Thanks to developments in technology, it’s easier than ever to create a fun video at little to no cost to enhance your content marketing efforts. Anybody can use their smartphone cameras to create video content on the fly. Of course, if you are going to create video content regularly you may consider buying a camera that does both photos and videos at good quality.
Video file type
Once you’ve decided what camera you are going to use the next thing to decide is what video format you will create your video in. There are over 25 different video file formats so you need to decide which ones will best suit the channels you intend to market on. The most well-known are:
- .mp4 (Motion Picture Experts Group MPEG-4),
- .avi (Audio-Video Interlaced),
- .mov (Apple Quick Time) and
- .wmv (Windows Media Video)
MP4 is the most universally used format. You can create one video in that format and upload it to YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. A good quality video can produce a large file size if saved in the .mov or .avi format. With .mp4 you can reduce the file size and still retain a lot of the quality.
The next thing to consider is the aspect ratio of the video you intend to produce. The aspect ratio of a video or image describes the proportional relationship between its width and its height. The aspect ratio of a YouTube video is 16:9. Facebook takes vertical video into consideration which is good considering 51% of all video plays are from mobile devices. Facebook, therefore, recommends an aspect ratio of 9:16.
If you are shooting your video straight from your phone camera then you really don’t need to worry about that just make sure you hold the phone vertically for Facebook and horizontally for YouTube as YouTube will just force the user to flip the phone sideways. I personally prefer to flip my phone sideways.
Of course, shooting from your phone means that quality may suffer but if you are doing live video, you will be forgiven for quality providing your content is useful, entertaining and fun.
As so many videos are watched via mobile you should consider placing subtitles in your video, especially if it’s just a 1-minute video promoting a product or service. People may wear headphones through their devices but they can still benefit from subtitles. Of course, if your video is longer and is intended to tell a story through both video audio then you should add subtitles so as not to exclude hearing impaired members of your audience.
Hosting your video
An important consideration is what platform you will use to host your video. If you are able to upload the video to your own website then that is preferable as you will gain in terms of search engine optimisation (SEO) and have total control over your content. However, many web hosts don’t’ allow video streaming from their servers as it sucks bandwidth which is why YouTube and Vimeo are so popular.
Using YouTube or Vimeo to host your video means you can then get a snippet of code to embed the video into a page on your website. You can also share the link on Twitter and the video will appear in the user’s feed. Sharing a linked video on Facebook will not guarantee that the video will be seen by many users as the Facebook algorithm favours content that is created directly on its platform over content created elsewhere. So, you are better off uploading the video directly to Facebook to ensure it is seen by your audience.
Whether you are uploading to YouTube, Facebook or Vimeo, you need to take into consideration the customer journey and what it is you want to achieve with the video. If you want them to visit your website, you will need to add links and a call to action pointing to the point of sale. The benefit of hosting videos on your own website is that you already have the customer where you need them to be.