audio
    Be careful to avoid  any kind of TV, radio, or music in the background that may present copyright issues for you. Facebook can detect music and check on copyright as you upload video.

    Having good quality of sound in your audio is also very important. So consider buying a microphone of some kind. You can buy good quality ones between $50-100. 

Digital video as a trend is here to stay. Working out how to leverage it for your business is key to making sure you are staying on trend and taking advantage of where the sweet spots are giving you the most benefit, or offering up the most exposure, in terms of their algorithms.

These ideas that I've given you here today can be applied to many different types of businesses. Best of luck with your video making efforts. Don't forget to download the video storyboard template to help you create great videos to promote your message and business.