“The future of marketing and communications.” That’s how one Forbes article described video marketing.
It makes sense, too. 83% of our experience with the world is via our sense of sight. Our second-ranking sense? Hearing, coming in at just 11%. In fact, all the way back in 2008, Forrester made the bold proclamation that “video will take over the world.”
And here we are. Today, video marketing is a powerful tool used by everyone from industry giants to your middle school neighbor with an Instagram account. Video can convey a lot of information quickly, it engages emotions, and it humanizes practically any product or service.
That last one is important for IT marketing. Giving your business and your services a friendly face can be a legitimate challenge. Video can help.
But it’s a scary thing to start doing if you’re new to it. Scary because it’s a whole new medium with completely different rules. Plus, you may be (understandably) hesitant to make a significant financial investment right out of the gate.
No worries. We’ve got you covered. Here’s how to make an amazing IT marketing video with a budget of next to nothing.
We’ll begin with some general video guidelines. These are applicable no matter what you’re marketing. After we cover the basics, we’ll dive into some IT-specific tips.
You probably already have a perfectly suitable camera for shooting your IT marketing video—your smartphone. The quality of the camera on most smartphones is more than good enough for a short video.
That said, you’ll want to make sure you have the settings on that bad boy tweaked for the kind of video you’re shooting. We recommend this guide from The New York Times and this guide from TurboFuture.
You don’t need a fancy lighting rig. You just need the right window at the right time of day.
Sit in front of a nice, big window during a time of day when no direct sunlight is coming through the window. Direct sunlight would be too bright. You want indirect sunlight.
Now, face the window so that the natural light is on your face.
The single greatest challenge of shooting video on a budget is sound. For that reason, we recommend that you drop about $20 on a lapel mic. Get one you can plug into your phone and use it while shooting.
If you plan to forgo the mic and record sound directly on your phone, you’ll need to be within three feet of the phone, max.
Either way, make sure you’re in a room with no background noise.
This one is easy. Just look straight at the camera and talk to it like you’re talking to a person. That’s how your viewer will see you.
Oh, and don’t forget to smile.
The best marketing videos are under two minutes long. In fact, our in-house video guy, Scott Mitchell, says, “One to one-and-a-half minutes is the sweet spot.” So that’s your target.
That will require you to be succinct, to the point, and direct. But don’t rush. That’s the trick. Whittle your message down to exactly what you want to say, and just say that.
The rules for maximum length change for other kinds of videos, of course. A teaching video could easily be longer than two minutes. But a marketing video needs to be short.
IT Marketing tips
Everything we’ve covered so far applies to any kind of marketing video. But here at TRIdigital, we specialize in IT marketing. As a result, we’ve learned a few things about IT marketing videos that may also be helpful to you.
Your video should sound like you.
Maybe you saw a marketing video you really liked. It made you laugh or feel good or it intrigued you. The temptation is to copy that. Don’t.
The thing that makes your MSP stand out most likely isn’t the products or services you sell. It’s how you sell them. In other words, the thing that’s unique about your company is YOU.
Your video should sound like you. It should feel like talking to you. It should accurately convey who you are.
In that vein, do what works for you. If you need a script, use a script. If you can do it off the cuff, that’s fine, too. If you’re likely to crack a joke with a potential customer, then weave in some humor.
Just be genuine.
That may not seem like a terribly sophisticated tip, but that strategy is what’s enabled TRIdigital as a marketing firm to generate more than 100,000 MSP leads. Seriously, be yourself. It’s your most powerful IT marketing edge.
You know your target audience. Keep them in mind while you’re filming. Talk to the camera as if you were talking to just one prospect.
If you work primarily with SMB owners, then talk to SMB owners. If you’re marketing to enterprise-level businesses, then talk to CIOs. Either way, relate your message to a common pain point your target audience feels.
What problems have you solved for existing clients? What are some of the challenges you hear prospects talking about most often? Speak to that.
Just remember not to go into too much detail. You only have two minutes. And avoid too much heavy jargon—unless that’s what your audience expects.
Visual effects can really add to a video, especially in IT marketing. A well-placed video effect can emphasize an important piece of information and make it more memorable. A simple graph can make an otherwise boring stat stand out.
But you likely don’t have a professional videographer working on this for you, and we’re trying to meet a tight budget. So if you want to use visual aids, stick with something very basic.
We recommend using simple effects to highlight compelling statistics and basic contact information.
One last thing
Video marketing is powerful. It can absolutely help your MSP generate leads and win new business.
And while there are definite advantages to hiring a professional marketing company to produce your videos, our goal here is to make video marketing accessible to every MSP—even if you’re on a tight budget.
The only thing left is for you to give it a shot.