If you’re like me, then you’ve got a small company that needs more attention online. We could hire an expensive production company to create one glittering video. But there’s a better way. The camera quality on most smartphones makes it possible to produce our own videos at little or no cost.
Nowadays, it’s the norm for companies to hire actors or create animations instead of talking about their brand themselves. However, no paid actor or cute cartoon can sell your product like you can. You built your electronics recycling and/or reuse business on word of mouth and personal connections, and video is the way to keep making more of those connections online.
All it takes is your face, your phone, and a little planning.
I’ve worked in professional video production for a few years and see there is great value in it. But you can create quality video that connects with your audience without breaking the bank. Here are the steps I use to market my product with effective video.
Chart your course with a great outline
- Identify the problem your product solves. Your business exists to solve problems, yet it’s easy to overlook this when creating an outline for a video. What problem does your product seek to solve? Distill your mission until it rolls off your tongue. One rule: The problem can NOT be that your customers haven’t bought your product. Your product enables your customer to solve the problem. Make that clear in your video.
- Aggravate the problem. The original Squatty Potty ad changed the advertising world forever. Created by Harmon Brothers, the ad makes it painfully clear that when it comes to going No. 2, you’re doing it wrong. How wrong? Just watch the ad (again) and notice the time they spend examining the problem and suggesting unlikely solutions. By the end of that sequence, the audience is more than ready to hear what, oh what, can help us solve this problem.
- Introduce your product or service. You’ve explained to them that dumping that CRT monitor into the woods pollutes groundwater. You’ve suggested that they could haul its hulking mass out to the local county recycling center. By now, they’re cringing at the idea of another weekend spent idling in their hot cars at a smelly processing plant. It’s time to offer a better solution: your neighborhood e-waste recycling plant.
You don’t need to make an infomercial, and you certainly don’t need to get in touch with (and worse, pay) a TV station. You’re passionate about your company’s mission, and it’s time to offer your valuable service. It’s a generous act. You’re saving your audience time and effort.
Make it real: produce your video
Shooting on your phone doesn’t have to look or sound like early 2000s flip-phone footage. Here’s how to get the best from your phone.
- Talk to what matters: Find your phone’s mic and camera. While the visual elements are essential, good audio is crucial to an effective video. Garbled audio in an otherwise beautiful video is a quick turn-off to your audience. Depending on your phone, the microphone will either be screen-side or back-side. To find your phone’s microphone, all you need to do is listen. Hit record with the screen facing you and tell the phone what you had for breakfast. Flip it to the back-side, repeat yourself, and listen back. If you notice that the recording is louder and clearer on one side of the phone, that’s where your mic is. Record on that side of the phone.
- Record where you work. Context is king. If your brand is outdoorsy, record outside. If you’re a creative agency, show off that Pinterest-worthy office. If you’re a processing facility, then the warehouse during a quiet moment (or not) is the right location. You don’t need a professional studio.
- Do. Not. Edit (for now). Record without the intention of editing later. Practice delivering your script. Nail it in one take. Yes, I know you want to look and sound your best. That’s why I encourage you to practice your outline without relying on editing. If you replay the video and it doesn’t sound right, record it again. Recording takes less time than editing something that’s not quite right to begin with. There is a time for hiring a production company or videographer to market your product. But that is not the time to realize that you’re uncomfortable in front of a camera. Recording your own videos pushes you to exercise your communication skills and refine your ideas. When the time comes to hire a production crew, you’ll be ready.
Upload your video
One more thing: Your videos might get comments. They should! Thank everyone who takes the time to write. They gave you their attention, so show your gratitude. Write down any repeated questions and consider making another video to address them.
This is a long game.
And it gets easier over time.
It’s often said that every business is now a publishing company first and a business second. That’s huge. Publishing your videos and other content is key to getting the attention you need to grow your business.
Upload as often as you can, and always make videos that help your customers improve their lives.
Break a leg and keep learning! This will be fun.
If you’re interested in learning more, visit my website for a free 3-part video series.
Stephen Brouillette is owner of Spice Rack Media. He previously ran e-commerce operations at Frederick, Md. e-scrap processor e-End.
The views and opinions expressed are those of the author and do not imply endorsement by Resource Recycling, Inc. If you have a subject you wish to cover in an op-ed, please send a short proposal to [email protected] for consideration.