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Amateur's Guide to Great Business Videos

For start-ups, there's an efficient way to get a lot of attention for your limited time and money. Here's how to make great videos without killing yourself.
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Video may be the latest social marketing frontier, but few of us have professional equipment--much less real studios in our offices. So we asked 14 successful founders from the Young Entrepreneur Council to share their tips for making your next business video. Their best answers are below.

1. Video is important, but don't forget the sound quality.

People want to watch your videos because they want to hear you speak--so make sure you have a camera that has a good microphone in order for your potential clients to clearly hear you without distracting noise. --Angela Pan, Angela B. Pan Photography


2. Be quick on the draw when something great happens.

I work with professional speakers, and they always ask me about video marketing. The easiest way to get started is to use your iPhone to record quick videos sharing your expertise. I've also found it useful for collecting video testimonials from customers who love your product. --Lawrence Watkins, Great Black Speakers


3. No talent or equipment? There's still a tool for you.

Video marketing is becoming accessible to everyone, and PowToon is an example of a tool that makes it easy to make video marketing for your business. Using templates and built in voice elements you can have a product demo, feature walk-through, or marketing pitch done without any equipment or talent at all. --Derek Shanahan, Playerize


4. Consider how you communicate the non-verbal (and how people will find your videos).

When uploading to YouTube, include a transcription of the audio and any vital visual cues that appear in the video. This, in addition to your tags, can be searched and help more people find your content. --Emily Eldridge HoldmanThe Remarkables

 

5. Above all, be yourself.

Relatability and likability are two incredibly powerful forces, and so, regardless of budget, I think it's important to include a real representative from your company, speaking in plain English. If you're a start-up founder, channel your inner Dave Thomas (of Wendy's fame) and leverage the power of online video to speak to your audience and customers yourself. --Lauren Friese, TalentEgg

6. Leverage local resources.

Look to your local arts schools and colleges. There is so much young talent that would kill to work on a stipend or internship on an actual corporate project. Every start-up should offer creative internships for content creation. It is a win-win. --Azita Ardakani, Love Social



7. Do your keyword research

Video marketing is a powerful way to get into search results. Since YouTube is owned by Google, Google includes YouTube videos on the front page for many different searches. If you use the AdWords Keyword Tool to identify low-competition terms for your video (and possibly localize your title), you have the chance to get in front of customers with a video that took you a few minutes to make. --Brett Farmiloe, Markitors

8. Show, don't tell.

Jing is a free, easy way to get quality screen captures (both stills and video), which are a critical element of business videos and tutorials. --Robert J. Moore, RJMetrics





9. Maintain an editorial calendar.

When you're looking to incorporate video into your marketing efforts, don't dive in without a plan first. Before you launch your inaugural video, make sure you have an editorial calendar so you're prepared to create content consistently over time. Maintaining an editorial calendar for your video marketing will ensure your prospective customers get great content regularly. --Doreen Bloch, Poshly

10. Embrace what you have.

If you can't afford to have Quentin Tarantino direct your video, don't worry. There is a charm in having a basic, low-budget video. Use it to your advantage by keeping your video very uncomplicated, in both production cost and purpose. Make sure the video answers a question or shows your business as the solution to a problem. That's it. --Adam Stillman, Ditto Holdings

11. Mix it up with creative tools.

Animoto is a great online tool, which is super simple (and fun) to use. It enables you to mix (and remix) pro-looking videos using your own images, slides and video clips, along with their library of music clips. There's a free version, but even the premium options are an extremely good value and affordable. --Lea Woodward, Startup Training School 
 

12. The one investment you really need to make...

No matter what camera you choose to use, buying an affordable lighting kit will make a huge difference in the quality of your videos. When I started "She Takes on the World TV," it was just me and a digital camera somewhere in my house. Investing just $200 in a lighting kit completely changed how my episodes looked, and as a result, they led to deeper engagement with my audience. --Natalie MacNeil, She Takes on the World

13. Add a personal touch.

Many direct-response video Internet marketers are using videos with handwritten drawings that tell a story. Those can easily cost five figures, but VideoScribe software allows you to create those same videos using vector images--for less than $50 per month. --Peter Nguyen, Literati Institute



14. Don't let technology restrict your creativity.

The first time I tried to shoot myself on video was not pretty, but it was profitable. I used a precursor to the Flip Camera, put it on a bar stool with some books stacked up to make a tripod and nailed some whiteboards into my wall. The result was a four-video product that still sells to this day. The point is not to let technology stop you, but rather create a story worth listening to. --Greg Rollett, The ProductPros




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