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July 21, 2017

5 Easy Ways to Produce Engaging Videos

Video is a powerful medium for content marketing.

According to Forbes, the second largest search engine in the world is YouTube. Billions of people are looking for videos to watch every single day.

Maybe that’s because you can’t beat video for storytelling. Need evidence? Look to films and television. The combination of visuals, sound, and movement add up to emotional resonance.

Videos are also easy to digest – just sit back and watch. They’re especially effective for how-tos, explaining concepts and illustrating ideas. Plus, as technology gets better and better, it’s becoming easier and easier to stream videos from anywhere, on any platform, on any device.

Videos also hit some requirements for good content – they’re useful and informative. For an example, check out this tutorial from Express Writers that shows you how to order from our Content Shop:

Finally, don’t forget videos are a fresh type of content that adds energy to an already-crowded, staid sea of blogs, articles, posts, and infographics.

These are all good reasons why video marketing is so of-the-moment. There’s one quid pro quo, however.

Videos provide a level of engagement that’s perfect for some types of content – but not all.

The question that remains: When should you utilize the power of video marketing? When should you refrain?

Most importantly, what are some low-cost, easy ways to produce videos for your content?

When Is Video Content Marketing the Right Move?

You can’t produce videos for every content need. Videos take a bit more time and effort than writing up a blog post or researching an article. When you do decide to use a video as your medium, it has to be worth it.

Content Marketing Institute says that you have to ask yourself an honest question when thinking about creating video content. If you removed the sound and visuals and the benefits they provide, would anything about the story get lost in translation?

If the answer is “no,” skip the video. You can tell your story just as effectively through written content. If the answer is a resounding “yes,” then producing a video could take your content to the next level.

Here are some ideas that could get you rolling. Customize them depending on your brand, what you sell, and your industry:

  • Film a behind-the-scenes video that takes your viewers inside your operations, to an exclusive event, or some other place they wouldn’t normally get to access.
  • Film a reaction video to a hot-button topic or event in your industry. Line it up with your brand values.
  • Do thorough product reviews that showcase features, shortcomings, and benefits.
  • Create a how-to video that simplifies a complex process.

To underline just how integral video and visual content is for your marketing, take a look at this snippet of an infographic from AdWeek. Bottom line: People crave it.

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There’s a lot that video can do for you. Now that you have some ideas to get you started, how do you go about producing videos? Here are some tips, tricks, and tools that will make it easier.

5 Easy Ways to Produce Engaging Videos for Your Content Roster

You don’t need fancy equipment to create compelling videos for content marketing. In fact, you probably have one of the only tools you’ll need right in your pocket – your Smartphone.

This leads us to the first big tip.

1. Use the Equipment You Already Have

You may not have the budget to either buy or rent fancy video equipment. However, there’s a simpler option.

Nowadays, Smartphones are equipped with great cameras. Use this to your advantage. The footage will have slightly lower quality than if you used professional equipment, but you can mask that with good shooting techniques and superb editing.

2. Invest in Accessories

Accessories for your Smartphone that help you get a steadier shot are inexpensive investments. Did you know you can get a tripod for your Apple device for less than 30 bucks? That cost is totally worth it for a steady, smooth shot – i.e., no amateur, headache-inducing shaky camera.

Another good, inexpensive investment is a microphone that hooks up to your device via the headphone jack. This tool will help you get clearer sound no matter the conditions. This means windy days and background chatter are no problem.

3. Get Different Angles

While shooting, create more visual interest by getting different angles of your subject. This is a good technique to use if you’re filming wide-angle shots of an event or landscape, or if you’re trying to show off the different features of a product.

Various angles will show your viewers every detail. This will help them feel like they’re right there with you, which is far more compelling than one long, steady, unchanging shot.

4. Use the Right Software

The right video editing software can help you create the exact look and feel you’re going for. There are limitless options for creating custom videos with your own footage, animated videos using templates, slide presentations, and more.

To create fun animated videos quickly, try one of these:

Here’s a screengrab that showcases an animated video LinkNYC created using Powtoon:

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To edit basic video clips, including cutting footage, fine-tuning audio, tweaking brightness and contrast, and adding text, here are some good options. Some of these are apps you can use right on your phone:

Nutshell, in particular, is a super-simple app that uses very few elements to create a fun video. Here’s an example video from Buffer that shows us how it’s done (the possibilities for this could be endless):

5. Use Stock Images, Clips, and Royalty-Free Music

Many programs include the use of backgrounds, stock photos, mini clips, and royalty-free music in their editing offerings. However, if you’re using a basic program, you can nab these for yourself to jazz up your video content.

Some good stock image sources:

Great sources for royalty-free music (for background sound or mood music):

Stock videos (some of these are free!):

There are so many fantastic resources out there for video creation. Dig in and play around. You may come up with something truly snazzy!

Add Zip and Pizazz to your Content Marketing with Videos

If you’re struggling to stand out in a crowded market, videos could be your way to the top. They’re a fresh means to present information and speak to your readers. You could end up turning more of those casual visitors into customers with this energetic approach.


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Julia McCoy is the founder of Express Writers, a serial content marketer, and bestselling author. A dedicated self-starter since an early age, by age 13, she'd written a 200-page book and taught herself Internet marketing. At 19, Julia dropped out of college and a nursing degree to follow her passion, teach herself online writing, and start her agency. Within two years, Express Writers grew by 400 percent, and today, Julia’s agency serves more than 5,000 clients. Julia is a bestselling author, the creator of The Practical Content Strategy Certification Course, host of the Write Podcast and Twitter Chat #ContentWritingChat. She just published her second bestseller, Practical Content Strategy & Marketing, November 2017.

4 Responses to “5 Easy Ways to Produce Engaging Videos

    Nice resources for free images & videos.

    avatar Brian says:

    Thanks very much for this valuable suggestion Julia.

    avatar Andrea Torti says:

    Video content is a great way to repurpose your older pieces, too – many people would rather watch a short video than read a 2,500-word post.

    avatar Chad says:

    A great resource on creating videos. Came a good time as we have several projects that need some videos made.

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