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It’s no secret that video has a prominent place on the modern marketer’s list of priorities. As the numbers continue to roll in on the incredible returns businesses enjoy from integrating video tech into their marketing strategies, savvy business execs look to get in on the action. The question now becomes: can a small business create profitable video content?

Creating Video: A Beginner’s’ Guide

If you’re one of many small business owners who don’t believe creating successful video content is within your grasp, think again. There are a number of cheap (and free) platforms to help businesses with limited budgets and next to no AV technologies available post interesting, high-quality videos online. Facebook Live, for instance, enables you to jump on the live video streaming trend with minimal investment—all you need is a camera, Internet connection, and Facebook account. Other easy-to-use live streaming apps include Meerkat, Periscope,, and Snapchat.

You don’t have to jump into the live streaming game right out of the gate. If you want to record and upload videos that aren’t live, modern tech has made this easy too. The best way to get your feet wet with video content if you don’t have professional AV equipment is to grab an iPhone. iPhones provide fast, easy, shareable, and high-quality videos in seconds. You can also invest in an inexpensive digital camera. AV quality is important, but not as important as the content of your video—but we’ll dive into content in a moment.

Once you have your camera, choose an easy-to-use video editing software. There are plenty of free options for small businesses that don’t want to commit to video content until they see returns. IMovie, for example, comes installed on most Apple devices and is great for professional-grade videos complete with music, transitions, text, and other effects. You can also try Replay, optimized for Instagram users, or YouTube’s free and fast Creator Studio.

*Note: If you really don’t know what you’re doing and need help using iPhone cameras, editing software, and popular publishing platforms, do yourself a favor: hire a local videographer!

Crafting First-Rate Video Content

The content of your video is the number one most important element for video SEO and seeing real returns on investment. You can spend all the time, money, and energy in the world creating a polished video—only to have it fall flat because of bad content. The rules of content are slightly different than for written text, but the end goal remains the same: creating relevant, engaging content that will stir emotion or action in your audience.

The first step is to define your marketing goals. Ask how your video will fit into your current marketing strategy. Do you hope your video will increase website traffic, grow brand awareness, seal conversions, or push viewers to a call to action? Frame your video content around your ultimate goals. Then choose what type of video you want to create.

One easy idea to get started with video content on your website, blog, or business social media accounts is to turn a How-To article you previously published into a short video. Walk your viewers through the steps you outlined in your article. You can also create a brief video outline of a long-form article, giving users the choice to browse through the written content or watch the video instead. If your brand already has a decent following, you can even opt for simple videos that showcase your latest products, such as HubSpot’s short and sweet Vine:

  • Keep it short. The optimal lengths for your videos will vary depending on your platform, but in general, try to keep it under two minutes.
  • Tell a consistent message across different content platforms. Consistency across all your marketing efforts is key to gaining consumers’ trust.
  • Let your personality shine. This doesn’t mean pushing a personality that isn’t your own. Don’t try too hard to be entertaining, funny, or something you’re not. Viewers respond best to honesty and transparency in video content.
  • Explain your product. Don’t assume viewers know about your product or service. Tell the story of your product as if you’re also a beginner.
  • Give value. Just like text content, your video should be relevant to viewers and offer something of value. Tell a great story, give a reward such as a discount code, or offer actionable advice.

Optimize Your Video Content for SEO

Although you’re using a video platform, you can’t ignore written content completely. You need to pay attention to video SEO just as you would with text content. Otherwise, your target audience won’t even see the content you painstakingly put together. Use keywords in your video title, tags, and description. Try using the Google AdWords Keyword Tool to generate five or six strong words to use in your description. Make the description clear and concise, fitting the keywords in naturally.

Pay special attention to your video’s title. Think like your target audience and incorporate words like “How to” that are likely to show up in searches. Optimize tags with keywords or custom hashtags for social media as well. Consider transcribing your video into text on your website or putting closed captioning in your video for optimum SEO impact. Share your video across social networks and on more than one platform.

Before your video’s big debut, consider making a post leading up to the reveal, introducing it, and announcing what time it will go public. Building up hype around your video content can help you receive a better turnout. Remember, it takes time to master video content, but the returns are well worth it. Be patient with yourself and your team, and realize that it’s a learning experience—just like written content used to be.

Drum roll, please…you’re ready to launch!

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