Do you use video content on social media or does it absolutely terrify you?! Maybe you are totally comfortable with creating still images, but the switch to moving imagery fills you with dread. Either because you fear it’s too technical or perhaps you worry you’d be expected to ‘present’ to camera.
Lots of creatives feel this way, but the truth is, video content is becoming more and more important in our world of social media promotion and reaching your customers. To help guide you through what might feel like a minefield, last August we invited Hazel Gardiner to host a Creative Session for us, teaching all things video. She covered how to create engaging content, how to film and edit using your phone, as well as how to utilise video for things like virtual events and workshops.
Today, to give you a taster, Hazel has shared a few pieces of advice and her top tips, but you can delve right into it in more detail by taking the online workshop with her here. It is a replay which you can watch as many times as you like once purchased. But for now, here is why Hazel thinks you should start harnessing the power of video!
TIP 1: REALISE THAT IT IS EASIER THAN YOU THINK!
We are all becoming very used to seeing video content both on social media and online in general. Many bigger brands are using it as well as small, and the beauty of it is, it doesn’t have to be all perfect and shiny. You can of course make it as polished as you like, but people are not expecting this and simply enjoy the insight. You can just whip out your mobile phone and start filming – it really is that easy! You don’t need any kit to get started, meaning it is super accessible and you just need to start playing around with it. The great thing is you will only get better with practise!
TIP 2: IT’S A GREAT WAY TO TELL THE STORY OF YOUR BRAND
As a small business, being able to tell your personal brand story is your super power. Big corporate brands are trying to do this as they know this is what customers relate to, but they can’t do it in the same way a small business owner can. You can of course tell a visual story through still images, but video can really offer up a slice of your personality and a true insight into your brand. But don’t worry, if talking to camera isn’t for you, that is absolutely fine. Don’t force it. Instead consider other ways you can utilise video that you are comfortable with and, in turn, it will feel authentic to the viewer.
TIP 3: HAVE A THINK ABOUT YOUR INTENTIONS
The idea of shooting video will feel less scary if you have a plan. Take some time to brainstorm and jot down some ideas. What it is you want it to do? Are you aiming to educate? If you are generous with your skills this draws people to your platforms and they will discover what else you have to offer. Perhaps you simply want to share a bit more about you and why you do what you do, or maybe your intention is as clear cut as driving more sales. If you know exactly what your goal is then coming up with content ideas will become easier.
TIP 4: BUILD A CONTENT PLAN
As I’ve already mentioned, they are many many ways in which to create video content. Speaking to camera is only one of them and if you are not comfortable with that, it will be noticeable to the viewer, so think about what other options there are. You could interview someone else in your industry so that you are not the focus – this could be done on Instagram Live or it could be recorded in advance and uploaded to IGTV or YouTube. You could create a montage of clips, perhaps stitching together a day in your life using an app such as InShot. If you are really stumped, take a look around at what others are doing as this might spark ideas (try not to copy!) or have a good think about what you would enjoy watching, as chances are, others will too.
TIP 5: BE MINDFUL OF QUALITY
It’s true there is no need for fancy equipment to start creating video content, but as you would when shooting stills, try to be mindful of the quality. Consider the lighting – try to film in the best light possible – natural light is best. Think about noise too – avoid any distracting background sounds – if your kids are screaming in the background that is probably all the viewer will hear! Take yourself off to a quiet spot and this will probably make you feel more relaxed, too. If you are keen to elevate the quality of your videos, my recommendation is to get yourself a small tripod. This will keep your frames super still and avoid any shaky hands! Joby is a great brand with varying options, but there are many of the market, so get researching!
Hopefully these tips have encouraged you to give video a try! If you want additional guidance and a more in-depth understanding, then Hazel’s Creative Session – VIDEO: HOW TO UTILISE IT’S POWER TO ATTRACT AND ENGAGE CUSTOMERS – is the place to head. For a small fee of £39 she will get you off to a flying start and really inspire you to get filming! 🙂
For more small business tips, check out these previous posts:
How to gain press for your small business, with 91 editor Caroline Rowland
How to grow and monetise your Instagram with Nancy Straughan
Photography for small business with Jemma Watts
or you can watch the short videos on our IGTV.