Your team is thinking about adding some in-house video branding into your marketing strategy, but it’s all a bit overwhelming. There’s gear, skill level, and oh, the time! In November 2020, I presented on this topic to a group of incredibly resourceful and resilient women at a NAWBO Greater Philadelphia Chapter Power Friday event (shoutout to Briana Farina and Mantreh Atashband for being amazing co-hosts) and decided to share these simple video branding tools for you too. Video doesn’t have to be scary, and it can certainly be FUN!
Use this as a guide to get started with a new creative medium. As you’re reading, I encourage you to take notes on story ideas you have that could be created with these DIY methods I layout. First things first, though, let’s have a quick review video.
What is Video?
It doesn’t need to be more complicated than that. Here are some examples of how video is used in digital marketing today, just to name a few:
- Virtual Tours
- Seasonal Changes
- Text-Based Informative
- Team Intros
- Product/Service Launch
- Course Promotion
- Event Promo
- Company Overview
- Creative Storytelling
All of this starts with a simple workflow and a commitment to including video in your marketing materials.
A Simple Video Branding Workflow
A key takeaway I wanted everyone to consider, is that video branding isn’t complicated. In fact, it can be a fun way to explore your creativity and let people in on the inner workings of your company to create lasting and personal impressions.
The workflow goes like this:
First, we’ll take a look at how to quickly develop the idea. While this is guide is not exhaustive, it’ll give you the starting point to begin asking the right questions.
Laying The Foundation
- Identify Measurable Goals
- Document Your Strategic Plan
- Craft The Story With Creative Direction
As with any solid strategy, knowing what your measurable goals are will help to tell you if you succeeded and how to improve. What are you trying to accomplish? How will you know if you’ve accomplished that? These are some questions to ask yourself at the beginning of any idea. Some examples include: increasing engagement, attracting new business leads, personalizing your relationships, and boosting employee morale.
Next, it’s time to document your strategic plan for the media, in this case video. Who is the audience? What level of production quality are you expecting (is this done on your iPhone or does it require a full-scale commercial crew)?
How much money are you willing to invest in the idea. Consider the limitations of your resources (i.e. time, skills, budget). If you have high aspirations for a commercial production, but only have $1000 to spend, it’s unrealistic to assume you’ll be able to hire a crew for that much. Maybe you’ll be better off buying your own equipment and developing the skills yourself.
Now, you can also determine how you’re getting this content in front of your audience, distribution. Does your budget allow for paid advertisements or will you need to rely people sharing to get the story in front of new people?
Lastly, in development, is crafting the story that you’re telling. That means coming up with the creative direction.
- What will the tone of the video be?
- How does the story flow?
- What type of video will this be?
- Write out and practice a script
- Consider any pre-production logistics including time of day, weather, location, people, who’s doing what
Not every production will even take as long as it will for you to read this article. Some quick “snackable” content can take 30 minutes from ideation to distribution.
Remember, you’re a resourceful business owner, you’re a problem solver who probably already has a pretty great camera on your cell phone.
Time To Play & Have Some Fun
- Setup & Test Your Equipment
- ACTION: Get Recording
- Helpful Reminders
When you’re ready to get started with production, gather your equipment and make sure to test it.
DIY Video Production Equipment Selections
I’ve picked out a few items on Amazon* that is a good place to start your simple video branding with your cell phone. A cell phone stabilizer will allow you to capture those really smooth movements and angles, instantly increasing the production value. An easy upgrade to capture cleaner audio is with a wireless lavalier microphone that connects to your phone. With a selfie ring light, you can record no matter what time of day.
Now, since most of us are working remotely, you can get a portable video conference light to look great for those endless Zoom/Teams meeting. Yep, that’s video branding too.
Experiment With Your Recording Style
Try out different locations either in your house/store, or outside. You can use props that you already have to help tell the story. Have the confidence to know you’re going to keep getting better as long as you keep experimenting with the simple video branding workflow.
Helpful Production Tips
- Play around with different angles for your product line
- Consider how shadows and light help tell the story or enhance the depth
- Build your confidence – you’re already using video somewhere in your business or day-to-day life, this isn’t much different
- Video files are LARGE and implementing a plan for file storage will eliminate the dreaded “Storage Almost Full” error
- Look at the whole picture and ask “does this add to the story or not?”
Putting Together The Complete Visual Story
- Easy Editing Resources
- Picking Audio
- Adding Motion
The great news about video production, is that in the last few years, online marketing services began allowing video to integrate with their templates.
Sites like Canva offer hundreds of templates you can choose from to edit. Simply select your template, upload your clips, change colors and fonts to match your brand, and add a logo. Not only that, but Canva Pro will also allow you to resize your document for various platforms (standard ratio is 16:9 horizontal posts, 9:16 for vertical stories, and 1:1 for square posts).
If you have an Adobe Creative Cloud subscription, check out Adobe Spark for ways to create your video using your existing brand libraries.
For a slightly more of an advanced solution, iMovie from Apple gives you an extremely professional set of editing options. If you’re nervous to jump into a solution like that, read their eBook, Everyone Can Create Video, and see just how easy it is to get started.
Layer In Audio And Motion
Each of the editing options listed above include ways for you to layer in music and motion. You can also add your own voice over recording. Motion can be achieved by animating text, adding moving shapes, and even the transitions between clips.
Making Your Video Available
- Options for Hosting
- Send It Through The Channels
- Pick Your Timing
Video takes up storage! Lots of it. If you’ve ever had to delete old pics or video off of your phone because you ran out of space, you know the pain is real. This will happen if you keep all of your takes too. Consider once your project is complete, what you’re going to do with all of those clips/takes. If you use them in a video editing software, it’s likely that the project file references the original files, so make sure to keep the ones you used in the project.
Now that the video is finished, it’s time to publish and share! Video can take up a lot of space on your website hosting, and can even slow down your site. That’s why we recommend publishing on a video hosting platform, like Vimeo or YouTube. Opt for a paid version to get more storage and deeper analytics into how your videos are performing.
Send It Out, Strategically
Sure, you could go ahead and post it to all of your social media accounts. Is that the best strategy to have for this video, though? Maybe for this one you want your VIP customers to get early-access when a new collection launches. If that’s the case, email marketing might be the way to segment who sees it first. Return to what you wrote was your audience back in the Development phase to brainstorm the strategy and best tactics of sharing. This includes the who, where, when, why, and how. If you decided you want to do a live stream, timing is especially critical.
Continuous Improvement For The Next Video
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