It seems that every online marketing blog is pushing the use of videos to help small businesses connect with their audience. After all, videos increase website engagement, improve conversions and help establish trust with your audience. Despite the data, there aren’t many references available to help small businesses actually create their own video content.
If you’re a small business owner or are heading up marketing efforts for a smaller business, chances are you wear many hats on a daily basis. You’re probably juggling tasks in management, finance, marketing and technology. So, it’s important to streamline as much as possible. Since video production is typically an uncharted territory for small businesses, we’ve gathered some resources to help you out. Checkout these tools and eliminate some of the pitfalls other small businesses face when creating their own online videos.
One of the toughest parts of video production is developing the concept. In order to have an effective video, you have to understand your audience and determine the best way to reach them. Here are some sites that help you define the objectives for video.
- Videomaker – This site is helpful for keeping tabs on the video production industry in general. However, they have a good post on how to use a video treatment. Even if you elect to hire an outside company to produce you’re video, going through this pre-production exercise is helpful.
- MRP Webmedia – This website has a range of articles that discuss the types of concepts that may resonate with your audience. If you’re struggling to find ways video can connect, this can get some wheels turning.
- Dare Dreamer – This site has several resources that apply to small businesses and creating video content. In fact, the site offers a course that blends the business and art of filmmaking.
- Devour – One of my favorite sites for keeping up with trending videos. In order to see what is popular and reaches a lot of viewers, subscribe to their daily feed.
Shooting and Editing Video
Well, video of course involves footage (unless you’re doing 100% animation). So, you’ll need to figure out the best way to shoot and get the content you need. Then, you’ll need to put this together using your favorite editing tool. Here are some key resources you can reference:
- ReelSEO – One of my favorite sites, ReelSEO actually provides quite a few resources for amateur or prosumer filmmakers. In addition to shooting and editing, the site also helps you identify trends and other video marketing techniques.
- Lynda.com – If you’re the do-it-yourself type, then Lynda.com is one of the better places to go for hands-on training. The site offers over 500 courses just on Adobe products alone, so you’ll be able to get a solid foundation.
- VideoBlocks – For more bite-sized tips, VideoBlocks is a good resource. The site gets into specific tasks, such as creating short cut keys or even importing footage. If you have a specific question, chances are you can find something on their blog. The site also has a wealth of royalty-free clips to use in your projects.
- Vimeo Video School – Vimeo has created a very valuable set of resources for filmmakers. This portion of the site provides information on shooting, editing, software and many other topics.
Finding Assets to Use in Your Video
After you have a concept, shoot and have started to edit, you’ll need some other ingredients such as music or images. However, background music and stock imagery can get expensive. Here are some sites that offer cost-effective alternatives.
- Music – Often overlooked, music is a key component to an effective video. If you’re looking to integrate some music, checkout Musopen, Royalty-Free Music, Partners in Rhyme, PremiumBeat or Productiontrax.
- Images – You can’t shoot everything. Here are some valuable sites for finding some images or stock footage to integrate in your videos: Inmagine, Flickr’s advanced search, ArtBeats, ClipCanvas, RoyaltyFree HD, FootageFirm or Footage.net. Just keep in mind, this is just the tip of the iceberg. There are many sites that specialize in the type of video you’re looking for, so you might want to budget some research time in this area.
If you’ve read all of this stuff and have decided that video is just too much to handle, then you’ll need to hire someone. One of the more popular ways small businesses develop video content on a budget is through crowdsourcing. Here are some of the more common sites offering crowdsourced video content:
It’s always important to find ways to differentiate your small business. Video provides a great way to engage your audience and take that extra step in content marketing. Whether you decide to do some of this video production work yourself or hire someone, hopefully some of these tools will help streamline the process.