videoAccording to most social media experts, video is the best way to improve engagement and extend the reach of your product or service online. If it seems complicated to begin generating video, there really are some very simple ways to get started using this medium for your business. Unless you’re creating videos that will sit on your home page and introduce your company, the quality doesn’t have to be professional grade and you’ll still get the benefits of search optimization, engagement and reach. Here are five ways to dip your toe in the water with video, without taking a lot of time or money.

  1. Shoot rough material and send it to an editor. If you’re a parent, you’ve probably got a decent video camera. Invest in a tripod and shoot your scenes, then send them to an editor to create your masterpiece. There are tons of freelance video editors that work pretty inexpensively on sites like Upwork. They can do all the cutting, titles, sound and anything else you want. I use a guy named Mike in Indonesia. I’m pretty sure he’s a high school kid who does this on the side for about $100 a video. He’s really good, and no, you cannot have his name.
  2. Create really short videos for your YouTube channel. If you want to learn iMovie, or Adobe Premiere Pro that’s fine but don’t burn the time creating long videos. Start with really short :30 or :60 second videos as you learn the software. Short videos are great for social media and will give you just as much search engine optimization.
  3. Practice with Vine or Cinemagram. It’s easy to practice video with your phone using Vine, or to animate your photos with Cinemagram. This will help you get more engagement and reach, and give you some practice with things like lighting and vocal delivery.
  4. Try Google Hangout Air. I love this tool. It’s basically a video conversation, but once the session is complete it’s automatically uploaded to YouTube. Find an emerging expert in your industry and interview them. You can post the link all over (and so will they.)
  5. Practice with live video on Facebook or Periscope. It might sound strange to practice with a live broadcast, but both of these services can really increase engagement. However, you won’t get the search benefits of YouTube with either of these. (For a good review of Facebook vs. Periscope, visit Toms’ Guide here.

Social media ROI can be tricky, and video definitely adds more work to the mix. The search engine optimization benefits cannot be ignored so I believe it’s really worth the time.

If you want to dig deeper on this topic, Social Media Examiner has some great podcasts (ironically) on easy ways to use video for social media or search.