Video content is master of the internet right now. It's eye-catching, engaging, and effective. (Well, when it's done right, it is.) But over the last couple years running my business, I've also discovered that there are many misconceptions about video that create barriers for people interested in harnessing its digital marketing power.
So let's talk about five of the most common misconceptions I've encountered concerning video content:
1. It's Untouchable / "I don't even know where to start."
I hear this a lot. "Oh, I love the videos __________ posts on their social media, but I have no clue how to make them."
Anyone can develop video content. If you're feeling intimidated, start simple and try out Facebook Live. Get online, engage your audience, give them useful information pertaining to your business and explore how that impacts your reach and engagement. The more you experiment, the more you'll hone in on what works and doesn't work. You may discover a certain type of video your audience loves that surprises you (e.g., a live unboxing of new stock), and you may also discover that it's time to produce some polished, professional videos to build business. Your audience holds the gold: if you can find out what they want and provide it, you're set for success. So don't be afraid to ask them what they'd like to see from your business, brand, or organization.
2. Anyone Can Do It / "My friend just bought a camera - I don't need to hire a professional."
Notice that in the previous paragraph, I said, "anyone can develop video content," and not, "anyone can develop great video content" - meaning engaging, effective, and successful video content. Yes, you can absolutely get your friend to shoot your next video. But that doesn't mean it's going to be good.
Do you always need to hire a professional? No. Should you usually hire a professional? Yes. Even if you don't have the budget to hire a professional to develop, shoot, and edit your video, you can hugely benefit from paying one for an hour of consulting to learn how to make the most of the equipment you have, how to improve composition, how to affordably record great audio, etc.
(Hint: I'm available for these types of consultation, as well as one-on-one and group training. So don't hesitate to get in touch.)
3. It's All About Equipment / "I can't create video content because I don't have an expensive camera, a production studio, etc."
I'm a professional filmmaker, and I'm telling you, equipment isn't everything. You can have tens of thousands of dollars' worth of the latest gear and still make crappy films and video. Or you can have an iPhone and a couple extra tools and make an award-winning film, like Tangerine.
Filmmaking is a skill. Actually, it's many skills that work together to create a final product - from writing and pre-production to shooting to editing. When you hire a professional (whether it's an individual or a team), you're getting a lot more than an expensive camera. An expensive camera can't save someone who knows nothing about composition. And no equipment on the planet can save someone who has no idea how to tell a story. Again, if you're not ready for a full-fledged professionally made video, consider consultation if you need help, but don't let your brand of camera (or smartphone) stop you from getting started.
4. Length of Video = Length of Shoot / "It's only a 30-second ad - it should take 30 seconds to shoot, and it should be cheap."
This is something I encounter almost weekly. The quickest way for me to respond is, "You know how Super Bowl commercials are (in)famous for costing millions of dollars?"
A video could be 30 seconds long and feature 10 different locations, hundreds of extras, and a ton of special effects. Consider the content before you start drawing conclusions about how much of a professional's time you'll need. You may not be making a Super Bowl commercial, but how many different locations are you envisioning? What types of props, costumes, and people are necessary? And don't forget, editing happens after your shoot, and can be the biggest job of all.
Bring your ideas to a pro. They'll give you a quote. If it's out of your current budget, you can either start saving up, or ask them what's possible within your budget. Because there are always options, and a professional will always be ready to present those options to you if you're open to hearing them.
5. Professional Video is Too Expensive / "I can't afford to hire a professional for a single video."
I'm not going to sugar coat things for you all: professional video content is an investment. You're not going to get strong video content for $100. That being said, if you're working with a professional, part of the process should be making sure that you're getting the right type of video, and that the content of it will serve you for a desired time period. I have clients who have been using their company profile videos for over a year already, and those videos are still bringing them a steady stream of new business. Would your marketing budget for a couple years be $100? I sure hope not!
What I'm saying here is this: like many, many other things, professional video is something that requires an upfront investment before you start seeing a return on that investment (though once it's released, that return can happen very quickly). And yes, if you're a small business, brand, or organization, you may need to save up before you can make your first one. But having content that lives for years, tells your story in a beautiful and effective way, and (in a sense) works for you to attract new business is absolutely worth it.
Ready to create amazing video content? Looking for consultation or training? You know where to find me.
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