How to Make Videos (That Don't Suck), Pt. 2

June 20, 2017 • 7 min read

Benjamin Packard is a Producer at Retainer Media

In the first part of this series, How to Make Videos (That Don’t Suck), I established the importance of making videos as a medium of communication for small business owners. The power of videos is an effective way to tell stories about our unsung heroes, the small business owner.

My intent in sharing my best practices as a videographer is to empower you to create your own video, so you can highlight the amazing work you do as a small business professional.

The first episode of this series covered how to use b-roll footage and tripods when you are making videos, how to choose the right camera, and a few easy tips to improve the quality of the videos that you produce.

It’s possible to make decent videos without hiring a professional to do it for you, and at a premium rate. To begin, I will cover what material you should include in your video.

Making Videos with the Appropriate Content

making videos

In order for me to know the appropriate content for your audience, I would first have to understand your line of work. The best that I can offer is to share the guidelines I consider when creating footage for my area of expertise: making fundraising videos for nonprofit organizations.

I recommend reading the book Made to Stick by Chip and Dan Heath. It’s my favorite book on the topic of communications, and it can be read in two sittings. While reading Made to Stick, I learned more about what makes a message memorable, or “sticky.” To be sticky, a video should touch on these six factors: simple, unexpected, concrete, credible, emotional, and story. It’s not necessary to get every one right, but the more you do successfully, the better.

If you are introducing your audience to your business in the opening sequence, it’s a good idea to default to existing copy about your business, especially if you’ve already paid a writer to craft it for you. Does your website have an “About Us” section? Your introduction should answer these two questions:

– Why does your business exist?
– What makes your business different?

Aim to keep your video under 2 minutes, and ideally around 90 seconds, in length. Including numbers, dates and stats in your video may seem powerful, but they are rarely remembered by viewers.

Making Videos that Other People Will See

After you’ve completed your video, you might ask the question, “Where does my video belong?” The answer is, “Everywhere!”

making videos

I recommend posting it on YouTube, your website, blog and Facebook. When you post it on Facebook, make sure to tag people who are interested in your business or past customers so it shows up in their feed. You can also email your video to your clients.

It is unlikely that anyone will accidentally stumble upon your video, so creating as much exposure for it as you can is advantageous for you.

After you’ve posted your video in multiple channels, look at the data that each platform can provide. YouTube and Facebook can give you data about how many views your video got, how long people watched it for, and where they watched it.

Making Videos that People Want to Watch

Editing is one of the most time-consuming part of creating videos. However, some people, myself included, think that assembling the various parts in the editing process is the most fun part of creating videos.

If you have a Mac, the easiest and least expensive option for editing is iMovie, and it’s already on your computer. Likewise, PCs already have the Windows Movie Maker software loaded on them.

making videos

If you’re not familiar with iMovie and Windows Movie Maker, there are lots of free videos that will help you learn your program. For example, a quick Google search for “importing pictures into iMovie” will turn up lots of video tutorials.

While you are still learning how to make videos, I don’t recommend using expensive (and complicated) programs like Final Cut Pro or Adobe Premiere.

We’ve come to another conclusion! Thanks for tuning into the second part in this series, How to Make Videos (That Don’t Suck). In our next episode, we will cover getting feedback on the videos you’ve created, advice for the filming process, interviews in videos, lighting and music. See you soon!

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