My Marketing Thing

Making a business-ish video

Make your own video cartoon


This post is about making you making a video. Yes, you. And not a family film or a goofy tape to send into a bloopers show. A proper business-ish one.

A video to pop onto YouTube, your website, your blog site, your e-news, etc. A video that serves as a marketing vehicle, so to speak.


The saboteur’s assumption 

Most people who don’t get around to making a video are shackled with what I call ‘The Tarantino Complex’. You think you have to be a Hollywood director with a supa-schmick camera and killer sound equipment (maybe even a grip and a best boy) before considering it.

Mais non! You don’t need these things. There are plenty of people making useful, well-played videos using just their laptop (the ones with a camera).


What you really need for a successful video is…

…useful information and some imagination.


The horror of the home page video

Let’s say you wanted to create a video to introduce your business. It’s the sort of video you would put on your home page. Sounding snazzy so far. The mistake most people make at this point is to simply talk to your camera about what you business does and title it ‘Welcome to (insert business name)’.


Like any marketing material, it’s useful to focus on a common problem and the special way you solve it. And like any form of social media, it’s best if you don’t look like you’re ‘selling’ yourself. It’s more a matter of presenting yourself as ‘helpful-friend-meets-Liberace’ (i.e. friendly and useful person who also happens to be rather entertaining).

Unless, of course, you work in funeral homes. Gotta bring down the tone of the show a notch there.

Main things to remember:

  • Why should they watch?
    Explain what problem you solve and what makes you special.
  • Keep them watching
    Say you’re going to offer something at the end to keep them watching right through.
  • Keep it under 3 minutes
    Concentration spans can only extend so far in this crazy, madcap world.
  • Give them something to do
    At the end, inspire your watcher to sign up to a course, sign up to e-news and get a free e-book, buy within a certain timeframe to get a special, etc.
  • Urge watchers to be viral
    “Found the video useful and/or fun? Then let your friends know about it”
    …who hopefully tell their friends…who then hopefully tell their friends…who….


Lights, Sound, Action!

Yes, it helps to have good lighting for your video. This can mean a room with good sized windows on a sunny day. You could even film outside, let the gods turn up the wattage. Or you can invest in cheap construction lights from your local hardware store.

But good sound is vital. If the audio is like a washing machine the folks out there are going to hit the escape button faster than you can say: ‘And I’d like to thank…’.

Keep them engaged with engaging facial expressions and body language – while still coming across as natural (this takes practice). Look straight into the camera. There’s nothing worse than appearing shifty on your video. And reinforce important points with text graphics. This is usually pretty easy to do with standard software that’s probably already on your computer. At the end, promote your website address and any other necessary contact information.


But if you want to get fancy-like…

Buy a camera that records in a format that’s compatible with your computer. And preferably one that allows you to plug a good quality microphone into it. You may even be so bold as to record sound separately.

When it comes to software Windows Media Player (PC) and iMovie (Apple) are fine. But, again, if you want to be a fancy-pants, I’ve heard Jing (PC) and ScreenFlow (Apple) are the way to go.


Yes, I know. I should have made a video of this post. I promise to pop it up…when you least expect it…


This post was written by Megan Hills. Megan is a writer, cartoonist and marketing consultant who preferred to volunteer for backstage duties in the school play. Find out more about Megan 

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One Comment

  1. Hi Megan
    Great article. Just to reinforce your point I am technologically challenged and yet with a little bit of research and playing around I have managed to put up 4 videos on Youtube in the past 6 months. Now I don'e profess they are expert but they are good enough to get my point across.
    My advice if you are not sure do some googling and take the plunge. Oh and Gideon Shalwick has lots of tips

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