How To Film Yourself For Social Media To Drive Sales And Increase Brand Recognition
Nearly 90% of people wish to see more videos from brands this year. Around the same number of marketers cite video marketing as having a positive ROI.
Social media on its own–taking videos out of the equation–often generates a 95% ROI. Then consider how over half of marketers claim that the most valuable social content type is video, as it helps them best achieve their goals.
The above evidence tells you what you need to know. Social media video production is an initiative worth its weight in ROI and bolstered sales revenues.
We understand if you’re still hesitant–the thought of using video marketing to drive sales takes many business owners out of their comfort zones.
Sure–face-to-face interactions with customers and leads are in your wheelhouse. The same can be said for the many other marketing and sales tactics that have taken you this far.
However, developing and publishing video content is an entirely different ballgame. The nuts and bolts of it can be intimidating.
When you see the quality of video production published by successful brands, the notion of creating your own videos can be even scarier. The prospect of trying to live up to such high standards can be a roadblock for the best of us. It’s not like you’re Steven Spielberg.
Let us alleviate your concerns and anxieties about social media video production and creation. At Unify, we’ve formed thriving partnerships with creators whose annual revenue exceeds $250,000, helping propel them to industry leader status.
Moreover, our video creation methodology doesn’t revolve around insane budgets and elaborate productions. Instead, we take a far more simplistic approach, revolving solutions around your budget. The result is engaging social media videos that are straightforward to create and–most importantly–connect with your target audience, driving sales.
Read on as we guide you through the process of using social media video marketing to become a prominent force in your industry.
Your Studio Setup
While you can get more extravagant with studio setups if you want, most of your social media videos can be in your office by your computer. This way, you talk directly to your audience, giving a more personal feel to your video content and putting a face to your name.
It’s possible to get set up with the right gear for around $1,500, which is an absolute steal in today’s economy.
Here’s a breakdown of what you’ll need with links to the products we’ve found most helpful at Unify:
- A camera like the Sony zv1 is perfect for what you need to make a social media video:
- The lens is already attached, meaning you don’t need to get caught up with other lenses.
- The focal distance is ideal for zooming in and out with ease.
- The Sony zv1 also has exceptional and seamless focusing–ideal for when you’re featuring a specific product. There’s no additional tapping on the screen required.
- You can use the detachable base for the camera to vlog with–but we suggest using it for the rode microphone and as a remote with zoom-in-and-out and recording features. This way, the microphone is near you for ideal audio levels, but it’s out of the frame.
- Ensure that you are front-lit with an LED light sitting on a tripod. The product in the link allows you to increase or decrease the lighting intensity incrementally.
- A desk arm with a clamp is a vital tool to attach to the back of the desk. It positions the camera in the middle–where you need it–without another tripod getting in the way. Zip-tie the remote for your LED light to the clamp to further streamline your setup.
- Your microphone should connect to the camera through a headphone jack.
- On top of recording through an SD card, have an HDMI cable coming out of your camera into a CamLink adapter. This transfers your video files from HDMI to USB–which you can plug into the back of your computer.
The above setup is an ideal way to get started. As you keep going and recording more videos, though, you’ll find your own preferences that help you produce social media videos more to your liking.
Using your webcam or an externally mounted camera won’t offer the above benefits. The low quality of your content can hold you back.
There’s no way to add an external microphone, causing an echoing, off-putting sound. You can’t zoom in or move up and down without maneuvering your laptop. Then, if you turn your light on, you’ll look blotchy.
A couple of more products that’ll prove effective in your social media video production setup are an Audio Extension Cable and an AC power adapter.
We will add a disclaimer. While acknowledging that we’ve advised against limiting yourself to a smartphone cam or webcam, provided you lack the budget to pay for this gear, or it’s logistically a no-go, don’t sweat it! You can still execute successfully with a phone camera if your content is engaging and you present yourself well on camera.
Of course, the gear and setup described above will put you in a better position to produce higher-quality videos. However, you can still get by with a phone camera–primarily if you work with a skilled video editor.
The Method Behind The Video Content
Now that you have a solid basis for your studio/setup to produce social media marketing videos, you need to think about the substance of your video content. After all, doing this sort of thing ad hoc won’t yield the conversions you want it to–and it can even have disastrous results for your brand.
In fact, poorly made videos will hurt your brand image–but don’t let that fact deter you. Producing quality videos isn’t rocket science. It merely requires a keen sense of strategy, planning, and a touch of creative thinking.
Below, we’ll delve into the many components of your video content creation strategy.
It Begins With The Right Philosophy
You can only genuinely benefit from your social media video initiative with the correct approach and philosophy. Provided you’re only doing this because you feel like you have to, you’re limiting your potential for success.
Your perspective and enthusiasm will be the core drivers of your video quality. People can tell when someone is authentic and excited to connect and communicate with them. They can also tell when that excitement is non-existent and that the social media video only functions as a tickbox marketing item.
Once you’re ready to dive first into social media video production and embrace it wholeheartedly, apply these core tenets for all of your content ideas:
- You increase your chances of being found and connecting with your potential customers by publishing more content.
- The more visible you are to your potential customers, the likelier they will purchase your products or services.
- As your customers buy more, your profits will skyrocket.
It’s that simple! With the above mentality, you’re ready for the next step of this video content journey.
Be Campaign-Minded With All Video Content
The most successful social media videos don’t exist in a vacuum. They are one component of an all-encompassing campaign involving different marketing and advertising forms.
Joining your social media video as part of your campaign could be audio (e.g., a podcast), images (e.g., banner ads, social media graphics), and text (e.g., blogs, social media posts).
Additionally, your social media video should be part of a stream of several videos that incorporate your overarching campaign.
There are many advantages stemming from this approach. For one–it diversifies your marketing efforts so that you’re touching all bases to reach your audience. In other words, you don’t put all your eggs in one basket.
Furthermore, this campaign-minded approach means you can repurpose the same content based on the medium used. Your video script can be massaged into a blog post, for instance.
The video medium itself has many different publishing forms. For example, on Youtube, it needs to be 16×9, while it must be a square on Instagram. You’re still using the same video–but merely formatting it differently.
The philosophy here is making the content once and putting it everywhere. You’re maximizing one idea or theme and spreading it as far as possible, extracting the most value for time spent.
Additionally, the campaign-forward approach better drives home your marketing message. With your social media video as the backbone of your campaign, all supporting content will heighten the impact of the content within.
Define Your Topic Matter And Call To Action
Once you’ve entered the crucial campaign state of mind, ask yourself, “what topics can I make a campaign out of?” Then, write out your ideas.
Discuss these topic ideas with your team and survey your audience about their most glaring pain points. Massage your content to revolve around your brand’s solutions to soothe those pain points.
Now, let’s delve into the critical nature of specificity in your videos.
Video marketing–on a generalized basis–is over-saturated. So, if your ideas are too broad and don’t hone into something unique, you’re content will get lost in the shuffle. Finding a niche reduces the potential for oversaturation because you’ll be the only one (or one of a select few) making videos about that given topic.
The need to strike a chord with a niche group of consumers highlights the importance of surveying your audience about their pain points. Without that crucial information, the niche might be too specific and irrelevant.
Then, consider your “call-to-action” or CTA when writing down your topic ideas. Your CTA is the desired response of your audience and typically involves them further engaging with your brand. You’ll successfully prompt your audience with your CTA if the video resonates with them.
CTAs are most often a version of “Order Now,” “Get Started,” or “Click the Link Below,” to name a few examples. With videos, the execution of your CTA will come down to the medium you’re using. On YouTube, for instance, you can have CTA links pop up on the video–but you can also add the links to the video description.
You must establish publishing dates for your video topics and space them accordingly. Start slow with once per mouth and transition to twice monthly when you’re more comfortable. Then, once you feel comfortable and confident, you can publish videos once weekly (or even once daily if it’s really working for you).
Create Your Script/Script Outline
With your first campaign topic established, it’s time to write out an outline for your video.
Your outline should include the main points you wish to touch upon to make your social media video digestible and memorable. Remember, you want your video to stick in the mind of audience members, so don’t overstuff it.
Use this template to create your outline:
- The Hook:
- Here is where you hone into the audience’s key pain point (e.g., are you sick and tired of poor lawnmower performance?)
- The Story:
- Yes–your social media video is more than a piece of content–it’s a form of storytelling. The narrative revolves around how you grasp the audience’s pain points because of your own experiences. You can shine a light on how challenging it was to overcome that pain.
- The Offer:
- You’re presenting the solution to the problem, “do this if you want to be finished with that.”
- The Call To Action:
- Ensure that every social media video you make ends with a call to action.
Empathy will prove the most vital tool in your videos. Audiences want to align with brands that understand and relate to their struggle.
Designing A Content Pipeline
As we said earlier, your videos don’t exist in a vacuum. It’s not a matter of recording once, then moving on. It’s a continual effort, where you’ll be making new videos on–at least–a semi-regular basis.
Keeping track of different marketing materials in various completion stages can be daunting when combined with the rest of your content strategy. Without an organizational system, getting lost and losing track is an eventuality.
Thus, you need a video content pipeline (on top of a general content pipeline). Such a system helps define when, how, and with whom you’ll create and publish your videos.
Step 1: Organizing Your Ideas
- Your video content pipeline starts with writing down your idea. Every idea you brainstorm should exist in this section. Give each idea a proper name, so it has a defined identity.
Step 2: Choose The Videos You’re Going To Shoot This Month
- Pick the videos you’ll make in a given month (we often do five per month to help us get ahead of schedule). Doing so lets you know what supplies you’ll need for each video, ensuring you show up prepared and ready to shoot.
Step 3: Adding The Post Video-Shoot Elements
- This stage often involves making a separate intro and outro and deciding on your thumbnail.
Step 4: Organizing The Video Files
- This stage involves data-wrangling. More specifically, you’re grouping your separate videos into different files so that you can access them easily when need be.
Step 5: The Video Editing Process
- Now it’s time for the video editing–here, you should assign and write down who will edit the video. Be specific with your checklist (e.g., edit raw video, add B-Roll, add graphics, add music, color correct, upload for review on YouTube). Using Trello allows you to tag an editor, add a checklist without recreating it, create one single point of description, add a thumbnail image, and put in the due date.
Step 6: The Video Review
- Use a tool like Vimeo to review the social media video. You can add notes and time stamp any suggested changes. Again, with Trello, you can tag the editor with suggestions. The editor will then be notified through email.
Step 7: Quality Control
- Ensure the video is exported correctly and that no channels are hidden.
Step 8: Writing A Description
- Write the description for the video on YouTube and schedule it to be published on the platform.
Step 9: Export Audio
- Provided your video can be turned into a podcast, isolate the audio in an Mp3 format.
Step 10: Schedule For Social Media Publishing
- The video is ready for your social media channels and can potentially be accompanied by a blog.
We’ll reiterate the use of Trello and how valuable it can be to video production. Other project management software like ClickUp or Monday will also fit the bill.
What’s key is having the project management software that offers you a visual of the given pipeline stage your videos have entered. This way, you’ll remain on top of all your video projects, even if they’re still just ideas.
Making Your Video
We’ll double down on a point we made in one of the above sections. The video setup we suggested is ideal and affordable (considering the potential ROI) at around $1,500. That said, a well-edited social media video made with your smartphone can take you far.
Outside of a well-written script and a strong campaign idea, your success rests upon how well you present yourself on camera.
The first step to enhancing your on-camera presence is looking at the camera lens, not your on-screen reflection. Doing so connects you and the viewer directly–because you’ll be looking at them.
On the other hand, failing to make that all-important eye contact will make you seem impersonal and awkward. Nobody wants to stare at someone’s left ear.
Furthermore, bolster your screen-to-screen eye contact with your winning smile. Such welcoming energy is infectious and must be maintained throughout the social media video. At the very least, you need to start and finish the video with a smile.
Being conscious of your energy levels and doubling down on them is vital. During the video review process, you’ll notice that you don’t look as energetic as you felt during the recording.
Undoubtedly, forcing yourself to be energetic won’t seem natural. Still, you’ll get more comfortable after doing reps. You’ll then hone your technique, which will help you better connect with your viewer. The concept is straightforward–what does the viewer have to be excited about if you don’t seem excited?
The next step involves B-Roll or secondary footage–also known as your best friend.
B-Roll is like window-dressing to establish your main campaign message. Suppose you’re discussing a state-of-the-art treadmill. You could B-Roll of people running on the treadmill. Or, you could show people struggling to run outside when talking about pain points.
Don’t be stingy with shooting B-Roll, either. The more you have, the more rough diamonds you can find that can bolster this and future campaigns.
Note that lighting and audio quality will dictate much of your success. People need to be able to see and hear you if they’re to trust and like you.
Lastly, you’ll need to decide on a thumbnail for your video. The image–typically from the video–draws in viewers to click through. Ensure the thumbnail is visually appealing, memorable, and engaging enough to attract clicks.
Bolster Your Video With An Article
This suggestion goes back to the campaign-mindedness discussed earlier. Your social media videos can’t stand alone–they need other supporting actors to complete the ensemble, so to speak.
Enter the blog article.
An ideal jumping-off point for a blog is transcribing the video verbatim, making it easier to recycle and repurpose. You’re editing and positioning what’s already written instead of inventing something from scratch. Or, you’re making it once and putting it everywhere–saving exponential amounts of time.
Beyond giving audiences an extra tangible piece of marketing material, your article helps ensure more people see your video. This result stems from the Search Engine Optimization advantages offered by blogs. You’re publishing content with relevant keywords related to your social media video, increasing the chances that it’s visible in searches.
Moreover, a viewer–who doesn’t have time to watch a video–can quickly scan over the content of a video by reading the accompanying article instead.
Posting Your Video On Social Media
You need to post your video–and a link to the accompanying article–on your social media channel of choice.
We suggest focusing most of your social media efforts on the platforms your audience frequents the most. Don’t waste your efforts on a baron wasteland. Find out where your target viewer spends most of their time–whether TikTok, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, etc.–and post the video there.
That’s not to say you should limit yourself to one channel. You can post on multiple platforms, but ensure those platforms are popular with your audience. Often, you’ll find that trying to hit too many channels with your content can spread your efforts too thin.
Additionally, research what time your audience is most active on social media and post then. This could be a process of trial and error, as you post at various times and collect the data on when you get the most engagement.
Automating your social media posting with scheduling software (e.g., Hootsuite, Buffer, Later) helps ensure you post at the correct times and are always prepared.
Measure Your Results
Measure social media video metrics such as:
- Are people liking and commenting on your video?
- Watch times:
- This will tell you if your viewers are invested in your social media video
- Social shares:
- People sharing your content on social media means you’re expanding your audience.
- Clicks and Click-Throughs:
- People clicking on the links you post with your videos brings them one step closer to a sale.
- Are your videos leading to sales or subscriptions?
These analytics tell you what’s working best in your videos and give you an idea of what requires a course correction.
Pro tip: use any of these tools to procure the necessary analytics for your videos.
File Management And Video Editing
Now that we’ve discussed the methodology behind your content, we’ll focus on the crucial nuts and bolts that are file management and video editing:
When you’ve shot your videos for the month (or week), where you place and structure your files will help streamline the process.
A defined structure ensures your whole team knows where to find everything without fail.
Start by listing the video by the date you intend to publish it and/or the video topic. From there, you’ll need five folders–at least–within. Here’s how that looks:
- Raw video
Drag the unedited video files into this folder for your video editor to use.
- Raw Photos
These are all the potential unedited photos you might use for a video thumbnail.
Put any extra graphics or video files you may use as secondary footage into this folder. Label it to communicate how to use the content/information with the video editor.
- For Review
Once the editor has finished, they put it in the review folder for someone to look at. Note that a fresh pair of eyes is a MUST. Don’t post videos on social media that aren’t reviewed because a new perspective can catch issues you won’t.
Keep the last 2 versions of your videos ready to be uploaded (or edited further if necessary).
Making something watchable requires professional software, vast experience, and a high-end computer.
That said, it’s wise to do some editing yourself–but keep it limited and quickly hand it to an industry professional.
How can you find the ideal video editor using a platform like Fiverr? Start by examining the work the available editors have done in the past. Also, assess how well you can communicate with prospective editors.
You can interview your potential editor through Zoom–just be sure to talk to them before hiring them. Otherwise, you might be walking into a proverbial minefield.
Once you’ve hired your video editing professional, upload your footage to Dropbox or Google Drive. This way, you’ll have a place where you and your editor can share data.
Provided your filming process is more elaborate with multiple cameras and 4k footage, use a platform like MASV, a file management delivery service.
We have another–more effective–video editing solution, but we’ll touch on that briefly.
Finding Your Voice And Honing Your Influential Presence
Earlier, we discussed how crucial it is for you to be conscious of your energy levels when on camera. Doing so helps you spark your target audience’s interest with your unbridled enthusiasm.
Let’s take it one step further. You want to be more than a friendly, enthusiastic face that speaks to your audience on regularly published social media videos. Instead, you want to have a memorable presence that sticks in the mind of your viewers long after they view your videos.
You become the face behind your brand by publishing a regular social media video. You must embrace that fact wholeheartedly and use it as an opportunity to find your voice. Ensure the voice you find aligns with the brand identity you’ve already crafted.
Finding your voice isn’t necessarily easy, but it comes with practice, learning, and embracing educational opportunities to learn what it takes to be an industry influencer.
Specifically, Unify’s Industry Influence Masterclass will give you the ins and outs of developing an impactful, sales-forward social media presence that resonates with your audience. Click here to sign up today!
Successful Social Media Video Production Is A Team Effort.
We’ll say it once more–you can get pretty far by making social media videos with a smartphone and a creative mind. Still, you better serve yourself and your brand by investing that little extra in a studio with affordable–but highly effective–equipment.
Even with a simplistic setup conducive to DIY efforts, there are nitty-gritty details–like editing–that you shouldn’t do on your own.
It’s always best to have fresh eyes and an expert perspective to push your social media video campaigns to the next level. That’s what’ll offer you the highest possible ROI, giving your brand, company, and profits a healthy boost.
Unify edits social media videos for companies like yours, delivering exceptional, revenue-driving results with our award-winning expertise. The additional sales you make and the time you save will vastly eclipse what you spend upfront outsourcing to us. Get started with Unify today!
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