he average American adult watches five and half hours of video content every day. Last year, two-thirds of the U.S. population – a whopping 214 million people – watched online video. Yet, despite how much we watch, most people know very little about how to make their own videos. But with You-Tube visitors consuming more than 1 billion hours of footage every day, and Facebook heavily favoring Live, its streaming video service, your social media strategy isn’t complete without video content.
The good news: It’s not as hard as you think. Smartphone cameras and easy-to-use services make creating videos a snap for just about everyone. Here are a few things you’ll need to get started.
It’s very likely you already own a robust video camera in your smartphone or tablet. Even smartphones that are two to three years old take terrific HD videos that will more than cut the mustard. Want to take it up a notch? “There are add-ons like tripods, microphones, lights and lenses that can be used to make those devices quite powerful,” says Bill Corbett, a Long Island, NY-based marketing and PR veteran who regularly speaks to salespeople about using video. He does warn that “equipment will only take you so far,” with the next step being an investment in a HD video camera.
Apple and Microsoft have their own free video editors, and there certainly is a large amount of professional editing software to choose from. But here’s a surprise: YouTube has its own helpful video editor.
The online video mecca has an online tool that makes creating videos a snap. And there’s even more in the site’s bag of tricks. YouTube Director for Business (which surprisingly is only available in the iTunes app store) guides users step by step in creating a polished video ad. “For anyone who has never written a script or storyboarded a video,” says Rafael Romis, CEO of web design and marketing company Weberous, “it’s an invaluable tool.”
There are a myriad of online templates and stock libraries to create videos super quick. Videoscribe helps users make whiteboard animated videos for as little as $12 per month. Vid.One offers about 1,000 templates where salespeople can create videos in about 30 seconds; the videos (at $5.95 a pop) include properly licensed footage and soundtracks and integrate with most major email marketing platforms. Pond5 offers footage and effects to liven up your video footage.
Don’t have time to do things yourself? Let your money do the work on the cheap. Freelance marketplaces like Fiverr [www.fiverr.com] and Upwork offer everything from cheap voiceover work to video creation from scratch. It’s an easy way to complement your own video work or simply let someone else do it entirely.