When you hear news about social media today, you’re hearing about video. Every major social network has added some type of short-form video marketing service including networks like LinkedIn, which recently launched a platform showcasing 30 second videos from LinkedIn influencers.
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest — all of these sites now offer the ability to use short-form videos as a means of sharing information, establishing brand value, and making more intimate connections with your followers.
It used to be much more difficult for small businesses and entrepreneurs to create video of any length. Even a 3 minute video took weeks to script, record, and publish with a professional videographer, an expensive editor, all the “right” tools and stellar lighting.
Now there are simple tools any novice can use and affordable video editing apps that let you record and publish quality, attention-grabbing videos in a very short timeframe.
#1: Focus Your Message
In any video, you have barely enough time to grab attention and it’s important to get crystal clear on your message. Identify a single key point with which you’d like your viewer to walk away and write out what you want to say.
How detailed you get in creating your script is up to you, but keep in mind the more you try to jam-pack into your video, the less likely it is that your viewer will hang around to the end. Use imagery and captions to help emphasize your message.
#2: Leverage Tools You Already Have
You don’t need fancy cameras and other expensive equipment every time you create a video.
Own a smartphone? Just set up your phone on a homemade stand or invest in an inexpensive tripod. Open your windows and use the streaming daylight or go outside to film yourself talking into the camera. Most smartphones now have decent microphones, but you can invest in a portable mic when and if you find you are recording more regularly.
The most important thing to keep in mind is you want to avoid distractions from your message. Your viewers should see and hear you clearly, so they look forward to more from you.
#3: Experiment with Short-Form Video Apps
There are lots of apps to help you make great video. If you look up the term “video editor” on your smartphone, you will find them. What you should look for first are those that fall under “Editor’s Choice”, any that have high ratings (i.e. 4 star and up) and always remember to read the most recent comments.
A few of my favorite video editors include iMovie for the iPhone and VideoShow Pro for Android.
#4: Find Great Templates
If you prefer to create fast and easy animated videos, a few services are excellent for providing starter templates.
Powtoon boasts that you can publish an animated video on their site in 5-20 minutes. While they do have a free version, the real value is in having full access to Powtoon’s premium library of ready-made templates. You simply choose your template, the type of animated characters you want, and replace their text. That’s it! Your video is ready to publish.
Other services like Animoto can take your images and text, pop them into a background of your choice and help you develop a short-form video in minutes. You can choose from their library of short video snippets, music and clipart if you’re out of ideas.
Using done-for-you templates saves hours of time.
#5: Share Everywhere
Once you have created and published your short-form video, share it on any platform where it may be seen by your ideal clients. If you share it on Instagram, try re-sharing on Twitter and Facebook at different times. While LinkedIn is new to the game of video, they too will likely catch on to releasing more capabilities for the average user.
Make short-form video a part of your overall social media strategy and reach your audience to make a huge impact in very little time. For more tips on short-form video, check out the Epic Snack Size Guide to Video Marketing.
What’s your favorite hack for making online videos?