Videos are fantastic tools to help you garner a dedicated following, improve your authority ratings, turn your page into a resource and help you sell your products.
In this post, we’ll look at:
- The tools needed to create videos
- Uploading your videos to YouTube
- Sharing videos
- Using videos made by others
You do not have to be Steven Spielberg to make useful, entertaining and effective videos. All you need is a simple though-out plan, a decent video camera and a couple of other tools listed below. Naturally, you’re not going to be able to make videos with full-blown CGI effects displayed in Pacific Rim. But fret not if you have actors who are not able to display emotion in front of the camera; look how much Twilight made at the box office. 😉
Here are the tools you need to create a video for your store or site.
A Subject Matter (Product, Service, Method, Explanation)
You need a purpose for your video. You could be talking about the attributes of a product or how to use a product for best results. The purpose of the video is to inform and entertain, if possible. The ultimate aim, of course, is to convince the viewer that the product or service your are selling is worth buying (from someone who knows what he or she is talking about).
Look at the Mercedes ad below. While entertaining, it subtly lets viewers know that their vehicles perform well in less than favorable road conditions.
A storyboard is the most underrated part of the video making process. But it is actually quite important because it helps save time and resources.
If you shoot without a storyboard, you might find out too late that you may have missed certain things.
A storyboard is basically a sheet of paper that lays out the storyline of the video using rough scene illustrations, scene descriptions and audio elements (scripted monologue or dialogue, sound effects, music).
A Suitable Location
From your storyboard, you should be able to workout the kind of location you would need to shoot the video. Preferably, the location should be free from ambient noise.
Now all videos can be shot indoors. For example, if you sell car wax, you would probably want to shoot a video on how to properly wash and wax a car. That usually has to be done outdoors.
If you need to shoot a video outdoors, select a location with as little ambient noise as possible. Sometimes, the time of day can affect this (animal sounds – birds especially, traffic, neighbors shooting hoops next door). That said, time of day would also need to be taken into consideration when it comes to lighting.
Actors & Props
Also from the storyboard, you will know if you need actors and props. Don’t worry about using your friends and relatives as actors. Peter Jackson’s first feature film – Bad Taste – was made with the help of his friends shot on weekends over four years.
No one expects Academy Award winning performances from a product video. In fact, slight glitches and mistakes help keep the video looking real and makes it easier for people to relate to them. But too many glitches can cause the video to irritate viewers. Keep that in mind during the editing process.
A Video Camera
You could even use your phone’s video camera feature to shoot a product video, provided is it one of the newer ones with anti shake and has decent capture quality for image and sound. A tripod or unipod may be useful in certain situations.
Both Apple and Windows have free video editing software which come packaged with their operating systems. Of course, if you can afford it, there’s always Adobe Premier Pro CC and Camtasia Studio.
When editing videos, remember that humans have very short attention spans so keep it concise – 30 seconds to 3 minutes should suffice.
Do not use a draggy voice for narration. You want to keep your videos both sounding and looking exciting, especially if you’re trying to sell something. But try not to sound like you’re high on something.
If you want to add images to your videos, make sure they are copyright free or have a public copyright license like the Creative Commons (CC) license. A Creative Commons license is used when a creator of a particular piece of work wants to allow users the freedom to share, use, and even build upon that work.
Music fill in the ‘gap’ in videos. But it is important to use music with permission from its owners. Alternatively, you can use royalty free music from sites like this.
Uploading Your Videos To YouTube
I’m just going to take the easy way out on this one and paste a link to this WikiHow page on How To Upload A YouTube Video.
The next thing you need to do is share your videos. Place them on your store, blog, Facebook and so on. Facebook automatically converts video links to thumbnails. But for your store and blogs sites, you can either place links to your videos on YouTube or embed your videos. You can also easily change the frame border size of your video to suit your page.
Using Videos Made By Others
This is where it gets a little tricky.
Usually, if people upload videos to YouTube, they are meant to be shared publicly. This is why stores selling DVD and Blu-ray discs often embed official movie trailers from YouTube on related pages. Those trailers help video stores sell more discs and that’s what the movie makers also want.
However, unofficial trailers and other fan or self-made videos may contain copyright material (audio and video). So, using those videos may get you in trouble.
Also, you might want to stay clear of videos created by your competitors. That’s self explanatory.
Sometimes, you can use videos which are seemingly unrelated to what you’re selling. For example, I’ve seen a certain sports outlet embed official G.I. Joe 2 and Fast 6 movie trailers on its site. The reason – one of the main actors was wearing a particular brand of apparel in both movies.
That’s a pretty creative way of making 3rd party videos work for you. You also need a sharp eye and a quick mind to pull that off.
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