Bettina Hein is the founder of Pixability , a long-time HubSpot friend and partner providing video production services on the HubSpot Service Marketplace . You can follow Bettina on Twitter @pixability .

Chickens on a Log Forrester Research

It shouldn't be.

Gone are the days when you have to spend $10,000+ on a video by acquiring a crew, hiring a director, booking a studio, etc. Creating online video doesn't have to be hard, nor does it have to look amateurish. If you follow these few basic steps, you can -- quickly and easily -- create a video yourself that shines:

1. Think

The most important step in creating a marketing video is understanding your audience and your objectives. What content do your customers and prospects respond to? What is your goal for this video? For example, if you are looking to sell pre-fabricated chicken coops and know your audience is interested in chicken care, you could create video with educational content around how chickens need proper coops to thrive. Always think of your call-to-action: What do you want viewers of the video to do after viewing? Download your whitepaper on the advantages of prefab chicken coops? Go to your website and order?

Take 10 minutes and write down a bulleted list of the shots you want to take. Don't get bogged down with this. It is better to go with your intuition than to over-think a video. You will need less content than you think because a good marketing video should be less than 3 minutes long.

Now you need to get an easy-to-use camera. Hands down, I'd recommend a Flip video camera, with the Kodak Zi8 a distant second choice.

2. Turn On All the Lights

Good light is essential for a professional-looking video. If you are shooting inside, turn on all available artificial light. Shooting outside is always a good idea. So if you're shooting chicken coops, don't use the brand new ones and shoot them in your warehouse. Instead, go to an enthusiastic customer's site and shoot their chicken coop in action.

One caveat: never shoot someone with their back to a window, because it will black out their face. The same goes for shooting with the sun on someone's back. Turn the situation around. The shooter (you!) should always have the light on your back.

3. Hold Still

Don't go crazy with the camera -- always hold your shots still. Don't chase behind the chickens with your camera in hand. Don't try to pan the landscape. Whenever you turn the camera on, count to 10 in your head and don't move the camera during those 10 seconds. Then turn off the camera, move on to your next shot and repeat. If you follow this simple rule, you'll improve your video by 100%.

4. Come from Afar, Then Get Close

Okay, so you're at your best customer's farm. Before you get into all the details of the chicken coop, stop your car at the farm entrance and get a shot of the location (the farm's sign, the farm house or the mailbox with the name on it). Pros call this an ‘establishing shot' because it helps the viewers understand where they are. Also, get a few shots of the chicken coops from a distance. Then get closer.

Very important: Don't zoom, just turn the camera off, walk closer, then continue shooting. Get even closer and show off the fine workmanship of your prefab units.

5. Speak Loudly

While you're at it, you'll want to get an interview with your enthusiastic chicken coop customer. Customer testimonials are an essential element of marketing videos. People will believe other users of your product much more than they will believe a paid actor.

How to set it up: Find a quiet spot (no machinery or fans humming in the background, no crowds chattering) Get your customer on camera from the chest upward and tell them to speak loudly. Just ask your customer a few simple questions: What do you like best about our prefab chicken coops? How hard were they to assemble? Avoid yes or no questions.

6. Edit

The shoot is over and all you need to do now is polish. This part can be daunting, but it doesn't have to be. Use easy editing software like Apple's iMovie or get help from someone who knows how to edit.

Important steps: include your logo, keep the video under 3 minutes and don't forget your call to action. Add royalty-free music to set the mood and tie everything together. Use simple, fade-through transitions.

Once you're done, use inbound marketing best practices to market the video. Upload it to your website and to YouTube. Add it to your email signature and link to it from your newsletters. Direct viewers to a landing page afterward to convert them into leads.

Don't be a chicken. Get started NOW on a marketing video to drive visitors to your site and generate leads and sales .


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Originally published Feb 25, 2010 11:30:00 AM, updated July 28 2017


Video Marketing