How To Use Video To Drive Traffic And Attract More Students
Video marketing is something that seems to stymie many of the business owners and martial arts school owners I coach.
However, it’s really not all that complicated. Like all good content marketing, good small business video marketing is the result of fulfilling two distinct but interrelated goals:
- Creating compelling and unique content that your market will actually watch (video production)
- And, finding a way to get that content “noticed” by the search engines (video promotion)
Those are the two goals you need to keep in mind when you’re doing video marketing for your business. That’s it. Everything else is superfluous, so eliminate any other goals or outcomes from your mind.
The whole video marketing enchilada is a lot to cover in a single article, so this week I’m going to provide you with some video production tips and next week I’ll be covering how to get your videos seen online.
So, today let’s start with video production…
How To Produce Videos That Look Like You Hired A Pro On An Amateur’s Budget
You don’t need to hire or pay someone else to create nice videos for your school. There are tons of easy video production tools available that will make you look like a rock star.
I’ve used them for years to make videos like the one below, and they’ll make your online videos look like a pro edited them:
My Favorite Online Video Production Tools
Here are links to a few online video production tools that rock, and that are well-suited to making short promotional videos for your business:
Animoto – My favorite, although it is a subscription service and you have to pay to remove their trademark and to get high definition versions of your videos. Even so, I think it’s well worth the cost – if you’ve seen any of my promotional videos for my studios (like the one above), you’ve seen this tool in action.
One True Media – This tool has some really cool visual effects, and it’s free to create videos up to 30 seconds in length. It’s $4 a month to make longer videos, which is a steal. (Fair warning; when you sign-up they’ll try to sell you on their video marketing distribution services, which you really don’t need.)
Sparkol – If you’ve seen any of those slick whiteboard videos (where a disembodied hand draws a series of pictures while a voice narrates), you’ve seen Sparkol at work. There are some services that will create these videos for you fairly inexpensively (I’ll be reviewing one soon), but if you want to do it yourself this software is what you’ll use.
Tips For Using Video Production Tools And Shooting Your Video
Tip #1 – Use a Good Camera
Unless you have a smartphone that will take high-def video, it’s probably not a good idea to use your phone to take those clips, as some phones are horrible at taking video. I’m a big fan of handheld HD video cameras like the Flip UltraHD Video Camera and the Kodak PlayFull HD Video Camera (I use a Kodak). You can also use a digital camera that will record high-def video, like the Sony A3000 Interchangeable Lens Digital Camera with 18-55mm Lens. All will deliver high-def, ready to upload video and are very forgiving of inexperienced camera operators.
Tip #2 – Shoot Action And Keep It Short
Something I heard Jim Mather say years ago about selling martial arts lessons has always stuck with me, and that is to “show the sizzle and not the steak.” So, you want to make this video exciting and visually appealing. Always include lots of action and movement in your videos, and avoid including people standing around, or people talking. Your goal is to entertain, not instruct.
Also, you want to keep it under 90 seconds. Anything longer than that is a waste of bandwidth, because no one is going to sit through it except your mom. Edit your video so it’s short and snappy, with a lot of rapid scene cuts and plenty of eye candy (I’m talking cool action clips, not the local “breastaurant” waitstaff. We’re making a family video here.)
Tip #3 – Use Short Clips
It’s best to have about a dozen images or short (five seconds or less) video clips ready to upload to these sites before you start making your video. Short clips are easier to upload, and your video will cut from scene to scene and from image to image quicker, thus making it a more exciting video to watch. Remember, your goal is capture their imagination, so keep it short and snappy. Don’t try to produce the next Avatar, you aren’t James Cameron. Just keep it simple and let the software do the work.
This is obviously just a short introduction to the world of online video marketing. If you want to go deeper into the topic, here are a few books that I can recommend on the subject:
Video Marketing For Dummies – A decent introduction to the world of online video marketing.
Get Seen: Online Video Secrets to Building Your Business (New Rules Social Media Series) – David Meerman Scott puts out some great information on using social media. Highly recommended.
YouTube and Video Marketing: An Hour a Day – The “Hour A Day” books are good for those of you who want a simple implementation plan to follow that won’t consume your life.
If You Need Video Marketing Help
As many of you know, I own a martial arts web design firm that I’ve run for many years. I’ve also been doing video marketing for quite some time, and I do offer promotional video production services for small businesses.
So, if you start working with the tools I’ve listed above and you can’t seem to get them to work properly, you can always contact me for help (expect a fee of $100 – $150 for me to take your raw video and images and edit them into a 90 second video using Animoto).
If you have any questions or comments about online video marketing or video production, I want to know. Please post your questions and feedback in the comments section below.