Engage Your Customers with Video – Part 3

Attention catching videos start with a clear objective, cohesive storyline, and quality materials. You already have all the tools needed to create professional looking videos. With a little practice, you’ll discover how easy them is to use sound and motion to show customers why they should buy your product or use your service.

In Part 1 of this 3-part series, we reviewed the content and technical planning that goes into the creation of “home-grown” company videos. Part 2 focused on getting the right shots. We also mentioned the outline NueMedia used for the videos we shot at AWFS 2017. Check out these great examples of planning your work, and then working the plan.

If you’ve followed the advice in the series so far, you’re ready for Part 3 – assembling the pieces and producing a finished product. In video-speak, that means editing and publishing.

Class is now in session. Today’s topic:

How to Edit & Publish Professional Looking Videos without Hiring a Pro

The first step in the editing process is uploading the files (a.k.a. clips) from the camera into the video editing software on your computer. I use a Mac so I use iMovie. The standard video editing software for PCs is Windows MovieMaker. Both are easy to use but expect to go through a learning curve. YouTube also has a video editor if you don’t have iMovie or MovieMaker.

Whatever software you use, it’s a good idea to keep all the clips of a specific project together. In iMovie, the projects in the clip library are called events. Upload your clips into its corresponding event. Being organized from the start will save you hours of stress once your project library grows beyond a few videos! It’s also a good idea to upload the clips onto an external hard drive as a backup. Who wants their work destroyed because of a computer crash?!

The second step is to build a baseline story with an introduction, body, and conclusion using clips from the event library. In iMovie, the clips are assembled in the timeline area of the window. Expect the basic story to be choppy and raw. At this point, the objective is to cover all the points you planned for in the video.

The third step involves cleaning up the baseline story so it has a natural and interesting flow. This step takes the most time in the process as you add text to clips (called titles), transitions, audio (like music), and cutaways (also called b-roll).

This iMovie screenshot shows four work areas on the screen. Section 1 lists all the events in the event library. Section 2 shows the clips in a specific event. Section 3 is the viewer where you watch what you create, and Section 4 is the work area where you assemble the clips, titles, cutaways, etc. to create what will become your final product.

Remember that short and interesting is better than long and boring. You’ll be surprized how much information you can pack into two to four minutes.

Obviously, there is more to editing than what’s here. YouTube is a great source for free training … on video of course. If you’d rather learn from a person and you’re a Mac user, contact your local Apple Store. It periodically runs one-hour group training sessions on programs like iMovie and GarageBand (music creation software).

Once your work is to the point where it is ready to make into a movie, save it as a video file. The most popular video formats are AVI (Audio Video Interleave), WMV (Windows Media Video), MOV (Apple QuickTime Movie) and MP4 (Moving Pictures Expert Group 4). The most universal video format these days is MP4.

The last step in the process is publishing your work so that customers will see it. The most popular platform as you well know is YouTube. It’s easy … and free … to create your own YouTube channel. Once you register with YouTube, you can create playlists to group future videos. Don’t forget to add tags (keywords) to help users find your videos by subject matter. Once uploaded, you can embed videos onto your website or share the link via email or other social media platforms.

So there you have it, the steps to harness the power of video for your company without the costs associated with hiring professionals. That said, there are times when videos should be left to the pros. However, you can create good quality work using the tools you already have at your fingertips.

That’s it for today’s lesson and engaging customers with video. Let me know how your video creation efforts go. Send me an email at scovottc@uww.edu and share a link to your masterpiece.

Next month we’ll venture into another topic to help you improve the results of your marketing efforts. Watch for it in the next issue of Strategic Business News.

Class dismissed. Now go forth and conquer.