Let’s face it, the first time is never perfect.
In fact, for many things in life, the first time is really bad, and it’s the fear surrounding this that prevents people from ever trying in the first place.
If you’re just starting out with using videos in your marketing, or you would really like to, it’s time we face this fear together and push through so you can really start experiencing the benefits of video marketing.
So get ready for some video marketing tips for the absolute beginner…
What should your video do and where should it live?
Knowing that the first time isn’t going to be perfect, you probably don’t want your first video to be front and centre on your website homepage where absolutely everyone will see it, unless you’re very courageous. The best place would be somewhere low-risk on your website where you can measure it’s effectiveness and your audience’s response. We suggest putting your first video on a blog post, product page or a landing page.
Think of a specific page where you could use a video. A page on your website that already exists, where you already have analytics measuring your normal traffic, time on page and conversions. These statistics give you a baseline to compare with later on when you put your video to use.
The actual content of the video would depend on what type of page you want to put it on. Landing page or product page videos would be designed to increase conversions or sales, whereas a blog post video would most likely be an educational or informative video.
Once you know where you want to place your video on your website and what you want the content to achieve, you can start actually putting something together. I’m purposely skipping over the task of scriptwriting for your video, you can either find someone to do this for you, or use resources to help you write your own scripts, but for now we’re going to fast-forward to the actual production.
How should you produce your video?
The easiest way to produce your first marketing video is to grab any digital device with a record button and start shooting footage. You probably have a smart phone, tablet or webcam already that you could use without having to start chipping away at your marketing budget. To get the best results filming with even basic equipment, check out Wistia’s learning centre for invaluable advice and practical tips.
If you’re recording your own live action videos, this might even be your first time on camera. Although it might feel weird at first, you will get used to it over time with experience. Just remember to be natural, but with an extra pinch of enthusiasm. Smile. Relax. Laugh at your mistakes. Repeat as necessary.
Your own video style will likely evolve over time. Just look at the difference between the first Whiteboard Friday to a more recent one.
Over time they have refined their style and learned as they went along. Their first video was far from perfect, but their more recent ones are much more professional and enjoyable to watch. You’ll likely have a similar journey starting with your first video, so just remember with every video that you produce, you are gaining experience and learning as you go.
Putting your video to use and analysing the results
Let’s say you’ve managed to record yourself now, whether it’s a conversion centred landing page video or an educational blog post video. Now it’s time to upload the video to your website either using free video hosting like YouTube, or professional video hosting like Wistia. Embed the video on the desired page you thought of earlier and then sit back and wait to see what the results are.
If you used a service like Wistia to host your video, you can access a very handy engagement graph showing you exactly how much of your video has been watched and where people stopped watching. You’ll never get 100% of people watching your video through to the end due to the extremely short attention span website visitors have, so your engagement graph will give you some very valuable information.
You can measure the effectiveness of your video by looking at the graph and seeing where people drop off.
Is it at the beginning because the video is a slow starter? Do people drop off in the middle where things start to drag on? Any data you can get from your video’s analytics, you can use to make better videos in the future, or re-edit your existing videos to make them more engaging and effective.
Now’s the time to also look back at your website analytics for that page your video sits on. Look at the traffic, time on page and conversion rate of your page again now that you have embedded your video. How does this compare to the statistics before you added the video? While every case will be different, I would imagine that your traffic to that page would start to increase over time, and your time on page and conversions would probably increase immediately. These small signs of success can give you the confidence you need to move on to bigger and better things.
The next steps in video marketing
Let’s quickly recap:
- It’s probably best to start with a low-risk video (not your homepage).
- Produce your video with the equipment you have already.
- Experiment, find the style that suits you best.
- Embed your video and analyse its success.
The next step you need to take is to remember to iterate. Don’t give something one try and then give up. The beginning of a journey is often the hardest step. Once you are past the first few hurdles, you need to keep producing more videos. You might then be ready to put more into a bigger campaign or even tackle that courageous homepage video.