Video is now an established part of social media. It blew up some years ago with the advent of YouTube, and it’s here to stay. But YouTube, that has been around since 2005, is no longer the only place for video.
Facebook and Instagram started off as social networks and image platforms, but now Facebook has a dedicated video tab, and both platforms are now very big on video content, including Facebook’s Live video and Instagram’s IGTV.
And now we also have TikTok, a whole platform for videos under a minute long.
Billions of people use these platforms.
The question is, are you using social video to reach those people?
Are you and your brand — whether it’s your personal or company brand — getting exposure through video content?
Dive into video
It’s no longer a question of “Are you doing videos?” Because you should!
What does video look like for your brand now? Have you produced any?
If you still haven’t, start today. Just dive right into it. Try using the Live video feature on Facebook.
If you’ve posted your marketing and company materials on your Facebook page, you probably have at least a hundred followers. Going live means you go out to those followers via a live video stream. They get alerted that you’ve started a Live video.
It’s easy to do. When you feel good, have something to say about your niche and have it clear in your head, just press the button and go live.
Don’t overthink it. You might be surprised at how well you do when you just do it without worrying too much.
It doesn’t have to be long. Just say hi, and then talk about your tip or share something useful to your audience. It has to be something valuable for your viewers. Hook them with a question they want to know the answer to, and then give them that answer.
And if you make a mistake, so what? You can laugh about it. People aren’t perfect, and people love people being people! Live-streamed video is where entrepreneurs get tripped up the most, but it’s really the easiest way of getting into video.
And guess what? It disappears after 24 hours. So if you didn’t like your live stream much, that’s fine. It goes away! If you like it, you can save it. You can use your phone’s screen recorder to capture your live video so you can repost it if you want.
Not comfortable going live? Pre-record your video and then post it on social media.
Record a very simple video. Just use your phone. Most smartphones now are equipped with very robust high resolution cameras. It’s quite amazing, really. You don’t even need any special equipment or any high end cameras to do a video these days.
Just. Start. Recording.
Get your topic and hook in your head. You might not need notes because you’ll keep your video short.
If it’s short, you might be able to do it in one take. If you do multiple takes, you can cut out the parts you don’t like and stitch the video so it runs smoothly.
Either way, I highly recommend editing your videos. You can hire a professional, someone at Upwork or Fiverr, to edit your videos. But it’s easy to learn how to edit videos yourself with modern apps, such as Wondershare Filmora, Animoto and InVideo.
Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and TikTok all have simple editing tools, so you can easily trim your videos to the right length and even add filters to them for more flattering lighting or styles.
Just two important elements
Although editing is important, you don’t have to fuss about it too much. Your video doesn’t have to be perfect. What’s important is your content — it’s the value you bring to your target audience.
But for your video to be effective, it needs to have two important elements: good lighting and good audio.
If your audience can’t hear you because of crappy audio, they won’t watch or listen to your video at all.
Invest in a lavalier mic you can clip on your top, a good mic you can plug into your phone or a podcasting mic.
Your computer and phone mics are probably fine as well! If you’re somewhere quiet, your audio should be clear enough.
But because audio is super important, I do recommend a microphone (although I don’t always use it myself). Your good audio will also come in handy when you want to transcribe your video so you can repurpose it as a webinar or a blog post.
When it comes to video content, a less than perfect image is more forgiving than less than perfect audio. If your lighting isn’t good, it’s not the end of the world, but you do risk losing your viewers’ attention. To avoid that fate, try to have good lighting and a non-distracting background, such as a wall or curtains.
I usually use a ring light to illuminate my face in videos. A ring light with a tripod is around $35 on Amazon.
Push past your perfectionism
Often, entrepreneurs tell me they stopped producing video content because their videos weren’t great. Push through that. Keep doing videos until you’ve pushed past your perfectionism.
Believe me, when I started making video content, I sucked at it big time. You can go to my YouTube channel and find the first video I’ve ever done. It’s pretty crappy.
There is no shame in having imperfect videos. We’re all crappy when we start. Unless you have experience with public speaking and being on camera, your first videos will be crappy.
To get good at making good videos, you have to get through the first 50, maybe even 100, bad, mediocre, middling videos! Unless you have experience with producing video content, it’ll take some time to start making great videos.
It took me a while to do live videos because I didn’t feel confident enough in the beginning.
You might feel the same way, but don’t get discouraged. Keep making videos so you can get past your perfectionism and get comfortable with the camera.
Pro tip: Try a teleprompter app. You’ll feel more confident because you pre-feed what you want to say into the app and then just read it out. I use the app when I do more refined videos for marketing or branding.
You’ll soon get used to doing it off the cuff, like I have, but if you need some structure without having to memorize your content, try a teleprompter app.
And you just might surprise yourself by going off-script and learning to talk comfortably on-camera!
If you are not on the video marketing bandwagon yet, get on it today! With modern technologies, such as high-quality phone cameras and editing apps, it’s easy to do. Just make sure you have something to say, use good lighting and have great audio.