Video is an incredibly powerful medium for marketing. It’s been shown to increase click-through rates by up to 400%, and can be much more effective than text or images at conveying a message. Plus, people are watching more videos than ever before. In fact, YouTube estimates that global watch time has increased by over 50% in the last year alone.

If you need any more convincing that now is the time to start thinking about incorporating video into your marketing mix, consider this: Google knows it’s important too. That’s why they recently announced that they would be prioritizing videos in their search results!

You can create a viral video in twenty minutes or less. For some, it may seem impossible, yet this guide will help you make a professional video that's worthwhile for B2B marketing.

So how do you get started? Here are some tips and tricks to help you create your first video and make sure it goes viral!

Video Content Is The Trend

Video content is the latest trend in marketing, and it's not going anywhere anytime soon. You can even create videos for your personalized sales process.

Since it first became a thing, video has been on every marketing trends list for years. And as far as trends go, it's hard to argue that this one isn't still emerging—the use of video is widespread and growing, with its effectiveness increasing along with it. It may seem like a tactic that's so ubiquitous now that we've all got used to it, but there's still plenty of room for growth in this space.

  • On average, the watch time of people today for video content will increase from 84 minutes to 100 minutes per day.
  • Majority of marketers who used videos gained a positive ROI of 55% since 2015.
  • Around 99% of marketers will continue using videos on their online marketing programs. And they plan to increase their spend on video ads starting 2020.
  • Videos from trusted brands gained 86% viewers from the general population.
  • 71% of B2B marketers will use videos more than their B2C counterparts.
Tips for Making Professional Videos at Home

You can make professional-looking videos at home, and you don't need a lot of equipment!

If the full extent of your video-producing equipment is presently being used to read this post, that’s okay. Keynote speaker and bestselling author Andrew Davis advises marketers to “shoot with what you’ve got.”

If you have an iPhone or iPad and a tripod, for example, then you're ready to start recording. If not, grab a friend who has a DSLR camera or other high-quality camera and let them shoot while you act as the talent. Use your phone or iPhone in shooting videos since it still produces quality recording.

Then, use free editing programs like iMovie on Mac or Movie Maker (Windows) to edit together your video clips into a cohesive piece.

Once it's edited, add some music that fits the tone of the video (not copyrighted music unless you want to pay royalties), then upload it to YouTube or another video hosting platform so people can watch it!

Pick a nice place to shoot your video

You don’t need a fancy backdrop to make a video. When it comes to shooting your vlog, all you need is one nice place and the rest of your surroundings can look like a disaster zone. Just make sure that what’s in the shot is well-lit with a clean-ish and not-too distracting background, and you’re good to go!

But you can definitely design a professional video production studio at home.

Proper Lighting Is Essential

Proper lighting is essential for any video shoot, but it can seem intimidating if you don't know what to look for. If you want to step up your production quality, you may want to consider professional video lights.

Professional video lights, like an LED light, can give you that soft, natural glow, no matter where you shoot in your home. For more on this, Wistia published an informative makeshift lighting primer.

Boost Your Voice, Use A Microphone

If you want to record great audio, there are a few things you can do.

First, make sure your microphone is close enough to the subject. If you have access to a second smartphone – or can convince a housemate to part with theirs for a bit – consider dangling the second phone directly above the subject (and outside the frame of course) and recording sound via the voice memo function. 

When you create the final cut, use the voice memo audio instead of the audio from your video. Clap once when you start recording to make it super easy to sync the higher-quality sound from your voice memo.

In addition to having a good microphone and being aware of background noise, you should also be aware of your own voice. If your voice is too soft, or has a high pitch, you might need to work on it. Maybe try doing some vocal exercises or getting a voice coach.

If your voice is too loud, it can be hard to hear clearly. And if you’re speaking with a lot of inflection (or “uptalk”), then people will have trouble understanding what you’re saying. You might want to practice speaking more calmly and assertively until this becomes natural for you.

Proper Video Aspect Ratios

Your video's aspect ratio can have a huge impact on its effectiveness. So, what's the best option?

While there seems to be a general trend toward more vertically-oriented video, a good case can be made for all three aspect ratios. It really depends on what you're trying to convey and how your audience will be viewing the video. Most social networks are compatible with all three orientations.

To determine which option is best for you, turn to your analytics. If most people are viewing your videos from a desktop device, you might consider horizontal. If your audience is more likely to view your videos from their mobile device, you might consider going with a square or vertical orientation. Device shouldn't be the only driver of this decision though—you'll want to weigh effectiveness metrics as well.

Add Subtitles

Did you know that on most social media channels, including LinkedIn, the default is for videos to autoplay without sound?

This means that if you upload a video without adding subtitles, many of your viewers will watch it without hearing any audio. And while some people may click to turn on the sound, it’s best to assume they won’t.

By using closed captions, you allow your audience to experience the audio portion without the sound, making it much easier to not just capture attention, but more importantly hold it during a silent viewing.

Ultimately, many of those closely following your subtitles will turn on the sound or expand to full-screen, but when it comes to social media video and LinkedIn specifically, more often than not it’s those initial words on screen that determine whether someone engages further.

Video Pre-Production

If you're making a video to promote your business or yourself, it's important to prepare ahead of time.

One of the most important tips we learned from Mr. Davis is that “as soon as you hit a record, everything intelligent you are about to say leaves your head.”

If this happens to you, Andrew recommends using notecards for everything you shoot. “I write down the answers to questions, or the plan I have for the video, and then I ensure that I use my notecards to get through the video."

Notecards are especially helpful for staying on-script without coming off as too robotic.

Video Editing Is A Must

If you're like most people, you probably don't spend much time editing videos on your phone. You just want to make sure it's good enough to post online and be done with it. But when you're making a more serious video—one that requires polish and attention to detail—you'll want to use the best tools for the job.

Luckily, there are plenty of options! There are literally dozens of video editing software programs to choose from, many of which you can use or trial at no cost.

These same programs can make it easy to overlay visual storytelling elements like graphics, people, and text, all of which can extend viewers’ attention.

Capture Their Attention Fast

Keeping your audience’s attention is a challenge, especially when you have only a few seconds to capture it. That said, ask this question to yourself, “How you know your target audience?” 

The first ten seconds of your video are crucial for keeping viewers involved. When both planning and editing your video, ask yourself if you’re giving your audience members enough within the first ten seconds to entice them to watch the rest of the video. 

With the scrolling nature of social media, a few seconds is typically all you have to convince someone to stop and stay a while. For the same reason it’s wise to focus the bulk of your attention on the headline and opening paragraph when writing a blog post, it’s a good idea to heavily scrutinize the first ten seconds of your videos – viewer attention drops after that point

Keep Your Videos Concise

It’s not a rule, but generally people prefer shorter videos. An internal 2018 study by LinkedIn found that videos under 30 seconds reported a 200% lift in view completion rates.

If you’ve edited until you can edit no more, and your video still feels too long, think about how you might parse the video into bite-sized segments.

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