Video marketing is growing in both popularity and importance, as video content becomes the most heavily consumed format of content on the web. It’s estimated that by 2021, 82 percent of all internet traffic will be dedicated to video, and marketers are capitalizing on that growing consumer preference. Video advertisements, entertaining viral videos, and informative resource videos are all becoming more common, and even small businesses are feeling pressure to adapt to these new demands.
If you’re new to the world of video marketing and you’re trying to forge a new strategy by yourself or within your team, it can be intimidating. Video is an accessible medium, but not as accessible as written content, and if you approach it incorrectly, it could harm your brand reputation more than improving it.
It’s therefore vital to master the basic skills of video marketing early on so you can produce content worthy of your brand.
The Most Important Skills
These are some of the first skills you should learn:
- Basic photography and composition. You don’t need to be an expert photographer to learn and understand the basics of photography, framing, and composition. For example, balancing the images in the frame of your shot or taking advantage of the rule of thirds can instantly make your video look more professional. You don’t need to create award-winning art to gain an advantage from video marketing, but your videos also shouldn’t look like they were created by an amateur.
- Along similar lines, you need to be familiar with how to light your video. Lighting can make or break your shot; it can either make your subject look more stunning and more captivating, or turn viewers’ attention away. Keep in mind that you can use natural lighting to your advantage as well, positioning outdoor filming (and choosing the right weather conditions) in a way that maximizes the value of your finished work.
- Equipment familiarity. It’s possible to create videos for your marketing campaign using nothing more than the default video camera on your smartphone, though this isn’t ideal. Instead, you should devote some time to learning about the different types of video cameras that are available, as well as equipment like microphones, stands, and possibly even different lenses. There’s no right or wrong answer here, but you should know which pieces of equipment are best for which applications.
- Video formatting and conversion. Different platforms require different video formats, so you’ll need to be able to format and convert your videos on the fly. Fortunately, this is an easy skill to master if you’re using a quality video conversion service. It takes some time to convert a file between formats like .mp4 and .mov, but it doesn’t take much manual effort or technical know-how once you understand the basics.
- Basic video editing. Once you’ve shot the raw footage, you’ll likely need the skills to edit that footage to look presentable. For example, you’ll need to splice together different shots, cut unnecessary material, edit out mistakes, and tweak visual and audio elements to perfection. Fortunately, there are many video editing software options out there, most of which are both free and easy to use. But it will still take some time for you to find the right platform and put it to good use.
- Platform familiarity. Creating the video is only half the battle. You also need to host that video and distribute it in a way that maximizes its viewership. For that, you’ll need to be familiar with uploading videos to YouTube (or hosting them on a platform of your own), as well as the ideal process for sharing and building popularity for videos through social media.
- Research skills. You also need to have suitable research skills, which have nothing to do with video marketing directly. Instead, research is all about gaining answers to the questions you’ll inevitably encounter, and learning new information to improve your current understanding of the market. For example, if you experience a technical glitch when using your supposedly intuitive video editing software, you need to feel confident scouring the internet for a solution to the problem. It also pays to keep a close eye on the video marketing initiatives of your competitors, so you can learn from them (and/or improve upon them).
Even with zero prior experience, it’s possible to learn the basics of video marketing and start producing decent videos for your brand. However, if you want to make a bigger impact, you’ll need to gain experience, spending years creating content and refining your technique. Alternatively, you could work with an independent contractor or agency, speeding up the process and giving yourself access to better video marketing talent from the get-go.