Ready for Your Close-Up: Using Video in Your Marketing
Adding video content to your marketing mix is increasingly important to brands across the board, and especially to small- and medium-sized businesses like remodelers. A recent Forbes article goes so far as to say it’s crucial to your advertising and marketing mix — because consumers engage more with video, especially on social media, than anything else.
It doesn’t have to be expensive or difficult. Some of the best tools are within your reach, quite literally. Smartphones, tablets, and a laptop — and a few low- to no-cost tools — are all you need to create and post the content consumers crave.
Many of our Roundtables members are asking questions about the power of video, or taking first steps into video promotions and production. We’re happy to say others have mastered the art — check out the examples we show a little later in the blog post, they’re inspiring.
If you’re on a PC, use Microsoft’s Movie Creator, while iMovie comes bundled with Macs and Apple mobile devices. These basic video editors are easy to use — and there are plenty of tutorials on YouTube if you need help.
Need a little help with your graphic design? You can also personalize professionally made stock videos, or use their online graphic and editing tools with photos or video you’ve uploaded yourself. A few to consider:
- Adobe Spark, a free service from the digital design giant.
- Promo, from Slidely, has a robust collection of video and music. There are differing membership levels, but all get you lifetime rights to use what you create.
- RenderForest also has a fee structure, with a variety of videos available.
Pick your ratio
When creating video, keep your social media channels in mind when deciding on your format. Landscape, portrait and square mode work better on some platforms than others — but square is the one that’s more useful overall.
If you only want one version, make it square, which is a 1:1 ratio. Adweek says square videos increase the number of viewers who watch to the very end by 67% on Facebook. Squares work better overall on mobile devices, especially on Instagram.
The subject matters
One of the easiest videos to create and post is a slideshow. Pick a project and create a short video of before-and-after photos, pick some music, then add your logo and contact info, and you’ve got yourself a video.
Start taking video of every step of your project — before, during, and after. A great tool to invest in is a gimbal stabilizer for your phone. It smooths out the bounce by keeping the camera steady, and most have directional capabilities as well. Drones are useful for getting sky-high and overhead view. Forward Design Build Remodel in Ann Arbor has a beautiful example of drone footage on a barn remodel. Use the footage on your social channels as you go to show progress, then edit together at the end.
Put yourself in front of the camera. Talk about how you started, why you run a remodeling business, and what matters to you about the business. It may help to write a script, and if you’re shy, simply set your camera or smartphone up and go it alone.
Get testimonials from your clients, at their homes or at your company event. Not everyone will go for it, of course, but some will. Have questions ready for them. You may have to do a couple of takes for them to get comfortable, but you’ll get a powerful endorsement. Sun Design Remodeling in Northern Virginia threw a client appreciation party at a winery and got these fantastic testimonials, while demonstrating how well they treat their clients. Total win-win.
When to call in help
While you can make good-quality video on your own, it can be time-consuming. Many remodelers work with local video production houses, outside agencies, or are hiring marketing people with video backgrounds to create high quality content for social, web, and email.
West Chester Design Build in West Chester, PA, produces HGTV-worthy videos, done in-house. Long-form episodes of projects follow the familiar format of home improvement television, and tell the story effectively and beautifully.
Whether you jump in to do video yourself, or use outside help, video isn’t going away anytime soon. It’s increasing importance in social media marketing, especially, means it’s time for your close-up.