Video as an advertising platform has been gaining a lot of momentum in the last few years. The good news is that it does not need to be difficult for small businesses to use video in the marketing campaigns.
In this section:
Planning a video
The first thing to think about when planning a video marketing campaign is of course the topic of your video. There are a range of informative video styles you can choose for an electrical business – see below for more on this. Whichever style of video you choose, there are several key things to remember when planning your video.
Firstly, consider the need for a script. Some videos might require a careful scripted message, for example, to convey your brand story in a corporate video. Others, such as instructional how-to videos, might be better when they’re informal and less scripted. The best place to start when deciding which is best for you, is by jotting down some notes about what you want to say in your video – if it’s a short statement that you can remember, it might be best to script the statement and rehearse until it feels natural. If the video is planned to be more casual, jot down a few notes on flash cards and put them up behind the camera – these can act as cue cards to remind you of what you wanted to say, without the need for a fully designed script.
The best thing about video marketing is that these days, nearly everyone has a high powered video camera with them everywhere they go… simply by turning on their mobile phone. Mobile phone technology has improved so much in recent years that amateur video captured on a mobile phone is still clear enough to be used. This is the simplest way to set up an instructional video in your office – simply mount a mobile photo securely to a table of work bench, point it at your video star, and hit record. You can even purchase tripods for mobile phones, to ensure your camera stays steady while you film. If you do prefer a video camera, digital cameras can be bought cheaply, and generally have larger storage systems and longer battery life than mobile phones or tablets.
Filming a video
There are two major factors to consider when filming your video – light and sound. Both have a huge impact on the quality of your video, and should be considered before you start filming and during the shoot.
Good lighting is a must for filming, but there’s no need to rush out and buy video quality framing lights for your video. Set up your shots in areas of natural light if you can – overhead fluorescents can create harsh shadows and pockets of dark shadows. If you can, film on a wall opposite a large window. This will allows plenty of natural light into the shot, without creating shadows between the camera and the person on screen. If you do need to film outside, make sure that your shot is either entirely in the shade, or entirely in the sun. This will avoid glare on the screen and make your video much easier to watch. It can help to set up a test and watch the playback before starting to film – this way you can see if any shadows are cast over the faces of the people on screen, or if there is any glare.
Sound is another important factor in filming. Background noises such as the buzzing of computers or the ringing of a telephone might not seem loud during filming, but can be a huge obstacle to overcome in the editing phase. Make sure everyone on set turns off their mobile phone, and if it’s possible, turn of any other technology in the area. The buzzing of a computer, laptop or even a digital clock can leave unwanted static in the background of your film. If you’re filming outside, make sure you’re away from any cars or traffic, or any people whose conversation might record on the background of your video.
If you’re having trouble filming the exact shot you’re after, it might be worth investigating a video stockist. Video stockists such as Video Blocks, iStock and Shutterstock give you access to a range of free or low-cost photos and video clips.
Video creation software
As with many other digital marketing tools, producing a video can be cost effective and simple, thanks largely to the wide range of video editing software available online. If you’re just starting out, and looking to test the waters with an engaging brand video, try a platform such as Animoto, Rawshorts or Kizoa. These platforms operate using predesigned templates and audio tracks. To use them, simply upload your own photos or short videos, and piece them together in a video slideshow. The result is a high quality, professional looking video, without the need for a big budget or heavy design.
If you’re feeling a little bit more adventurous, other platforms allow you to use their predesigned characters, icons and templates to create your own video. Try platforms such PowToon or Go Animate. These drag and drop styled platforms allow you to add backgrounds and text, and move items around to suit your needs. They’re great options for creating a brand video, as they can be customised to suit your brand.
Tips for the Electrical Industry
Answer questions for your audience
Video has risen in popularity because customers are craving engaging information. If you find there’s a topic your customers are constantly asking questions about, then it’s likely other people want to know about it to. Consider putting together an instructional video that shows your customers how to do something around the house, like testing their safety switches. We’re not suggesting that you teach people how to do electrical work themselves, but rather use the video as an example to show them how DIY can go wrong, and why they should employ a licenced electrician. You could also do a product test with one of your suppliers, to highlight why you think that product has quality over another.
Show your human side
Another great way to connect with customers is to show them what goes on behind the scenes. A quick video tour of the office can provide them with much greater insight into the culture you’ve established in your workplace. Better yet, introduce one of your tradies with a short Q&A to connect your customers with something more than just your brand.
Don’t fear low production value
Mobile technology has improved greatly in the recent years, and a video filmed on your phone or tablet is certainly high enough quality to share on your social media accounts. A quick video without much editing could very well make you the next viral sensation. Ask your staff to be on the lookout for interesting things they could film when working on location, and get them to send you a copy to upload the Facebook.
Focus on a single message, but don’t push your sales too hard
It’s important to remember that video marketing has risen in popularity because people are becoming more creative, and seeking out content they can engage with. Keep your video short – one to three minutes is more than enough – and focus on a single message. Think of video marketing as a brand recognition tool, rather than an advertising tool, and keep your sales push to a minimum.
Video for SEO
Over six billion hours of video are watched each month of YouTube – that’s almost an hour for every person on earth, and that’s a lot of video content. In order to stand out from the crowd, you need to give a bit of thought on how you are going to deliver your videos, and how they will form part of your overall digital marketing plan.
When designing your video, be sure to think of its impact on your search engine rankings. Review your website analytics to determine what pages are the most popular – you can also do the same with your social media posts. This will give you an idea about the sort of topics that are popular with your fans. That will not only help you decide on your video topic, but can also help with search engine optimisation (SEO). Improve your video SEO by including popular keywords in your video title, description and tags when uploading it to YouTube. And be sure to embed any videos you create into your website – pages with video are 53 times more likely to appear in Google’s first search page, and in general, are 89 times more likely to be seen through search.
Video for email marketing
Due to the rising popularity of video, video marketing in email marketing is becoming more and more significant to businesses. Despite this, there are still some limitations as to how you can use video in email campaigns. Embedding a video in your email can be tricky, and some of the more popular email clients such as MailChimp and Campaign Monitor do not offer the service yet.
However, there are ways to get around this. Simply using the word ‘video’ in the email subject line can lead to better open rates. And once an email is opened, half of your job is already done. Recent research has shown that using video in an introductory email can reduce the number of opt-outs by 75 per cent. Additionally, it can increase subscriber to lead conversion rates by 15 per cent.
Although you may not be able to embed a video in your email, you can embed a photo still and link it to your video on YouTube. Better yet, link it to a landing page on your website that already has the video embedded in it, and you have not only increased the click through rate of your email campaign, you have also increased visits to your website.