In our last post, we took a look at how much it actually costs to hire someone else to come in and create your own marketing videos. With costs of a single video being over a staggering thousand-dollar price point, it was clear that most small and medium businesses won’t have the budget to hire professional videographers to make every single marketing video they need—especially not at the current required level of output.
The good news, though, is that you don’t need to hire a professional film crew or shell out 5k for an animated explainer video—with the right tools, you can create your own video marketing content that’s both professional and affordable. The tools will be a one-time (or annual, in some cases) investment up front, and then you’ll be good to go.
Here’s five tools you need to create your own marketing videos.
1. A Quality Camera
The visual quality of your video is important, so it’s no surprise that choosing the right camera or camcorder is important. A high quality camera will allow you to capture high resolution, crisp-looking pictures and video clips.
While many of the pros go for DSLR cameras, this isn’t typically the best choice for in-house marketing teams. These cameras produce high quality content, but they’re also expensive. Not only will the camera cost anywhere from $700-$3000+, you’ll also need to purchase additional (and very pricey) lenses. Instead, Bridge DSLR cameras are the way to go. They start at around $500, and can provide incredible quality video in high resolution.
TechRadar has some excellent recommendations for Bridge DSLR cameras here.
Don’t want to purchase a new camera? You don’t have to if you don’t want to. Shockingly enough, some smartphones have come so far that the phone you have in your pocket might even do the job. Anything after the iPhone 6S generation, or the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge have exceptionally good quality cameras within them. While they lack video stabilization and aren’t good choices for dim lighting, they can save you from having to invest in expensive equipment.
Just as your visual quality is important, all of your videos should have crystal-clear audio. While not all of your videos need audio, if you choose to include it and it’s low quality, you’ll drive viewers away quickly. Investing in a good microphone can help with this.
With a good microphone, you can capture sound as a scene is being filmed in real time. You can also use the microphone to record a voice-over narration later, and use video editing software (discussed later on!) to attach it to the actual video content. Microphones that are built into Bridge DSLR cameras are only just ok, making an external one more important.
You can choose lavaliere microphones, which will be placed on the person speaking, or microphones that are placed near (or attached to) the camera. The latter of the two are often the easiest and most versatile to use, in addition to being less finicky than lavaliere microphones. Some great recommendations of external microphones can be found here.
No matter how good your microphone is, don’t forget to record in an extraordinarily quiet area. Any air conditioning kicking on, refrigerator buzzing, or traffic whizzing by the window will show up in your audio if it’s happening in the background.
3. Green Screen
Some businesses like to shoot videos with the background intact. Great! Others, however, prefer to use green screens so they can edit what’s behind the product or subject or keep it looking crisp and clean. If this feels like the right move for you, you can purchase green screens online—even sites like Amazon and Walmart have them. They can cost anywhere from $20 (which maybe is a little too low) to $300.
Wondering if you’d want to use a green screen for your videos? Take a look at how to actually use them in the video below and see if it’s the right fit for your videos.
4. Video Editing Software
Most SMBs need video editing software that’s affordable, easy to use, and doesn’t require actual professional training. This software should make it easy to cut and splice videos, editing clip length, and potentially removing sound or adding voiceover narration if needed.
Camtasia is my go-to choice for video editing software. It’s affordable for SMBs (and freelance writers!) at $199 for a lifetime purchase. In addition to editing videos that you load through your computer, you can also film them with your computer’s camera, or with screen capturing. The interface is easy to use and intuitive, and it will give you everything you need to get your videos in top shape.
If you don’t want to shell out $200, there’s also free video editing tools available that can help you do everything discussed above. These include:
5. Video Creation Tools
If you want your video to get you results, you need to take it to the next level. Having a single video clip is fine for users, but enhancing it with video creation software like Shakr is what will give it that professional quality users unconsciously notice.
Shakr has predesigned, high-converting video templates that allow you to quickly add in your own images, video clips, text, and even music from our library. These templates take a single video clip and elevate it, making the video more engaging and helping your business to look more professional as a result.
Keep in mind that there are different styles of templates available—there are different aspect ratios, max lengths, and design styles. If you want to turn the video clip and a few pictures of your B&B into a retro phenomenon? Now you can. You can take a look at some of the different templates available to subscribers here.
Video marketing can be expensive, but it doesn’t have to. By strategically investing in the tools you need to make your own marketing videos upfront, you will literally save thousands while being able to maintain a higher output level of content. Since video marketing is a crucial part of marketing, being able to continually and frequently create your own marketing videos will benefit most SMBs.
What do you think? What tools do you use to create your own professional quality marketing videos? Leave us a comment and let us know!