Great videos shouldn't have to cost the earth.
Google dominates the search engine market. This is no secret.
So it’s no surprise that marketers often forget about optimising their content for other search engines. If you didn’t already realise; YouTube is a search engine in itself.
Let’s forget for the moment that the search mega-giant Google owns YouTube.
Why? Because Google and YouTube are two different beasts. Sure, they have similarities but optimising your content for Google has different requirements to optimising your content for Youtube.
Many marketers avoid video marketing because they believe it will generate a black hole in their marketing budget. It can, but it doesn’t have to.
Here’s 5 tips on how to create great videos on a budget.
1) Keep to a process:
Use the video creation process, and making a great marketing video will be a hell of a lot easier. Especially if you are new to video marketing; keeping to a process will remove a lot of the guess-work and keep you moving forward.
Creating a video should be a linear process – not a loop between planning, creation, editing and publishing... This is highly inefficient, and will force you to go over and redo things that you should have already completed. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with tweaking aspects of your plan – just make sure that you don’t rush any of the stages of production...
Btw, the shorter the video process, the more cost effective the video. I can see a whole lot of marketers giving me the thumbs up right now, thanks guys.
2) Plan ahead, stay ahead:
The importance of video planning can’t be stressed enough. Firstly, define your purpose. Secondly, define who the video is for. If you know the size of your audience, you can limit the scope of your video project. This will save you money and even more importantly, stop you from targeting the wrong people. Define your personas, choose a solo topic and keep the idea simple. Finally, set at least one goal for the video process. For more on video planning, read the video creation process for marketers.
Before you create a video; performing keyword research is one of the best things you can do. Just like with all of your content; create your video based on specifically chosen broad-match and/or long-tail keywords.
Here’s some handy tips about how to perform video keyword research. Effective keyword research now will make video promotion and distribution that much easier later. Why? Because the video is the sailing boat and SEO is the wind. The difference is that you set the direction of the wind, but not the gale force...
3) Do what you are good at:
You might be tempted to save your budget from the bottom of the barrel by trying to do everything yourself. This is not a good idea. Sure, you will produce a video at a fraction of the cost; but you will be left crying when the video flops...
Moral of the story, never compromise on quality. Producing a video with poor camerawork, audio or video will cost you more in the long run. Producing quality is never a mistake.
What do you prefer; spending hundreds of dollars and achieving none of your marketing goals or spending a bit more and really nailing your marketing objectives? I choose the latter...
4) Look for low-cost opportunities:
If you want to film a 30 second TV ad for prime time; it will literally cost you thousands maybe millions, depending on where you live. However, a simple ‘How to’ video can be extremely cost-effective. Go to YouTube and type in ‘How to’; you will find thousands of videos using these simple keywords in their video titles. And just so you know, ‘How to’ is a classic example of a video keyword, so it is a great option to explore for video opportunities.
An example of a cost effective ‘How to’ video could be something like ‘How to rank better on YouTube’. For this, you could walk your audience through how to perform keyword analysis using the Keyword Planner or Moz’s Keyword Explorer.
Would this be an expensive video to produce? Not really, there are a number of reasonably priced screen recording tools available. Then all you need is a narrator and something to record the voice-over. Lastly, you will need editing software to finish the project. And if you own a Mac, then you will most likely already have editing software and a sound recorder built-in to your laptop. Easy.
Always be on the lookout for great video opportunities that won’t destroy your budget and make you want to run for the hills and become a hermit.
5) Promote and Re-purpose:
Another great way to save money is by creating a video promotion strategy and re-purposing your video for different audiences. Re-purposing your video could be incorporating it onto a landing page, in a blog post or in an email newsletter. Consider shortening and lengthening the video to suit different platforms and audiences. In addition, play with different captions when you promote your video and see what works and what doesn’t.
While including a video in a digital or social advertisement could be considered an extra expense; in recent times paid ads have been proven to be more successful than organic results. Not only that, social media platforms are now prioritising video content in their social algorithms.
Even with a brilliantly optimised video; this is not always enough to achieve your marketing and business objectives. You give yourself the best chance of success with a mix of video optimisation and paid advertising. In other words, learn how to be both a SEO and a paid advertising superstar! This will all take time, but a little perseverance and commitment will hold you in good stead and push you above the competition.
If you’ve never created a video ad before; first create a couple of small-scale test ads and analyse their performance. Then take those learnings and create a larger scale advertisement that still fits within your budget. At the end of the day, achieving your marketing and business objectives is more important than simply just putting something out there and hoping it goes 'viral'.
Instead, you should be aiming to generate maximum results from your budget. That’s the difference.
Now that you understand how to create a great marketing video on a tight budget; you can use this knowledge and make video marketing a major player in your content strategy. You can move forward with confidence, knowing that videos don't have to expensive to be awesome.
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