If 2021 was the year of learning how to work from home let’s make this the year you finally start creating video content. It can be daunting when you first start out so I’m going to share some tips that help to take the angst out of the exercise.
First of all, why bother?
There’s compelling evidence that including video in your content mix can have a major positive impact on your audience engagement. And isn’t that what content marketing is supposed to do?
LinkedIn’s research shows that 51% of video marketers have used LinkedIn as a channel and 84% of them report very positive results. And around 96% of survey respondents confirmed that they have watched short explainer videos to learn about a service or new product.
And before we go any further, yes subtitles are important. Over 90% of those surveyed prefer watching videos with subtitles.
That actually makes a lot of sense when you think that most social media videos are viewed on a mobile device. If you’re on public transport, in a cafe or shopping mall it’s almost always better to watch with the sound turned right down or off altogether.
So what do you need to get started?
Before we worry about cameras and lighting, make sure you can write a decent script. If you’re not a great wordsmith you may want to get a friend to help you. If you do have a budget you could consider engaging a freelance copywriter with relevant experience.
Your video script will need a catchy title to entice people to click through once you post it on LinkedIn.
And remember that on social media your audience has a very short attention span. So, the running time should be no more than 90 seconds. Anything longer and you’ll find people won’t watch it.
It may take a bit of practice to get this right. I’ve learned that for the pace I use, somewhere between 1400 – 1500 characters work well for me.
The script on its own is not enough. When you post a video on LinkedIn it’s always a good idea to post a brief piece of copy that ‘hooks’ your audience and makes them want to click through to watch the clip. Capture the essence of the video without giving away too much so that they need to watch to get the whole message.
I promised some beginner’s tips so here goes:
- Keep them short. On LinkedIn, they need to be under 2 minutes running time. 90 seconds is ideal. Most people will check the running time before starting the video and if it’s longer than 2 minutes very few people will go any further.
- You don’t need fancy lighting and cameras, to begin with. Use light that’s as natural as possible with no glare spots and watch out for strong backlighting (e.g.sunshine) that will turn you into a mysterious silhouette.
- If your smartphone has a good camera that will do for your first few attempts but you will want to upgrade to a better camera in due course.
- Choose a background that is fairly neutral and doesn’t distract the viewer. Watch out for inadvertent “photo-bombing”.
- Content – just as with your text posts or blogs choose topics that are relevant and helpful to your target audience. Of course, you can weave in your own story but make it more about them than about yourself and they’ll keep watching.
- As with any content marketing keep SEO in mind as you shape your video script. Does the title grab attention and does the script contain the search terms your audience will use
- Consider including a downloadable transcript as well as the subtitles.
Be kind to yourself and don’t expect to get it right the first time. This is a new skill and like all new skills takes practice and you may even benefit from some coaching along the way.
Recording and posting videos is only part of the story. What topics you use for videos and when you post them need to fit into your overall strategy for growing your business via Linkedin.
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