The use of video has increasingly become more important in generating brand awareness and user loyalty.
In this post I talk about how to create long-form video without breaking the bank and how to come up with some story ideas with impact.
But first, let’s talk about why video should be a part of your digital marketing strategy.
Video Has an Impact
According to stats gathered by Digital Information World, people retain 95 percent of messaging from videos. Videos also generate 1200 percent more shares than image and text together.
An article by William Craig on Forbes online indicates that an increase of 41% in web traffic is seen by companies that use videos on their sites.
In a survey by Wyzowl, 81% of people who watched a brand video bought the product or services featured.
Not only that, the Wyzowl survey showed that if consumers had a choice between text and video, they prefer video to learn about a business or brand.
Does Video Length Matter?
Typically, it has been advised by experts that videos should be short, as the attention spans of Internet users is fleeting.
However, a recent article on social media management platform Hootsuite showed how big brands were “Doing Great Long-Form Videos.”
The article pointed out the positive aspects of long-form video in that it is able to engage viewers through longer stories rather than video-bites. The length of a long-form video depends on who you talk to, but anything that is beyond the three-minute range is definitely getting into the long side.
The post also highlighted that the “emotional” aspect of stories engages readers on an in-depth level, something that is difficult to do in a 15-second video.
And a study by Wochit showed that longer videos get 79 percent more shares and 74 percent more views than short videos.
The Cost of Producing Long Videos
The one problem I have with suggestions of doing long-form videos with examples like those shown in the Hootsuite article—Hyundai, Patagonia, Dollar Shave Club, AirBnB—is that those brands have big budgets.
The videos feature actors, great lighting and direction, and stories that were crafted by professional writers.
Most small- to medium-sized businesses owners do not have a budget to hire a crew to write, shoot, and edit a long-format video story.
Another problem is many business owners do not know where to start in creating any type of video.
In the following, I go over ways to easily and inexpensively create longer form videos, and how to come up with story topics.
How to Easily, and Cheaply, Create Long-Form Videos
There are ways to create videos at least three to five minutes in length without picking up a camera or phone.
The app Lumen5 will turn your blog posts into video format, no script writer or camera crew needed.
I created the following video with one of my blog posts. I simply uploaded the post URL and the Lumen5 app pulled the text from the post and suggested photos and video to go with it. It even highlighted some of the text.
After switching out some of the images and video, using their free media library, I edited some of the text and added music, also from their library. It took me about an hour.
The app is free to use for videos at 480 pixels, which is fine for viewing on mobile or small screens.
Other apps you can use to easily create long-form video:
There are many apps and software available to create videos. These are my favorites:
- Adobe Spark Video
You can tell a story with Adobe Spark Video, which uses narration. Using the phone app, record your voice and then adding images, icons and/or text. The app gives prompts on what to talk about when telling your story.
The app is free, but you’ll have to have their logo on your video unless you pay for a subscription starting at $9.99 per month.
Use Quik, by Go Pro, to pull in images and video centered on a theme or topic. Add titles, captions, and music, and voila! You have a long-form video to share.
Desktop and mobile versions of Quik are free. Upgrading gives you more options.
Ripl is a great app used to create image and video posts. It strings together images you upload, or choose from a copyright-free media library. Add text, and Ripl converts everything into an animated video.
The app has a great variety of creative templates, and you can also add music from their copyright-free library or upload your own.
The app is free. A subscription starting at $9.95 per month removes their logo from your creations.
Emotional Video Story Suggestions
To tackle creating “emotional” stories with your videos, all you need is a simple story-line. Here are some ideas:
- Talk about the struggles you faced when starting you business from the ground up and how you overcame them.
- Feature a customer’s story: Ask a customer to video themselves talking about how your services or product gave them a solution to their needs.
- A happy story can feature the mascot pup at your business. Take several short videos or photos of your dog or cat showing him/her taking part in a day at work.
- Celebrating a company milestone can turn into an engaging and fun story. Follow colleagues with your phone camera throughout the day showing how they are celebrating the occasion.
- Check out what your competitors are doing with their video storytelling. Don’t copy, but create story ideas that have a different or unique angle.
The popularity of video streaming cannot be ignored. Make video a part of your digital marketing strategy. Create engaging and meaningful stories for your video campaigns.
If you don’t have a big budget, one of the above recommended apps will make the task achievable. Take a look at what competitors are doing, or come up with simple behind-the-scenes stories about your business.
Let me know what you think of these ideas, and if you have any, leave you comment below.