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Seven pro tips for creating compelling videos

photographer-301533You’ve probably been told this before but creating compelling videos for your website and wider marketing activities, especially on social media, can be a fantastic way of connecting with your existing and potential customers.

Many businesses hold back from using video because they worry about the costs or not being able to offer all-singing, all-dancing production, whereas a quickly filmed video using your phone or tablet camera can often be all you need to make a positive impression.

This week, we’ve put together our seven favourite pro tips for creating compelling videos:

Compelling video tip #1: Know your audience

As with any marketing, the single most important thing you need to do is to identify your audience. It can be helpful to create a persona for your target customer – Who are they? How old are they? What is their family like? What do they enjoy doing in their spare time? What’s their job? What keeps them awake at night in terms of your product or service?

Once you know who your ideal customer is, you can use your marketing videos to talk directly to them. For example, a business coach who helps parents with young families run their own start-up companies might post a two-minute video about what work to prioritise during a child’s nap time. An osteopath who wants to attract office workers might post a short video about exercises you can do to strengthen your posture when you’re sitting at a desk all-day.

Compelling video tip #2: Choose one message

Many companies use videos to drive home their sales message, but unless you’re transparent about the fact that it’s a sales video, this can leave a sour taste in viewers’ mouths. People are time poor – if they are going to spend their precious time watching a video, even if only for a few minutes, they want to know what the value is for them.

Think about creating a video series and giving each video a single message. You could create tutorials, hints and tips, product reviews, user guides, but stick with one topic per video.

Look at how The Body Coach, Joe Wicks, uses 15-second videos on Instagram to give people recipes and HIIT sessions they can use to get lean and fit. He often doesn’t even mention his branding, and yet his following and impact is growing exponentially.

Alternatively, you might try adding your web address to the beginning or end of a video or as a footer. Allrecipes is a company that does this with all of its recipe videos without ever overtly promoting a sales message.

Compelling video tip #3: Decide what you want your customers to do

All marketing should have some form of call to action. This is because it tells potential customers what they need to do next, and gives them a clear signpost so they don’t just drift away.

Going back to the Joe Wicks’ example above, although he doesn’t explicitly state a call to action, it’s implied. He wants people to cook the recipes he’s showcasing, see how quick and easy they are, and then follow him on social media or sign up to his 90-day programme to get more of the same content.

Other companies state their call to action by asking people to visit their website, call to book an appointment, or buy a product.

Try to create a video that clearly tells your customers what they need to do next, even if it’s to subscribe to your YouTube channel or like your Facebook page for more tutorials, or hints and tips.

Compelling video tip #4: Keep it simple

By having a single focus, it should be easier to keep your videos simple. Don’t go for an over-scripted, over-complicated message.

Compelling video tip #5: Make it personal and authentic

A Swedish video-game commentator with the handle, PewDiePie, is currently the most successful YouTuber in the world. His videos have had over 10 billion views and he is followed by more than 39 subscribers worldwide. The secret of his success lies in several things – he knows his audience, he answers their questions, and his videos show him reacting to video games as the game play unfolds. The production values are simple but the connection he makes with his legion of followers is personal.

You don’t have to be a budding PewDiePie in the making, but his success does go to show that people like to see and connect with the face behind the brand.

If you run a small business and have a story to tell about its origin, the lessons you’ve learned, your ethos, etc. then don’t be afraid to get in front of the camera. If you’re telling working parents that they don’t have to wait for everything to be perfect, let them see that sometimes your life is a bit chaotic too but that doesn’t hold you back from creating content. If your products are made in a special or innovative way, use video to give your customers a glimpse into the inner workings of your business.

Our advice is to be specific and anecdotal. If you started out working at your kitchen table, let people know. If you ran an IT start-up company and its first servers from your bedroom, tell your customers so they can see how you’ve grown your business. If you travelled half way across the world to source the perfect ingredient for your skincare products, talk about your journey.

Compelling video tip #6: Lose the script

Although scripted videos are sometimes appropriate, be wary of them coming across as pre-rehearsed and inauthentic. It might be better to have some rough bullet points in your mind of topics you want to cover and improvise a bit. As scary as this might feel, this will help your video come across as a personal conversation with you.

If you’re interviewing customers for a testimonial, let them speak freely and in their own words, instead of putting words in their mouth (the same goes for written testimonials). Testimonials don’t have to be polished and grammatically perfect – they should reflect the views of the person giving the review.

Compelling video tip #7: Shoot people reacting, not just talking

Although the ‘talking heads’ style of video is tried and tested and can be very effective, compelling videos show rather than tell a story. You could try videoing your team at work or your product being made. A business coach might show how people react to them positively at an event, while a textiles company might show their designers working on the fabric designs or choosing the right threads and colours, and then handling the finished article.

By showing people reacting to a product or service, you help the viewer imagine themselves in that person’s shoes, and create aspiration – they want to be the person in the video.

So, there you have it – our seven pro tips for creating compelling videos. Have you used video in your marketing yet? Did you see the results that you wanted? Or is video uncharted territory for you? I’d love to hear your thoughts over on the Grafixbiz Facebook page.

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