Video Marketing: When to Go Pro Vs. Doing Video Yourself

VIDEO Marketing

I've been involved with video creation since college. Taking video and TV production classes were some of the highlights of that time! Being made fun of for being the the AV club was a badge of honor. And volunteering to work on an indie film was a memory I'll never forget.  

These days, more than ever before, we have access to creating our own videos and sometimes that makes a lot of sense. But there is a time and place for it just as much as there is a time to choose to hire professional videography.

In this article I will distinguish between the two. And share some tips on how to make your video marketing efforts successful when you are at the DIY stage and when you work with professionals. 

Video Marketing Strategies:

When you are going to undertake video marketing as a strategy, versus randomly sharing videos as you experience life, then it will serve you well to keep in mind the following strategies. 

  1. Define Your Goals:

    • Clearly outline what you want to achieve with your video marketing efforts. Whether it's brand awareness, lead generation or even sales. When you set clear goals, you'll also want to track your results. 

  2. Know Your Audience:

    • Who are you trying to reach. I love the phrase, "speak to one, to speak to many." It reminds me that using "you" versus "everybody" is much more personal. Think of your best client so far and act as if you are speaking to them when you brainstorm topics. This will help you create content that resonates with them. Tailor your videos to address their needs, interests and pain points.

  3. Create Engaging Content:

    • Keep your videos interesting and engaging. Use storytelling techniques, humor and emotion to capture your audience's attention. I also like to say, "video loves a prop." When it's appropriate, incorporate objects that make sense into your videos.

  4. Optimize for Search Engines:

    • Use relevant keywords in your video titles, descriptions and tags to improve search engine visibility. This can enhance your video's chances of being discovered organically. 

  5. Leverage Social Media:

    • Share your videos across various social media platforms. Each platform has its own audience and features, so tailor your content accordingly. 

  6. Consistency is Key:

    • Regularly produce and release videos to maintain a consistent presence. This helps build a loyal audience over time. Batch recording has a place but so does timely content. Plan ahead but be flexible. 

  7. Educational Content:

    • Position your business as an authority in your industry by creating educational content. This could include how-to videos, tutorials or product demonstrations. Educational marketing is more interesting to watch for your ideal prospects and clients than straightforward promotional content about your business. Why? Because it's about THEM not you. 

Tips for Small Businesses:

  1. Start Small:

    • Begin with simple, high-quality videos that you can create from your phone. Leverage the how-to methods of creating quality video before investing in the equipment.  

  2. Authenticity Matters:

    • People appreciate authenticity. Share behind-the-scenes looks at your business, introduce your team and showcase the human side of your brand. 

  3. Utilize User-Generated Content:

    • Encourage your customers to create and share videos about their experiences with your products or services. This adds credibility to your brand when you have others speak on your behalf. 

  4. Optimize for Mobile:

    • Many people watch videos on mobile devices, so ensure your videos are optimized for mobile viewing.

Working with Professionals vs. DIY:

Advantages of Working with Video Professionals:
  1. High-Quality Production:

    • Professionals have the expertise and equipment to create polished, high-quality videos that can make a significant impact. I like to say video is all about audio and lighting. And those are the two key areas that are more difficult to master than using your cell phone video.  

  2. Time and Efficiency:

    • Hiring professionals allows you to focus on running your business while they handle the video production process, saving you time and effort. It's also challenging to be both in front and behind the camera at the same time! Trying to do it all yourself could dilute your message. 

  3. Creative Expertise:

    • Professional videographers bring creative skills and experience to the table, ensuring your videos are visually appealing and effective. They can help you brainstorm creative concepts to help you stand out and still align with your brand. It can be beneficial to have an outside perspective to push you outside your comfort zone just a bit. 

  4. Technical Knowledge:

    • Professionals understand the technical aspects of video production, including lighting, sound and editing, resulting in a more professional final product. Is focusing on all the technical aspects of video production going to move you forward in your business? Hiring the pros can help you stay focused on the most impactful parts of your business. 

  5. Strategic Insight:

    • Professionals can provide strategic guidance, helping you align your video content with your overall marketing strategy. Synergies with other professionals outside of your business provide the best results.
Advantages of DIY: 
  1. Cost-Effective:

    • DIY videos can be more budget-friendly, especially for small businesses with limited resources.

  2. Flexibility:

    • DIY may allow for more flexibility in terms of timing and content creation. You can create and release videos at your own pace.

  3. Authenticity:

    • If you're doing DIY videos, you might feel more comfortable to gain some experience in front of the camera alone first without others watching your performance.  

  4. Immediate Action:

    • You can create and publish videos quickly without the delays often associated with professional production.

On Camera Tips for Video Marketing 

Whether you're doing the work yourself or hiring video professionals, here are some tips to keep in mind as the talent in front of the camera. 

  1. Practice Before Recording:

    • Rehearse your content before recording. Familiarity with your material helps reduce nervousness and improves your delivery. When I taught public speaking the advice was to practice your speech 6 times in front of a mirror. Give it a try when delivering your lines! 

  2. Maintain Good Posture:

    • Sit or stand up straight with good posture. This not only looks more professional but also helps you project confidence. Your body informs your mind, so if you stand and look confident you'll be feeling confident before you know it!  

  3. Eye Contact:

    • Look directly into the camera lens. This creates a sense of connection with your audience and portrays confidence. Avoid looking at yourself on the screen, as it can be distracting. Now there are certain AI tools that can help correct the eye contact problem. But you can also go low-tech and put a face on top of your lens so you focus your attention in the right place.   

  4. Speak Clearly and Slowly:

    • Enunciate your words and speak at a moderate pace. Speaking too quickly can make it difficult for viewers to understand you. This can be a tough one and is debatable since some famous personalities have made a career out of speaking fast! Overall it's good advice to slow down a beat so your audience can process what you are saying. 

  5. Control Your Pace:

    • Vary your speaking pace to keep the audience engaged. Avoid speaking too monotonously but also be mindful not to rush through your content. A moment of silence or a pregnant pause can do wonders for grabbing attention. 

  6. Use Gestures Mindfully:

    • Incorporate natural hand gestures to emphasize points but avoid excessive or distracting movements. Use gestures purposefully to enhance your message. Make them make sense. 

  7. Dress Professionally:

    • Wear appropriate clothing that aligns with the tone and purpose of your video. Solid colors often work well on camera and avoid busy patterns that might be distracting. Sometimes people like to make wardrobe a part of their persona. Is a hat your thing? Is a color associated with your brand? Doing so can add personality but be careful to not distract. 

  8. Be Mindful of Facial Expressions:

    • Pay attention to your facial expressions, as they can convey a lot of emotion. Smile when appropriate and use facial expressions to match the tone of your message. Match the moment, for instance avoid smiling at a solemn moment in the conversation. 

  9. Minimize Distractions:

    • Ensure your background is tidy and free from distractions. A clutter-free environment helps the audience focus on your message. Pro tip: make sure no objects look like they are emerging from the top of your head, for instance.  

  10. Use Proper Lighting:

    • Good lighting is crucial for looking professional on camera. Position yourself facing natural light if possible or use well-diffused artificial lighting to avoid harsh shadows.

  11. Choose the Right Camera Angle:

    • Position the camera at eye level to create a natural and engaging perspective. A slightly higher camera often provides a flattering angle but avoid extreme angles that make it weird or unnatural. 

  12. Be Authentic:

    • Be yourself on camera. Authenticity builds trust with your audience. Don't be afraid to show your personality and let your passion for the subject shine through.

  13. Edit with Care:

    • If you're editing your video, pay attention to transitions and cuts to create a smooth and professional final product. Remove unnecessary filler words or awkward pauses. 

Remember, looking professional on camera is a skill that improves with practice. Consider recording yourself, reviewing the footage and making adjustments based on your observations. 

To Sum Up: When to Go Pro Vs. Doing Video Yourself

Ultimately, the choice between DIY and professional videography depends on your budget, goals and the level of polish you want for your videos. It's also worth considering a hybrid approach, where you use professionals for key projects and handle simpler videos in-house. 

As with all marketing efforts to get the best results, requires some planning. If you'd like to brainstorm your best video marketing strategy for where you are now in business, reach out here and let's discuss it together. Sometimes just speaking about it is the first step to unlocking the key! 

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