We’re willing to bet the last time you scrolled through your Facebook feed, you noticed the dominance of video content. For us, it’s Buzzfeed’s Tasty series that time lapse the creation of recipes like garlic parmesan stuffed artichokes that we’ve continuously failed to recreate at home. Yet, we can’t…stop…watching…them. Why? Because they’re fun, simple and produced so beautifully that our mouths are watering after just 15 seconds.
In 2016, Facebook reported that 100 million hours of videos are consumed daily. YouTube reported that more than one billion hours of videos are being watched every day. It’s no secret that video has become an essential digital marketing tool.
But for us little guys, it can also be a very expensive marketing tool. Time and money are not on our side when a video production agency costs thousands of dollars, and we don’t own the personal equipment or know-how to do it ourselves. If there’s anything worse than not incorporating video into your digital marketing strategy, it’s hacking together a low-quality video on your own.
Good News: There’s a third option, and it comes in the form of a video editing tool called Animoto. This easy-to-use online application turns your photos and video clips into professional quality, share-worthy videos in minutes.
“In a study we conducted last year, we found that four times as many consumers would rather watch a video about a product than read about it, and 25 percent of consumers actually lose interest in companies that aren’t using video. Those are powerful stats. At Animoto, our mission is to make it easy for anyone to create professional video and harness its power.”
For $22 per month, you can join tens of thousands of companies who are creating compelling videos using Animoto. Here’s how it works:
Step 1: Select a video style or template, complete with motion graphics and transitions.
Step 2: Choose from over 2,000 commercially licensed songs.
Step 3: Customize your video using your own photos, video clips, and text.
Step 4: Click a button to finish production, and easily share it via social media, YouTube, email or on your website.
Businesses as big as Crate and Barrel and as small as your local flower shop have used it to spread brand awareness and generate thousands of impressions. Take a look:
"Animoto allowed us to create a video same-day, using assets we already had. The video received similar levels of impressions, clicks, and engagement as other brand awareness campaigns that we’ve run that took us weeks to create or that we had to outsource."
"I look forward to sitting down in the afternoon after a full morning of flowers, drinking tea, and logging into Animoto. Marketing through video isn't just beneficial for my business," Jill says. "It’s also inspiring and a creative outlet to unplug from the rest of the day."
Now that you have access to an awesome tool for creating shareable videos, how do you make sure they grab the attention of your target audience? Formulate a clear message and focus on creating compelling content. Here’s how:
Knowing what you want to accomplish with your video before you begin will keep you on the right track. Ask yourself these four questions:
Figure out what value your video is going to offer. Does it tell your brand story? Is it a how-to video that solves a problem, like the florist example above? Does it give the viewer an insider reward, like a free-trial or a discount code, if they watch until the end? By creating smart, informative videos with valuable content, you give your viewers a reason to not only watch your videos, but also share them.
One of our all-time favorite Ted Talks is Simon Sinek’s, “finding the why of your business story.” We believe it’s the most important step in the video creation process. As Sinek says, “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it. And what you do simply proves what you believe.” After you’ve answered the “what value do I want them to take?” question… ask yourself, “why would someone take action?” Being able to articulate why your products or services exist in the world and how you add value to people’s lives is critical to becoming a leader in your industry, and in this case, creating an engaging video.
You now have a defined outcome, tangible value, and you’ve added the “why” of your business story. Now, what’s your plan of attack? Take a page out of high school English class and lay out the steps (or scenes) that will tell your story most effectively. Remember to include an introduction, conflict, climax and resolution. Focus on telling a coherent story that viewers will watch until the end.
Pro Tip: Repurpose existing content. Follow Crate and Barrel’s strategy and save yourself time and money by bringing your video creation in-house and repurposing content — using video clips and photographs — you already have edited to create a new video.
Treat your new video like you would a new blog post and promote the heck out of it. Share it on social, on your blog, as an email newsletter, wherever you have an audience. Don’t forget to give it a compelling title, description and be intentional about the thumbnail image. These are all things a potential viewer will see before deciding to play the video, so don’t overlook them!
Pro Tip: Export your video to more than one platform. People watch videos on YouTube, others on Facebook, and others on Vimeo. Customize your video each time you post it to maximize potential viewers.
In a world where millions of hours of video are consumed daily, consumers are now trained to want information packaged in a quick and straightforward format. With video editing tools like Animoto, creating beautiful and unique video content is attainable, no matter the size or budget of your marketing department. Happy editing!