Making the most of video marketing

By: Richard Michie

On our Marketing Sandwich Course webinar series we ask people what they’d like to find out more about. We try to cover these snippets in 30 minutes or less, with time for a sandwich, of course.

On our last webinar we spoke to Amber Avison and Gary Butterfield about how businesses can make the most of video marketing without a huge budget. Here’s the video of the call and a full transcript.

Video marketing webinar

Richard: Thank you very much Gary and Amber for coming on the first ever Marketing Sandwich Course. This is something I’m going to run every month, so there’ll be another one in December. I’m going to just try and keep it short and sweet and focus on a couple of little marketing tactics. First of all guys could you just tell us a little bit about you and what you do.

Amber: I’m Amber Avison. I work for a company called Angel Groups. We own and run five groups across Yorkshire and Humberside. We look to fund and support SMEs in their growth journeys.

Gary: Hello. I’m Gary Butterfield. I’m co-founder and executive director of a company called Everyday Juice Limited. We work with large employers on their staff health and wellbeing offer.

Richard: Excellent. Importantly part of what we’ve talked about was I was going to say what sandwich are we having. Because I’ve not quite prepared properly, I’ve not got a sandwich. I’ve just got a cup of strong coffee instead. Lets skip over that bit. That’s the bit I failed on, no sandwich.
As part of the program I asked what marketing issues people wanted to talk about. Now, Amber came back to me, and, Amber, you said that you wanted to talk, find out a bit more about video. Is that something you’d still like to look at?

Amber: Yeah. Absolutely if that’s okay.

Richard: Sure. Tell us, what’s the particular element of video that you would like explaining or is it just general?

Amber: I guess it’s general, but also the equipment that’s needed. Not anything fancy, just your run of the mill what do you need to put a video up on, say, social media for the first time. I’ve seen people use those little mics that connect to a phone. I don’t know if they’re needed necessarily, or what the reviews are on that. Just basically what your success has been with uploading videos as opposed to the standard pictures or text on social media.

Richard: Excellent. That’s great. Gary, is there anything on that subject you’d like to find out more about?

Gary: We don’t really use it, to be honest. We should do because it’s a really good way of getting your message out there. I’m really interested in video. We work B2B primarily, so ways that video can be used for that purpose would be really interesting to hear more about.

To book your place on the next Marketing Sandwich Course, click this link visit the booking page

Richard: Well, that’s pretty straightforward. Video is really good. Obviously with social media I would always say that a really key element to do is to always post with an image as well as just text. Just text is fine, but it’s like that thing of an image speaks a thousand words, or whatever. Whereas a video actually speaks a million words, because it’s got more interaction. It’s more likely to stop people.

It helps people to be able to see behind the scenes and what’s happening with a business, and gets personality across in a way that’s much better than, say, a static image or a blog. Because a blog you consider what you’re saying a little bit more, and you don’t get to see the physical person like this. Video is really, really key. It used to be really tricky to put together videos because people needed a lot of specialist equipment. People thought you needed specialist lighting kit. There was a lot to go into that, and how on earth would you edit it and all those other things.

It’s still true that if you want to create Gladiator, if you want to create some amazing type video that’s a blockbuster, clearly that involves a lot of people, a lot of time, and a lot of kit, and a lot of money. There’s so many solutions now that you guys have probably got all the equipment that you actually need in your pockets. Your phone is the first thing.

I’ve got an iPhone X, and the reason I got the iPhone X. This has got a really high definition camera. It can take 4K quality videos, so that’s the kind of thing that you can watch on your TV at home in really high quality. The next thing that I got, and this is something that you alluded to Amber was, I don’t know how well you can see this, but this is the microphone that I have that plugs into my iPhone.

This is a Rode microphone. It’s a directional microphone, and all it does on the iPhone is plug into the power charger socket. It looks like that. The reasons for having this is that the iPhone microphone is really, not really built for directional. If you’re filming that way, you can see that the microphone element is in here, and that means that the the microphone sound, and the sound that it’s going to pick up is going to be from round here, rather than straight on.

That’s why it’s a nice idea to have this directional microphone because then it plugs in and points directly at the subject, meaning it can pick it up in a better fashion. These Rode microphones come with a muff. This is not a dead badger. You might have seen these on TV when it’s a little bit windy. That basically just sits inside, covers the microphone so that if you’re filming outside and the wind blows this absorbs a lot of the wind, so you don’t get a crackling or a rustling on a video.

Another great thing to invest in is a tripod. Now if you’ve got a standard camera tripod which you can get for about £10 or £15 on Amazon, you can also get a little adapter which will allow you to attach to the top of the tripod. You can attach your phone into that as well. It just means that your phone’s then static and it’s not moving around. Having said all that, the iPhone in particular has got a lot of tools in it which make the image static.

Even if your hands are moving around a bit, it does a lot of correction. It keeps it in a really good quality and keeps it still. You’ve basically got a load of tools basically just sat on the iPhone. I actually shoot all videos using the standard camera. I don’t use a special camera, though there are different ones. I use a standard camera because it gives me plenty of tools. It’s got the nice timing tools on it. It’s easy to stop and record and mess around with it. It’s very straightforward to use.

In terms of editing it on the iPhone, it comes with iMovie already built in. I’m going to show you a quick clip of one that I shot really recently. This is for a client, Wizu Workspace. You can see the quality there and the sound’s pretty good. We’ve used the captioning tools and dropped in little bits of graphics in it.

This is edited from a longer video which is three minutes long. Using the tools we put in captions for the questions. There’s a starting point. There’s a little credit for who the guy is. It’s Tom Almas. We also took out any pauses and things, and it flows really nicely. It was shot in half an hour in an office at Wizu using the iPhone and the microphone. Put together and fully edited on the iPhone, and then it’s available to upload to YouTube. It’s that simple.

The iPhone is really great for shooting those kinds of videos. If you’ve got something that needs something more than that, so it’s a sweep through somewhere, or you’ve got some sort of machinery or something else to shoot, the iPhone is going to hit its limitations. For simple talking heads, and if you can be clever enough to use it, get some extra elements in to mix it in, the iPhone can work really, really well.

One of the things that we start to do now is we use other tools to add in captions and at the end, which make it look really, really slick. We use Canva, to make a credit screen. I just want to show you one that we made for a different client using the same techniques. Again, this is all shot on the iPhone.

Dan (Key West Pest Control): Hi, this is Dan from Key West Pest Control. Today we’re doing some netting work. We’re clearing out the pigeons that are nesting up in the roof. Cleaning up the pigeon guano, and then netting it off so that they can’t get back in.

Richard: I’m not sure how well you could see that or hear that, but effectively all that was all shot on the iPhone in one morning. I shot the interview with Dan who was the operative. I then took a couple of static photographs, and then shot the guys going up in the cherry picker. Then using Canva I added that end element.

We recorded the interview, and then shot the guy going up in a cherry picker to clear out some pigeons. Then at the end there was an end screen that had a call to action. You had the Key West logo on it, the phone number on it. It looked like a small little advert. It starts to make it look a little bit more professional.

Again, all shot on the iPhone. No extra editing. No special lighting. No special kit. No huge team. Just me. In fact, and that was all shot handheld as well. I didn’t even use the stand on that one. It’s a nice static video. Amber, does that seem like the kind of thing that you would want to produce?

Amber: Yeah. I think so. Going forward we certainly want to. I think it’s just making sure that what we’ve got and how we do it is good enough, I guess. I just don’t want to release anything until I’m certain that it’s of quality to release, I guess. I don’t know whether I need some more time looking at all of the editing tools. Again, that’s new to me. I’m not entirely sure how to do all of that.

Richard: What phone have you got, Amber? Is it an iPhone?

Amber: No. It’s an Android I’m afraid. I think I’ve got the S8.

Richard: I’m sure there are some editing tools that work on Android just as well. On the iPhone it comes with iMovie. That works really well. Basically you drop in your piece of video and you can crop the size of it. You can put little transitions so that it runs smoothly into different clips. It’s easy to drop in static images, and it’s really easy to add a little caption, so it can come up saying who the person is. It’s really straightforward to drop together clips and make them look really professional.

It’s generally not hard. It used to be really, really tricky. It does depend on what you’re producing. If you’re producing just talking head videos, it can work really, really well. The file sizes and the quality on a really good quality newish phone will be really good. As I said, I’ve got an iPhone X. Lower grade of older phones, not too old, but relatively new phones do a really high quality as well. It’s worth investing that little bit more. As I said, it’s definitely worth investing in a little plugin microphone. It’s one of the best things I got. It can work really, really well.

To ensure you’ve got a video that’s going to be producible and usable, it does take a little bit of planning. Again, it’s a really good idea to write a short list of the kind of thing that you want to cover, so that if you need a picture of the room that people are going to be in, you then need a video of, say, one person talking about a particular subject, and you need to prep them on what the questions might be, it’s worth spending half an hour going through and almost planning out the video that you want to produce. So that you know what you should do when and who should do what.

Planning’s key. It doesn’t mean you have to be really crazy about planning, but a little bit of planning goes a long way. It can work really well without too many tools. Does that help, Amber? Does that answer any questions?

Amber: It answers a lot of questions. Thank you.

Richard: Any questions on how and where you would put that and how you should get that up?

Amber: Yeah. I guess so. I also was wondering what the best amount of time is for a video? I was thinking around the 30 seconds mark so that it plays and keeps the audiences’ interest, but doesn’t go on so long that people fall asleep.

Richard: There are two trains of thought. One is that when using video on social you want it short and snappy and you want to get your message over really quickly in the first … I mean for Facebook, for example, they measure videos by the first three second views. For a Facebook video you want to get your point over in the first three seconds, because that’s how it’ll measure that.

If you get it over in the first three seconds you might have to grab people to watch a longer form video, so that could go on for 20, 30 seconds which is fine for social media. However, Facebook in particular are starting to reward people for longer form videos. If you can get people to watch it for longer than a minute, Facebook rewards you for that because it makes it more engaging.

Facebook Video

This is one of the beauties of planning. Making your video more engaging so people are happy to spend longer time. Really it’s about getting your video so that people don’t get bored within that first minute. If you can keep people longer, then they’re more likely to engage with your message and go a little bit further. Again, it’s about a little bit of planning. 20, 30 seconds is really good to get people in. The first 10 seconds is going to be really, really crucial. Don’t worry about making it too long. Worry about making it a good enough quality so that it’s engaging.

There’s a little thing that, showed up on Facebook the other day when once your video hits a minute view, I watched a minute video the other day of I think it was about Formula 1. As it got to a minute, a little button popped up underneath that said, “Do you want to like and follow this page?” The fact that I watched it for a minute gave Facebook an indication that this was the kind of content that I wanted to follow on. It alerted me to that fact. Actually making the longer form videos can be really beneficial.

If you’re not too sure about that, a really good idea can be to make, create the longer form video and post that video to, say, somewhere more permanent like YouTube and embed that longer video into your website from YouTube. Then chop that video into smaller chunks, and pop that on your social media with a link maybe to pull people back to watch the longer form video.

Because there are going to be certain things that you want to video that you want to cover off that you just can’t do in 20, 30 seconds. Does that help, Amber?

Amber: Yeah. That helps. Thank you.

Richard: Cool. Gary, do you have any questions?

Gary: Yeah. Just one. Really interesting that, thank you. One bit that I want to pick up on is what you said early on about the iPhone and it having an internal stability function. I’ve got the exact same iPhone as you, and I use the camera quite a lot and I had no idea that was there. Just let me know where that is so I can find it. It’d be really helpful.

Richard: You know what, it just does it automatically. Even when I’m shooting a video I tend to perch myself on a table if I’m doing it handheld. You hand does naturally move round a little bit. You can’t keep it completely still. Maybe I’ve too much coffee and that’s what does that. It does. When you watch it back, it stabilizes the video to a degree. If you’re moving the camera like a crazy person, then it’s not going to help. It will take out all small tremors and stabilize that.

Gary: Nice.

Richard: It’s worth investing in a tripod and a little tripod adapter, just because then you don’t have that problem. A little tip that I get for shooting videos is when you’re setting it up on a tripod, or however you’re going to do it, is to tell the person, whoever you’re going to video, say, “I’m going to start shooting. What I’m going to do is I’m going to press record, and then when I’m ready for you talk I’m going to nod my head.” They know that it’s their turn to talk. That gives you a couple of little seconds in front to be able to edit out where they stop and start.

You could miss them talking by doing that. Also, when they finish talking, leave the video running another two seconds, just so you’ve got a gap and a natural pause. This’ll also work really, really well if you’re doing an interview. On the video, I showed you a little bit on there of Tom Almas. What I did is I write up the questions I was going to ask him, and then I said, “What I’m going to do, Tom, is I’m going to read the question out to you and then you answer that, and then pause, and then I’ll read the question, and then you answer, and then a pause.”

Then what I did is then went back through the video and took out me and just left him in, and added in little screenshots of what the question was. That made it flow really nicely, and I got in the proper pauses. I also could see where to chop and edit the video, because it’s almost like using a clapperboard to give an indication of where one question starts and where another one ends. It’s just little things like that can help without being too technical.

Another client who we’re shooting videos for wanted to try and get them down to a minute. What I did was I stand behind the camera and watch the screen, the counter go along. When it got to 10 seconds, basically went “10” so that the interviewee knew it was 10 seconds left. Five seconds left, I went “five” and he knew then it was five. It helped him time it. Just little things that’ll help you control the video a little bit more. The quality can be really, really good. It’s a little bit of play with the editing tools afterwards, but the results can be fantastic. Does that help, Gary?

Gary: Yeah. Very much so. Thank you. Some really good stuff there.

Richard: Thanks again for coming on the first ever one and being guinea pigs. I really, really appreciate that. Hopefully it’s been helpful and I’ll let you know when the next one is.

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