You’ve probably noticed we’ve been talking a lot recently about how engineers are gravitating toward video and YouTube. Ninety-six percent of them consume video for work-related purposes, with the majority (53 percent) watching at least one hour of video weekly. Engineers under the age of 35 watch even more video content than the population of engineers as a whole (“2022 State of Marketing to Engineers”).
Given this propensity for video, it might be time to start adding videos to your content marketing efforts. One option is to outsource such an endeavor to a video production firm. Research conducted by the CRM company HubSpot performed found that more than half of all video companies charged between $2,500 and $10,000 for a 60-second explanation video. A video twice as long wouldn’t be twice as expensive, because a lot of production costs are fixed up front.
Still, that’s a wide price range and perhaps more than you want to pay. But you don’t have to break your budget or create perfectly polished videos to receive a high return on investment (ROI) on your videos. Gritty videos that are authentic, helpful, and relevant to buyers can have just as much impact.
If you have someone on your team who is adept with a camera and the basic aspects of production, you can create your own simple content marketing videos. Follow these tips and you might be feeling like the next Quentin Tarantino or Jane Campion.
What type of video?
Corporate overviews are for the most part branding videos, helping to build awareness and trust with your audience. They tend to be flashier, more expensive, and tend to focus on the strengths of your company and reasons for customers to choose you.
The most popular types of videos engineers watch include how-to videos, explainer, and comparisons. For all of these, the more technical the better, as long as you speak the language of your audience. The most important thing in choosing what type of video is to be helpful to your audience. Gartner research found that customers who think that information received from suppliers is helpful are three times more likely to make a bigger purchase with less regret.
Gather your equipment
You’ll need a camera. It could be your smartphone, a webcam, screen recording software, or a professional video camera. Also, a microphone to ensure quality sound. A stabilizer such as a tripod if you’re using a handheld camera lacking a stabilizing feature. Good lighting. And video editing software, allowing you to add music, transitions, text, intros, and outros.
Write a script or create a storyboard
When planning a video, think in terms of telling a story. Stories have beginning, middles, and ends. For example: Your oscillating pump broke, this is how you fix it, these will be your results. Simple. The script or storyboard needs to contain two things: the action that will appear on screen and the voice over that will accompany the action. A two-column format works well, with the action in one column and the corresponding text in the other.
Line up your people resources
If your video is going to include interviews or people talking on screen, you’ll need to line these resources up and ensure their availability on production day. For example, an explainer or how-to video might use an on-screen narrator interspersed with whiteboarding or screen capture footage a narrator. You might add a customer testimonial to a product overview video. Or you might need to film several people if you’re planning a mini discussion around an industry topic.
Not everyone is comfortable on camera. A little rehearsing might help. Practicing in a mirror before filming gives you an idea of how you will look to viewers. To improve someone’s camera presence, sit/stand up straight with your shoulders back to look professional, focused, and relaxed.
You should also try to speak slowly and enunciate each word clearly, so your message is easy to understand.
Plan your style elements
Decide on music type, introductory graphics, and branding elements. If you’re creating a series of videos, you’ll want to carry these features through all of these videos. It will help make your videos quickly recognizable to your audience.
Film in small segments
Rather than try to film the entire video in one take, film in smaller segments that you can later stitch together using your video editing software. This helps you stay focused on each moment or point that you want to make. It also makes editing easier.
Edit and polish
Work within your video editing software to compile, combine, cut, and add transitions, music, intros, and outros. If you have a clunky section, you can add a transition such as a fade out and back in to provide cohesion and smoothness.
When in the planning stages, you should determine how you will use the video and through what distribution channels. Using it for advertising purposes, email marketing, social media and your website are common channels for distributing your video. Keep track of metrics such as views, time spent watching, drop offs, and shares to help you understand the effectiveness of your videos and to improve subsequent efforts.