In our previous article, we have discussed how outsourcing or hiring a freelancer are generally the best options in approaching video marketing. However, what if we want to do it ourselves? Is it feasible?
Thankfully, just like everything else in this digital age, there’s always apps and platforms to help us. There are many video maker platforms that can help us in this aspect, with the aim to save our time and resources.
In this guide, we will discuss all the necessary steps for small businesses to produce video and implement video marketing by themselves.
First, let us discuss the important aspects of video marketing and their challenges.
The Necessary Steps of Producing A Marketing Video
Video content production is undoubtedly the most complicated compared to other content forms (textual and audio).
You would still need the necessary writing skills as in textual content, in the form of scriptwriting. You would also need a good understanding of music and audio recording/processing. On top of that, you would need to know all the technicalities specific to video production.
So, it’s no wonder that video production is often intimidating especially for small businesses because they simply don’t know where to start.
With that being said, here we will breakdown the basic concept of video production and the necessary steps:
1. Ideation and Script Writing
Since the video is created for marketing purposes, it’s important to first define the marketing goal related to the video. A marketing video can have the purpose of generating prospects (build awareness), some others for educating prospects about your product/service or to close the deal. (Again, you might want to check our previous guide about these purposes).
In this step, we brainstorm for a video concept that can fit the purpose, and then expand this idea into a written script. If necessary, we can also develop a storyboard here.
2. Finding Talent, Equipment, and Location
Assuming you’re going to shoot a live video (not an animation), you are going to decide who’s going to be on the video.This can be you yourself, other people in your company, or a hired talent.
Here you should also list the necessary equipment, and also decide where you will shot the video (location).
These three factors will be the most significant in determining your budget. Your video can be really expensive or really affordable, but ultimately you should pursue the balance between expenses and quality.
3. The Actual Production
This step will include setting up the equipment (generally lighting, sound, and video recording equipment), setting up the location, and perform the actual shooting.
Most of us are familiar with the process of filmmaking in general, and this step is probably the most obvious process.
Post production consists of several important processes:
- Editing: we cut and paste the raw footages into the final story. Here, the aid of a video editor software is required.
- Placing and syncing music and audio: pretty self explanatory. Usually the same video editor software can do this.
- Adding graphics and animations to support the final footage
Generally, the video maker platforms and apps will help in this step, either by providing animation library or act as a cloud-based video editor software. Again, post-production can be really expensive or really affordable, but is a very important process nonetheless.
So, Can a Small Business Produce Video Themselves?
The ultimate answer is yes, provided you have the time and budget. In general, you can compromise for a lack of budget with more patience and diligence (especially in editing).
If you decide to take this road, here are a few main considerations:
1. As mentioned, there are various tools and platforms online that can help with the various stages. For example. there are platforms that can act as a full-service video editor software. There are others that offer stock video (royalty-free video you can use) and stock animation. These platforms come with various price and subscription models. Some of them are totally free. This can be a good consideration if you want to save money and time. We will di
2. It’s quite often that the biggest challenge lies in the ideation process: how we can have a concept that can achieve our video marketing goal. In this case, you might want to get help from a digital marketer or a digital marketing agency, just to provide you with a concept or strategy. This is generally more affordable than outsourcing to a video production company.
3. Footage recording is often an expensive process, especially regarding equipment. However, there are ways to make this more affordable.
For instance, we can rent the equipment which can save money in a short-term basis. If you plan to make a lot of videos, however, buying your equipment will be a better long-term deal.
Second, if you are willing to learn about this yourself and invest some time to record the footage yourself, you can save a lot of money. The same goes also for the editing process. If you do it yourself, then you can do it for free,
4. If you use images, music, sound, stock video, and generally all kinds of assets, be very careful to read the copyright terms carefully. Make sure that these assets are available for commercial use to avoid issues in the future. For example, using a copyrighted asset can get you demonetized from YouTube.
How Video Maker Platforms and Apps Can Help Us
As promised, here we will discuss online video maker tools and how they can help small businesses marketing video productions.
First, we have to point out the fact that this won’t be a product recommendation. There are so many different apps and platforms out there with similar core values, and each offering their own unique benefits.
However, here we will discuss the key concepts you should understood, the key considerations you should have when choosing one, and ultimately, how you should use them to save time and resources.
With that being said,there are several factors to discuss about these video maker platforms:
1. Costs and Payment Models
Since the main purpose of using these video maker tools is to save money, it is fairly obvious that cost will be a significant consideration.
Most of these tools come in a SAAS (Software As A Service) model with various pricing models:
- Free: some of these options are totally free, no-strings attached. These can be a cloud-based software (you don’t need to install anything) or a downloadable model (you download and then install a program for free).
- Freemium: you can use the basic version for free,and there’s a premium version(s) with more features. You can either pay for the premium version one-off or with a monthly subscription fee
- One-off: you just pay once and that’s it Normally this will cost you more compared to a subscription-based model, but you don’t have to worry about renewals and other details.
Spend too much and you might end up wasting money, spend too little and you might not get the desired quality. The best way to approach this is to have a financial projection of your video marketing campaign, and project the ROI. This way, you know how much money you can spend without risking profits.
2. Functions and Features
Different platforms might offer different functions, so pay extra attention when choosing these video maker platforms.
For instance, Animoto is a drag-and-drop video editor, while Shutterstock is a platform where you can purchase stock images and videos. There are also other platforms like Moovly that offers a basic video editor but also specializes on templates and animations.
So, when choosing these platforms, make sure to check out their key features and whether they will fit your needs. It is also worth noting that some (nowadays, most) of these platforms will offer free-trials, so you can test their features and functions for free.
Video production and post-production are often lengthy, and often involve a huge amount of data that can be resource-heavy.So, we would want to make sure our tools are stable during the whole process.
Again, this is where a free-trial period can help you test things out. Make sure to choose a platform that is reliable, and those offering excellent customer services are also preferable. The trial period is actually a good time to test the customer service: are they answering questions quickly? Are they able to help with your issues?
It is actually wiser to invest on a product that is slightly more expensive just for that customer service and technical reliability.
In the end, choosing your video maker platform(s) is about finding the balance between the amount of money you should spend and the benefits you’ll get.
In most cases, this benefit will be about how the app can save your money and resources, and in general will give you an easier time in producing the video.
The most effective approach here is to first understand your needs. Then, simply try to find the most affordable product that can fulfill these needs or solve your issues.
Animation Video For Marketing
Above, we have mentioned that some of these video maker platforms offer animation assets and editing as their core functions.
Animated video can be a good, affordable option for marketing purposes for a single reason: recording equipment and talent hiring are often the most expensive factors, and by using animation, you can eliminate these costs.
Animation videos can be effective in explainer videos (tutorial, how-tos, product education), as well as brand-related storytelling.
Some of these video maker apps offer excellent animation editor where you can create animation videos with just a drag and drop approach. Moovly is just an example of such apps.
Again, it is important to consider the purpose and goals of your video marketing, and see how can animated videos fit to these goals.
While it can be challenging and time-consuming, producing your own marketing video can significantly lower your expenses and thus maximize your ROI. This can be a good option for many small businesses without a lot of marketing budget.
Online video production platforms can be a good solution to give you an easier time in producing these videos, with fairly affordable pricing models. Make sure to consider this as your option, and choose the right one(s) according to your video marketing goals.