Did you know? One of the best ways to rank on Google is to provide users with helpful, enlightening and entertaining videos on your website? That’s because human beings LOVE video. If a picture is worth a thousand words, a video is worth a million. Videos help increase the amount of time users spend on your site by an average of just over 2 minutes (Comscore, 2010). And, because videos are great for building content, and thus, traffic, videos are a must in marketing today.
In my last blog, I discussed ideas on how to use videos to market your products and services. If you lack knowledge and equipment, don’t be discouraged! Creating useful videos is relatively easy, and can cost you next to nothing in equipment. I’m going to show you. It’s also quite fulfilling when you’ve created a cinematic masterpiece, but I want to caution you: creating videos can become addictively fun!
In this blog post, we explore several angles on various hardware and software used to make simple, fresh, cost-effective and up-to-date videos for your audience. For the sake of disclosure, this blog post isn’t the end-all, be-all so you will probably have to do a little more exploration before you dive in, but do dive in!
One of the ways I use video is to share the “secrets” of web marketing with individuals. I do this by filming tutorials, which I then post to various video hosting directories, like Properpick.com! For example, I recently filmed a step-by-step, how-to video on uploading videos to YouTube (see Nicky’s MINI Movies-YouTube Tutorial). In order to do this, you must have a software application which enables you to capture your computer screen, as well as a web-cam to capture your voice—more on webcams in a minute.
The software I use is CamStudio because it’s easy to use and it’s free. You can’t beat free! It’s also compatible with Windows or Mac. CamStudio is a very popular and powerful screen-capturing software, and with it you can add captions to your videos and also record your webcam along with your screen. Additionally, CamStudio files are smaller than many other screen-capturing software files because of the codec that they use. You can also add effects to your videos. Learn more about CamStudio, how to use it, and download it for FREE at their website, Camstudio.Org.
Most laptops and even some desktop PC’s have built-in microphones and webcams. I use an external webcam. And, since I like my equipment to be adequate, functional, intuitive and cost-efficient, I use a Microsoft LifeCam HD. Very easy to use—plugs in to the USB port on your computer, and has very good optics and microphone for recording everything I’m doing. You can pick one up for less than 50 bucks on Amazon.
If you want to shoot something away from the office, on-location as we say in the biz, your options are numerous. Many people simply shoot with their iPhone or Android, but the sound-capture is usually not great, unless you’re right next to your subject. For me, a better option is to utilize a digital camera. My favorite camera is a Kodak Easyshare, which is a few years old, but gets the job done. I like it because the sound and video quality are pretty good, and it’s easy to mount to my GPS frame while shooting tutorials from the cockpit of my MINI Cooper! Very inexpensive, and easy to use, too.
The final piece of the puzzle is a software program which will take your raw footage and then edit and package it into a video format which can be uploaded and shared. Since I’m a PC kinda guy, I use Windows Movie-Maker. Why? Because it’s free (came with my computer), and it’s very easy to use, with drop and drag simplicity. If you’re using a Mac or Apple device then iMovie Maker is their version. There are other free movie making applications, and you can vet some here.
One last little piece that I’d like to share is video email. I love sending video email because it touches your recipient in a way which is much more personal and electrifying than your run-of-the-mill email. It’s a great way to introduce yourself, say thank, reiterate benefits or tell your wife you’re sorry for wrecking her car. I use Mailvu, and the cost is only $25/month, and you can try it for free for 14 days.
I don’t pretend that these videos are glamorous or slick in any way. Nor are they complicated and highly scripted. However, they serve the purpose of exhibiting your expertise in a way most people will enjoy. The videos you shoot with your iPhone or digital camera serve the purpose for giving your audience meaningful content quickly, cost-effectively and consistently. Brand yourself, brand your company by using online video. And, when you do become a modern-day Cecil B DeMille, make sure to post your listing on Properpick.com!
Want more helpful tips on “How To Easily Create Videos For Your Business?” Go to or Ask Nick Ferrara, NJF Online Video Strategies, LLC, http://www.gsolutionsinc.com/nferrara/ , njfvideostrategies.com , or 501-993-9908.