October 17, 2011
Video is arguably the most powerful way to send your message across to an audience, yet it is surprising that such a small percentage of people use it both for their web content and marketing materials. This is perhaps due to a number of misconceptions that people have when it comes to creating video content, which are clarified below:
1. You Need To Spend A Lot: You may have seen or at least heard about companies that will produce your video for you, but charge an absolute fortune to do it (well, what the average person would consider a fortune). It’s not a necessity to get it professionally done – just take a look at the majority of videos on YouTube. Use your friend’s camera, or just record straight into the computer with a webcam.
2. It Needs To Be High Quality: The content of your video is what matters most – as long as this is helpful to somebody then there’s no reason it should look like it cost a million dollars. Don’t worry so much about your poor acting ability (or your friend’s poor acting ability), or whether the picture is too grainy – as long as the sound is okay then just about everything else is pretty trivial. People complain about unclear or low audio more than anything else when it comes to web videos, so keep that in mind. And also, it’s much easier to get away with a poorly produced video than it is a poorly written article – so don’t be afraid of turning your loyal visitors off, since they’ll usually commend you for at least having a go.
3. You Need A Camera: Even if you don’t have a camera or webcam you can still make a video. There are several programs like Camtasia that allow you to record a video from your computer screen, or you could even go much simpler than that and create a slideshow in PowerPoint and export it as a video. I tend not to waste too much time on YouTube anymore, but back in the day a high percentage of videos that went viral were nothing more than slideshows of funny photos chopped together with music.
4. It Takes Too Long: In the time it takes me to finish writing this post, I could probably have recorded a video to tell you the same thing about five times (and had several different takes at it, just to satisfy the perfectionist in me). Shooting a video is much quicker than writing an article. The only thing that could make it take longer is if you do any extensive editing or effects on it, but for most web videos this won’t be the case.
5. They Slow Down My Website: If you’re worried about bandwidth and issues like that, remember that if you store your videos on an external site like YouTube, they won’t have any negative effect on your own website. The other advantage to doing this is you do get some traffic floating in from wherever you post it, and if you use keywords in the titles or tags of your videos, this can add up to be quite a lot. While it is a reality that people in less-developed areas will have to wait a while for your video to load and so forth, most other people should be equipped with a decent enough web connection that this won’t be an issue. If it still concerns you, then you can accompany each video with a brief text description to satisfy the needs of everyone.
Some of the concerns that people do have with creating video are, of course, also valid. The primary one is that search engines will not be as fond of video as they are of text – they have no real way spidering the actual content of your video and will rely instead on the title and other text on the page.
Having worked in video for most of my professional career (yes, I am a man of many talents) I can definitely say first-hand it is a powerful and entertaining way to send your message. It will give you a break from writing, and give your visitors a break from reading (assuming they need it) – and everyone will almost certainly enjoy the experience.
Millionaire Studio is an online entrepreneurship blog that features articles on online business, blogging, marketing and social media: http://millionairestudio.com/