Video marketing: You already have the tools you need...

According to a 2016 study from Wyzowl, 61% of businesses currently use video as a marketing tool - and 66% of these were not using video just 12 months earlier. The power of video marketing is clear but, despite its benefits, small and medium-sized businesses are often put off creating their own promotional videos because they believe it will be too costly, too time-consuming and too difficult.

In reality, video-making can be affordable, quick and easy without compromising on quality, and many businesses already have the tools at hand to start making their own marketing videos straight away.

The filming

Bulky commercial cameras, boom microphones… Television would have us believe that video isn’t professional without kit with an extortionate price tag. Luckily, that’s not the case.

At the most basic level, there’s nothing wrong with using a mobile phone to shoot your masterpiece. If one of Sundance Film Festival’s most celebrated films can be shot entirely on an iPhone 5S, there’s nothing to stop your mobile production receiving critical acclaim.

For simple videos, a laptop camera will suffice: it’s how we began our ‘On The Winbox’ series. If you’re looking to spend a little more, though, you can pick up a decent HD camera for under £300 and a tripod for less than you’d spend on a meal out.

The editing

You don’t need to have years of training and experience in video editing to create something professional and polished that your target audience will love.

You don’t need to spend a fortune on commercial editing software either. Here at Winbox we simply use iMovie, which comes bundled with Mac computers - but there are plenty more free or inexpensive tools out there. Have a look at apps such as Nutshell, Magisto and Animoto, or take a look at these free video editing software options if you’re creating your masterpieces on a computer, rather than a mobile phone or tablet.

Editing is important – not just to remove any unwanted segments, but also to add captions or soundtracks, include special effects or apply transitions between clips.These are all good ways of adding professional touches. Less is often more when it comes to editing for amateur filmmakers, though - too many editorial effects can make for an uncomfortable, distracting viewing experience.

The hosting

If you have social media accounts, a blog page on your website or a newsletter, you’ve already got plenty of channels with which to share your content. Post them on YouTube or share high definition videos on Vimeo; embed the videos into web pages or newsletters, or share them via social media. It’s that easy.

The content

While you can get by without expensive equipment and host your videos for free, the most important things to consider are the format and the content that you choose. Get that right and the technical quality of your video will take second place. What’s vital is that you create videos on topics that your audience wants to know about and watch: consider Twitter polls, newsletter surveys or Facebook or LinkedIn posts to source suggestions for future topics.

When it comes to video marketing, there’s a lot that can be done with a little. Start simple, find out what works for you, then invest in equipment once you’ve started generating interest. The stats speak for themselves: with video in emails improving click-through rates by 200-300%, one minute of video being equal to 1.8 million words and 87% of online marketers using video content, can you afford to be left behind?

Keep an eye on our blog page for more tips on how to make the most of video, including this piece on the power of video for small businesses.