Video marketing used to be expensive. You had to hire a professional videographer and editing team. You needed to block out half a day for filming and at least that much for editing. The finished product was slick and professional, but out of date too quickly. Then you had to start over.

That was back before digital cameras and even phones with video capability were available. Today even small business owners with limited budgets can consider adding video marketing to their toolkit. Not sure if video marketing is right for you? Facebook Live is a great way to experiment with video in a very low-risk environment. It is literally disposable media, in the timeline today and gone tomorrow. So give it a shot. Get comfortable in front of the camera, and work your way up to a more polished video.

Look good for less

Even if you are shooting with your iPhone consider investing in a few accessories.

  • Get a tripod -.No one call really hold a camera steady for more than a few seconds and tremors and screen shakes can be very disorienting.
  • Invest in a microphone with an extension cord – This is especially important if you are shooting two people and have to stand further back to get both people in the shot.
  • Reduce echo – If you are like many of us, shooting your video in a conference room with lots of hardwood surfaces you are going to sound like you are speaking from the bottom of a well. Bring soft fabric into the room, like a blanket to cover the table or fabric to hang on the walls. We also made simple sound buffers with cardboard egg cartons mounted on a flip chart. The ridges of the cartons actually absorb some of the echo creating a really nice audio effect.
  • Lighting.- Either shoot in a room with lots of natural light or add a few lamps when you shoot. It may make it feel a bit warm, but as long as you don’t break out into a sweat it will be easier fo see your face.

Set the scene

Yes, this is disposable media, but take some time to prepare for the shoot. Live does not mean sloppy.

  • Take still photos to see how the room will look
  • Shoot a few frames of video to test sound quality, echo, etc.
  • Think about what you are going to say. You want it to feel natural and not too rehearsed, but you still have to make a point in just a few minutes.

Ready to go live

If you want people to look for your video and watch it live, remember to tell people ahead of time when you’re going to broadcast. You might even try sending out an email to encourage people to drop by the live session. Also, write a compelling description and you start building an audience, don’t forget to say hello to people when they drop by live. For more Facebook Live tips check out this blog post

Get More Out of Facebook Live

More than Facebook

When you are comfortable with the finished product, consider saving the video and posting it on YouTube as well. Videos on YouTube tend to be effective even if they are a little longer.  YouTube is an information source as opposed to the casual browsing that Facebook is about. Consider creating informational videos that last somewhere between 10 and 15 minutes and that can be divided into smaller pieces for social media and your newsletter.

The other advantage of using YouTube as part of your video marketing program is SEO. As a Google property, YouTube loves keyword-rich descriptions and links to other resources. So posting a video on YouTube with a great description is a terrific way to drive traffic to your website.

One of the low budget tactics for an informative YouTube video is what is called a whiteboard session. With this style video, you stand in front of a whiteboard, with an outline already written on it. As you talk viewers can refer to your outline and stay focused on your key points. I would strongly suggest your content be written before not during the video so you don’t turn your back to the camera to write on the board. If you write on the board during taping, you will sound muffled and waste time.

All the same rules about preparing your shot, just the way you would with a Facebook Live video apply, but without the added pressure of getting it right the first time. You can share the video from YouTube to Facebook when it is done or upload the same video to both places.

Low viewership

Don’t let low viewership numbers throw you. Especially Facebook Live. Most of the time, you will have way more views after you are done than during the live time slot. That is because people aren’t likely to stop what they are doing when you go live, but may pause when they have more time.

It takes a while to build an audience so if you are going to make video marketing a regular part of your routine try to establish a schedule you can maintain. Then link to the video from other social media sites, email newsletters, and blog posts.

And most of all, have fun. Create a video personality people want to spend time with.

Melanie and Lorraine spent some time chatting about this topic recently. Listen to the episode now:
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