At Jottful we’ve been experimenting with video in our marketing for a few months now.
We know many of you have been thinking about using more video, so we’re sharing some of the lessons we’ve learned.
1. There are SO many applications for video in your marketing.
We often think of video as being great for social posts (and it is!) but there are many more ways you can use it. In fact, it was this realization that led us to invest more heavily in video at Jottful.
Here’s how we use video in our marketing now:
- In social posts, where they are more eye-catching than static images;
- As ads on YouTube (you could also run video ads on other platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter);
- As lessons for an ecourse we’re working on;
- And, coming soon, as SEO-optimized content to attract traffic on YouTube, the world’s second-largest search engine.
2. Every video needs a single objective.
We started by filming our podcast interviews. We’d then post the audio to our podcast and the video to YouTube. This seemed like a brilliantly efficient way to repurpose content.
But we learned the video, which clocks in at 35-40 minutes, is super boring for people who aren’t already engaged with Jottful. A video of that length is not something people unaware of Jottful are likely to commit their time to watch.
In other words, those videos are great for keeping in touch with our existing audience but they won’t help us grow that audience. That’s why we’re now creating short, fast-paced, search-optimized videos that are specifically designed to help us grow our audience.
P.S. For deep dives on small-business marketing topics such as video marketing, SEO, PR and more, please check out (and subscribe to!) our monthly podcast, Marketing Made Easy by Jottful. You can find it on Amazon Alexa, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeartRadio, Spotify, and TuneIn.
3. The equipment struggle is real.
There are so many barriers to entry when it comes to video. After a general reluctance to be on camera, having the right equipment seems to be the second most-common barrier.
For Jottful, getting the right equipment meant new microphones and web cams. We also got ring lights and the kind of lights that have umbrellas attached to them. (For the ads, we hire a videographer to do the filming because we want higher production quality for video we’re actually paying to show.)
This all required a lot of experimenting. We made many mistakes. Equipment was ordered and then returned because it wasn’t of high enough quality or it wasn’t compatible with our other equipment. There were several trips made to Best Buy for cables. If we could do this all over again, we’d find a videographer to tell us what to purchase and help us set it all up in the first place.
4. It’s hard to be both filmmaker and talent.
It’s physically impossible to be both behind the camera and in front of it simultaneously. So that poses a challenge.
For example, you can’t auto-focus on an empty space; you need the subject (i.e., you) to be in front of the camera. But, of course, when you’re in front of the camera you cannot reach the auto-focus button…
One solution is to use the reverse camera on your phone (which, incidentally, is almost certainly of higher quality than the one that comes on your laptop).
Another solution is to link a camera (we tried this with a DSLR) to a laptop. You can download software to the laptop that allows you to see what the camera sees and even control it remotely.
5. The more video you do, the easier it gets to do video.
Really, it’s true. The equipment issue eventually goes away. You get a setup and you find a way to keep it in place so you’re not starting from scratch every time you need to film.
You get better on camera. The more filming you do, the more comfortable you’ll be and the less scripted and rigid you’ll appear.
You create a pre-filming checklist to avoid all the snafus you inevitably experience:
- Turn off the heat or A/C so you can’t hear it on the audio.
- Silence your phone.
- Bribe the cat’s silence with treats.
Ultimately, you’ll be embarrassed by the production quality at first. In fact, at Jottful, we’re still embarrassed by the production quality. But it’s all a process and we’re learning and improving all the time. We’re putting in the time and money because we see measurable results from our efforts. As long as we continue to see business results, we’ll keep going.
Join us March 22, 2021 for the filming of the next episode of our podcast: How to use video to grow your business: taking the first steps with guest Dan Bennett.