Tips on Creating YouTube Videos for Video Marketing
Posting content on YouTube can be a cost effective video marketing tool. And you don't need a videographer or tons of equipment. In fact, you could create your first video for almost free!
I didn't know much about video before I started working with it a few years ago. But today it is driving traffic to my websites and offers me another way to connect and serve my customers.
Let me begin with how I got started with video marketing...
My Video Marketing Odyssey
When I was just starting to use video for marketing my small business, I used a terrific videographer. Would still recommend him for professional grade work. But there was just one problem: Every minute of produced video could cost me up to $1,000. I realized that if I wanted to use YouTube in a big way, I would either go broke or have to find another way to create video content.
So I bought a Flip cam. It created some pretty good quality video and the bundled video editing software was super easy to use with nice results. Biggest problem was the sound. The Flip had no microphone jack to plug in an external microphone. Result was videos with a LOT of ambient noise. Filtering it out would require more sophisticated video and audio editing software.
To try to get around the audio issues, I bought a Kodak Zi8. The microphone worked, but the editing software was so bad, I gave up on it completely.
The following video shows my frustration with both options.
Flip Video vs. Kodak Zi8
What is Vlogging?
Then one day, I was just goofing around on my computer and realized I had never tried out the integrated webcam. Wasn't high definition. But what was I hoping to achieve?
My intent in getting on YouTube was to provide news and educational content for my customers and blog subscribers. The videos would be part of my service and marketing outreach efforts. Since I'm in the promotional products business, the content is very visual, making video marketing an excellent medium.
With the content being newsy and conversational, did I really need every video to be a professionally produced masterpiece? No. But it did need to be light and clear enough to communicate.
This style of video is becoming more popular and is often referred to as vlogging, video + blogging, made popular by the likes of wine guru Gary Vaynerchuk who transformed his little wine vlogging adventure into millions of dollars and fans (yes, do check out his website, his old WineLibraryTV videos and YouTube channel).
Why does this low production type of video work? It's authentic. People want to know they're connecting with other real people, not some advertiser's dream.
So I launched my webcam and haven't stopped vlogging since. Ironically, the video that you just viewed comparing the Flip to the Zi8 was my first YouTube upload using the webcam. Cost to create: $0, except for the electricity and computer usage which was minimal and my time (usually the most expensive part of vlogging).
How to Create YouTube Videos on the Cheap
Yes, there's a time and place for hiring a videographer. That would be when you're creating a marketing video that you'll be displaying on your website, at trade shows and other presentation work. And it's cheaper to hire a pro than to invest in the equipment yourself. Here's why...
Buying all the video gear that it takes to create a decent video--lighting, green screens, tripods, cases and so much more!--is probably one of the worst investments you can make right at the beginning. Not only is it financially overwhelming, it's mentally overwhelming, too, since you need to learn how to use all of it before you get started. So many people make this mistake and then a year later, they still have nothing much to show for their effort and nothing uploaded to YouTube. That's time wasted... and revenues lost if you're using video for marketing. Start small and invest in equipment and training as you grow and figure out what will work for you.
Here's what you need to get started:
- Webcam or video camera on your mobile device (you likely already have at least one of these)
- Free YouTube account on either or both your desktop (recommended) and mobile device (app)
- Room with existing light source that eliminates dark shadows (window, table or desk lamps, even outdoors, etc.)
Think your budget can handle free? But if you have some extra cash...
- Good quality microphone for your desktop computer or mobile device (especially for mobile!). Usually, you can purchase one for in the $50 to $100 range (or less). Clearly understood audio is probably one of the most important elements of any video since many times people will listen to it without actually watching.
Video Editing Tips
Once you have all your gear, then it's "roll 'em" time. With video, like writing, the more you do it, the easier it gets and the better you get at it. Practice, practice, practice! If you don't like how it turned out the first time, try it again, but avoid becoming a perfectionist. By doing it over and over again before uploading, you'll have this to show for it: Zero views on YouTube.
Plus, if the tweaking you want to do is minor, such as adding titles, color and brightness correction, some special effects (such as black-and-white and sepia tone), annotations (such as thought bubbles), and adding audio you can now do all of that in YouTube for free. They now have quite a collection of video editing tools built right into the YouTube platform. Use them!
The YouTube platform continues to change. Watch for updates on new features and tools when you log in to your channel.
If you do want to do some more fancy editing with minimal software investment, you could edit your videos using the iMovie app on your mobile phone or tablet. The results are quite good, but using the basic editing tools on YouTube is easier and faster.
Example of Video Edited with YouTube Editing Tools
Video Marketing Tips for YouTube
Once you have your video uploaded to YouTube and edited for mechanics such as color and brightness, here are a few more things you need to do to optimize your video for marketing:
- Use Keywords in Your Title. To help people find your video in both YouTube and Google search results, use relevant keywords for your business in the title.
- Use Keywords in Tags. To further help your video's rank in search functions, make sure that you add tags in the Info and Settings area for your video on YouTube.
- Use Annotations. Emphasize important points throughout your video with thought bubbles and notes to make them more memorable.
- Insert a Title Introduction at Beginning of Video. As you record your video, wait a few seconds to start talking. Then insert the title of your video in that time slot using the YouTube editing tools. It creates a more professional appearance.
- Insert a Link in Video Description. This is a sneaky little trick. Make sure your video description includes a link to your website or a special landing page. It will become a clickable link when viewed on YouTube.
As simple as all that sounds, it's surprising how few people actually do these things. Doing so can give your business the video marketing edge!
Disclaimer: Any examples used are for illustrative purposes only and do not suggest affiliation or endorsement. The author/publisher has used best efforts in preparation of this article. No representations or warranties for its contents, either expressed or implied, are offered or allowed and all parties disclaim any implied warranties of merchantability or fitness for your particular purpose. The advice, strategies and recommendations presented herein may not be suitable for you, your situation or business. Consult with a professional adviser where and when appropriate. The author/publisher shall not be liable for any loss of profit or any other damages, including but not limited to special, incidental, consequential, or other damages. So by reading and using this information, you accept this risk.
© 2013 Heidi Thorne