(This post was inspired by Michael going into the studio to record new videos for Get Storied. He has some great things to say, and I thought I’d share with you!)
2011 has been dubbed the “year for video” by more than few internet marketers, but what does that really mean to you?
You’re busy. You’ve got a message to spread and something to sell. Your story looks great on paper already (and if it doesn’t, we can help you with that). Besides – learning how to use video is time consuming – and it can be expensive. Is video really the answer to increasing your reach?
Yes. A massive, definitive yes.
Not only will video help you share your message, using video storytelling techniques will jump your natural authority into the stratosphere.
Two words. Instant credibility.
We’re an ocular centric culture – meaning we have to “see it to believe it.” Video is the next best thing to being in a room with someone because we share so much more than we can write. Our writing may be more articulate, but it isn’t as real as watching someone’s body language.
Your audience can connect with you on a whole new level when you utilize video. They can see the energy behind your message. The true power behind video is this ability to establish repertoire much faster – and it doesn’t matter how low-fi you start.
Thanks to Hollywood, video feels like magic. Not only that, it suggests a higher level of success and professionalism. Anyone can post a blog post. Not everyone can post a quality, relevant video.
Youtube is the #1 search engine online – as in it beats Google. And guess what? Youtube is owned by Google, the #2 search engine. So Youtube videos automatically get preferential treatment in their algorithm. Hellooooo SEO!
The fact is you can’t afford to ignore video as a part of your business. It’s too sweet an opportunity to tell your story in an engaging, compelling way. Video storytelling doesn’t have to be hard either. Here are a few quick tips you can use to get started.
4 Simple Guidelines for Video Storytelling
1. Keep it short.
The best videos are 2-3 minutes at the most. Attention is the currency of the internet – make sure you’re not too demanding. You’ll be amazed what you can accomplish in 60 seconds.
2. Keep it relevant.
Keeping your content relevant requires a super clear vision of who your audience is. The more clear you are on who you are speaking to, the more likely they are to say, “Hey! That is totally me.” Let them find themselves in your story, and the need to sell disappears. One great way to keep it relevant is by answering a question. Not a cheesy personal development question, either. Ask a question to contextualize the information and develop empathy with your audience. Remember, it’s not about being the sage – it’s about letting them know exactly how you can help them solve their problem.
3. Share your motivation.
If you don’t answer your audience’s why – as in, “why are you sharing this with me?” – they are going to maintain skepticism. Tell them why you are sharing your information, and let them know why it matters to them! Use this as a chance to build trust with your audience by being genuine and upfront.
4. End with a clear call to action.
Because if you don’t have one, why are are sharing anyway? Give your audience something to do after the video is over, whether that is leaving a comment, implementing the new information they have, or visiting another video.
How to get started
Let’s kill a myth right now – getting started with video doesn’t have to be expensive. Granted, it can be. But that’s if you want to shoot it in a studio with all the bells and whistles. You don’t need that yet, though. Let’s cover the basics.
1. The background
Shoot with a neutral background, like a blank wall. You don’t want anything in the background distracting your viewers from what you’re actually filming – you! You can also purchase green screen kits like this one.
2. The sound
Your webcam microphone doesn’t really cut it. That said, there are some great alternatives. This body mic looks professional and gets the job done for $40 or less.
Plus, it’s wireless! No messing around with a hand mic here.
3. The camera
Ah, yes. The big expense. Well, at least 10 years ago it would have been. Let’s be clear – you don’t need top of the line equipment to make a decent video. The camcorder on your new iPhone has pretty decent capabilities, so work with what you have. The top rated flip camcorder is still under $400, but you can start with a cheaper one if you need to.
There you go – a full video set up for less than $1,000. That’s pretty sweet considering what you’re going to get out of it.
Remember, video is the best way you can connect with your audience without shaking their hand in person. Consider this your digital handshake, an opportunity to tell your story in person (almost), and a way to spread your message. Connect with your audience on more levels – they’ll thank you for it.