Common sense dictates that video marketing should be an integral part of every brand's marketing strategy. But if common sense isn't enough for you, just look at any of the countless whitepapers, research papers, articles, and infographics published online that all point to one thing: Video is king when it comes to content marketing.

It's a trend that will only become more noticeable as the digital infrastructure becomes increasingly optimized for video sharing and consumption.

There are plenty of reasons why video is so effective. For one, it's a remarkably versatile medium. With a video, you can tell any type of story you want, much like you can with text. But unlike the written word, a video can convey a multitude of ideas and messages to viewers without even incorporating language, and in a matter of seconds.

All those ideas and messages your video contains are worthwhile only if they're shared. Fortunately, in 2017, distributing a corporate video or product explainer video is easier than ever. Of course, sending your video to your friends and family and posting it to your social media networks is perfectly acceptable and encouraged. That's just the tip of the iceberg, though. There are a plethora of channels with viewers on the other end, and you should take advantage of as many as you can.

As consumers, watching videos comes naturally. People learn how to watch video long before they learn to read or write (maybe "learn" is the wrong word here). But we won't watch just anything. In order to get our attention in a world increasingly saturated with marketing messages of all kinds, videos typically must feature a compelling story, high-quality production, and an element of relevance to our lives.

The problem is, a well-made 30-second video can cost upward of $300,000 to produce. As an entrepreneur or small business owner, you likely don't have this type of money just lying around in your marketing budget. Fortunately, you don't have to abandon your video vision just because money is tight. You can still make an effective video on a budget. Just keep these four things in mind:

1. Context is key

Especially when you're first exploring the nuances of video production, take advantage of the more casual nature of live video platforms like Facebook Live and Instagram Live. Viewers don't necessarily expect "high production value" on these platforms, so they provide great channels to practice telling your story.

2. Learn from the pros

Use affordable tips from professional videographers to improve your own DIY videos. You'll find lots of websites and blogs that contain professional advice on every imaginable aspect of the medium, from preproduction to postproduction, and this knowledge is usually absolutely free.

3. Share what you know

If you have a particular insight into some part of the production process, don't keep it to yourself. Teaching is a proven way to ensure you have a complete understanding of a topic, and you can even turn that insight into money and additional exposure for your brand.

4. Find someone to help

Making videos in-house is going to involve some "opportunity cost" because it will pull your team away from critical tasks. Using a professional firm doesn't have to break the bank, though. I have had several colleagues speak highly of video production company Lemonlight Media, who specialize in making high-quality affordable videos for small businesses and startups. In the case of certain video content, such as evergreen promotional videos that can represent your brand for a long time, outsourcing production to a reputable company can be worth the price tag. Usually, these companies can help you when it comes to distribution as well. I would even look at your local college for students studying film or video production. They are often cheaper and willing to work on the project to build their resume.

These days, making a high-quality video in-house is certainly an attainable goal. It will take some time and research on your part, and probably some trial and error as well, but producing a good brand video can drive tremendous growth for your business. If you want the video but don't have the time to make it yourself or the money to pay a larger production company, consider going with a smaller specialized firm. In the end, no matter how you make your video, the payoff will likely be worth the price.

Published on: May 16, 2017
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