These are certainly challenging times for marketers. Whether you’re representing an “essential” service or not, your job needs to continue.
If you’re currently working on how to market during a pandemic, the first step is creating a plan, and that plan should include video.
As founder and chief storytelling officer of T60 Productions, a Chicago video production company, I know how difficult producing a video at this time might seem, but it may be a lot easier than you think.
It might not even cost you anything.
Got your attention? OK, let’s dive in.
Why use video now?
Before we get to the “how” of video production, let’s start with “why” and “what.”
As pro marketers, I probably don’t have to tell you how important video is to marketing today. All the data out there tells us that the people you want to reach love video.
If you need to sell the higher-ups on video, here are a few of my favorite stats courtesy of HubSpot:
- Video marketers get 66% more qualified leads yearly than those who don’t focus on video.
- Video marketers see a 54% increase in brand awareness with their content among audience members.
- Product videos can increase purchases by 144%.
If that doesn’t work, remind your boss that nearly everyone is currently using video chat to communicate. So we are all programmed, especially now, to be watching video. You need to use the communications tools that your prospects are using – and that’s video.
1. Your company message
Now that we have the why, let’s focus on what to produce. This is where it gets tricky. I mean, you might have to produce a video from your kitchen table. That means you need to think about what you want to communicate and how you can do it with limited video resources.
One type of video to produce now is the company message video. Simply put, this video consists of a company representative telling your clients/customers about how you’re conducting business at this time.
This video doesn’t need to be anything fancy, just a head-and-shoulders shot. Also, keep it short, maybe a minute or two at most.
Tell people how the coronavirus is impacting your business, and most importantly, how it affects the audience.
We’ll get into the “how to produce the video” soon, so stick with me.
2. Behind the scenes
This is a video you might only be able to produce if you’re considered an “essential service.”
People love being able to peek behind the curtain. The behind-the-scenes video is the marketing equivalent. If you are up and running right now – show people.
Not only is it a good reminder that you’re open for business, but seeing is believing.
The fact that you can show your audience that your people are in place and serving customers – man, that’s awesome! And frankly, it’s reassuring.
Seeing a business going full steam ahead gives your viewers hope about their lives and that the current situation will return to normal one day.
Use this time to strengthen your relationships with your clients/customers with testimonial videos. In this case, I’m not talking about simply putting your customers on camera and asking them to sing your praises. Rather, you need to feature them and their businesses.
Maybe it’s a series of videos where you interview various clients to see how the pandemic is impacting their companies.
As part of the interviews, make sure it includes what they’re doing to ensure their businesses will bounce back stronger than ever and that your company is a part of that solution.
Even better, if their businesses are “essential services” and your company is helping them in some way, talk about that.
Make sure to offer them the finished videos as well, so they can use it as part of their marketing.
How to produce a video during a pandemic
First, the bad news.
Your video is likely going to look and feel differently than if you produced it during normal circumstances.
The good news? Because of the circumstances, your audience won’t care.
Thanks to many businesses currently operating through video chat services, many people are accustomed to watching less than perfect video. That means you have some leeway.
The DIY video is your no-cost option.
Even as a professional video producer, I recommend the DIY video in certain circumstances, and a pandemic is like the ultimate circumstance! You get a DIY hall pass from me.
I don’t care whether you’re a solopreneur or work for a Fortune 500 company, it’s OK to produce DIY videos right now. Audiences have never been more forgiving.
Use video chat, your smartphone, your laptop – any camera, any recording platform will do.
If you’re going to produce that company message video that I mentioned earlier, here are some tips for making people look better on-camera:
- Camera Height: When most people shoot their video, the camera is too low. You should position your camera lens at eye-height or slightly higher. If you’re using your laptop, position it higher by propping it up on books. If you can see the crease where your ceiling meets the wall in your backdrop, your camera is too low.
- Lighting: Nothing screams amateur video like a person silhouetted on screen. Make sure your subject isn’t positioned with his or her back to a window. You want the best light source in the room behind the camera and projecting on the face. In most cases, having the person face the window is your easiest bet. If you’re shooting at night or in a windowless room, grab a lamp and stick it right next to the camera.
- Sound: I always recommend using a microphone if you have one. However, if you don’t have a mic, the closer you can sit or stand to your camera, the better. The further away you get, the more that camera microphone will pick up the ambient room noise. The closer you get, the more it will focus on your voice.
OK, I’ll have to be upfront here, I work exclusively with Final Cut Pro X, a professional video editing software.
However, both Macs and PCs usually come with some basic video editing software that you can use, and another option is Camtasia.
In most cases, all you need to do is trim off the beginning and end of the video, so we don’t see you starting and stopping your recording.
Professional Chicago video production
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that a Chicago video production company like my business, T60 Productions, can help you produce your videos right now.
In many cases, we’re using the same DIY tools and techniques that I gave you, but we’re better at it than you (wink, wink).
In all seriousness, video pros at home can still go beyond what an amateur can do. As a matter of fact, one of the pandemic videos that I recently produced from my dining room table is one of my favorites from the last few years.
Even if you’re shooting your videos and asking a pro to edit, you’re going to improve the end result big time.
A little professional polish goes a long way.
It’s a tough time to be a marketer. Getting your message right is a tricky proposition.
One thing is for sure is the best way to get that message out right now is video.
Hopefully, you now have some new know-how to do it.