The camera turns on, and it seems like everything blacks out. Your brain is in the middle of a barrage of thoughts — Wait, what was I going to say? I hate that I always talk too fast! What was I even going to talk about on this video?
I hate how I look on camera — I hate how I sound on camera — I hate how I….. I’m the owner, and I care about my brand — it’s just going to look unprofessional! What is “good lighting?” How do I get people to even watch my videos?! This is just a stressful waste of my time. So you conclude:
“Forget it — I’m not doing it.”
When you hear a marketing expert say, “Video is the most important element in your marketing today!”, do you suddenly feel: a. Excited b. Empowered or c. a Panic Attack leading to hopeless resignation that your bridal business will never capitalize on the most important element in marketing?
If your answer was c. — you are not alone — and keep reading, because I want to share with you five simple things that every successful marketing video contains that ANYONE can do, without spending any money on equipment!!
YOU can do this! There are a ton of things out there to do or buy that people claim will improve your videos, but these 5 things I’m going to share with you are primary to making videos that connect and convert with your audience!
Light it up!
You don’t have to have professional lighting, but you DO need to make sure that you test the lighting before you go live or record your videos! It only takes a minute to do a quick lighting test and make sure that your shot is well lit! Let me tell you, whenever a video is too dark, it makes your audience have to work to watch it. And if an audience has to work to watch you, they will turn you off.
So simply make sure that wherever you set up your shot, the light is hitting you from the front and not from the back. If the light is shining from the back, it pulls attention away because the audience cannot focus on your face (or on whatever product you are trying to show).
You don’t have to have a microphone to make good videos, but you DO need to be close enough to the device (a camera or your phone etc.) for the microphone to pick you up above whatever other noise is around you! Are you recording a video at market, at a bridal show, or at an event at your business?
Background noise is a killer when you are too far away from the camera — and this is especially true when you are trying to interview someone! You may be trying to get a great long shot, but if you (and the person you are interviewing), are not close enough to the mic, it’s a bad idea! If your audience has to work to hear you, they will turn you off. So simply stay anywhere within 6 feet of the camera when there is no background noise, and within 4 feet of the camera if there is any other noise or music that you may be competing with. Remember, the audience can’t zero in on what you are saying when there are other things coming through their speakers. Let your voice and your message be easily heard!
Yes, you MUST be excited to get your audience excited! They will feel only HALF of whatever energy you are putting out there, so before you hit record, get a little bit more pumped up! Stand up taller, think of something that makes you smile (or even laugh!), and then hit it! Laughing and smiling opens you up to people, and that helps them to open up to you, and WANT to watch you to hear what you have to say.
When you see a video of someone who seems happy, you tend to tap on it to see what in the world they might be happy about! Remember, this is not about broadcasting, it is about communicating — and those two are VERY different from each other!
Don’t mindlessly talk about something you are promoting, because if the audience doesn’t FEEL anything about what you are presenting, they will turn you off. You want people to get excited about your clearance sale? Your trunk show? Your new line? Your fashion show? Then YOU have got to be excited! Don’t just announce it — show them how excited you are about it, and that you can’t wait to meet them there!
People connect to your message only if YOU connect with your message. If it doesn’t make you happy, then they will have no interest in it at all! And don’t believe the lie that “it is fake”, or “I don’t feel like ‘me’.” Put yourself aside, smile, and make someone’s day who is watching your video! Get them excited about life in general by how excited you are for what is happening in your business. People will share things that make other people smile — so go spread a little sunshine and watch what a difference it makes in your reach!
Memorized, Over-rehearsed, Over-scripted, or Obviously-read videos are the least-effective of any videos in marketing. Don’t put so much pressure on yourself to “make it perfect”, because transparency is actually GOLD in marketing!
The “perfect” video is a transparent video — mistakes and all! Be YOU, and if you stumble a little on your words, it’s OK! In fact, the out-takes are the BEST to add on any video — audiences LOVE them!! Just keep the message moving, don’t get bogged down, don’t think of any stumbles as a mistake, keep smiling, keep talking, and focus on giving valuable content! Don’t get sidetracked — and just have fun sharing the info you came to share!
Don’t over-think, over-rehearse, or over-script — all of these things put a barrier between you and your audience and they will turn you off! When any human is communicating with another human, it is always always always more effective if it is spoken from the heart! Even scripted things are only effective if they come across as NOT-scripted! If you do 100 takes to get it “perfect”, I PROMISE you you will lose more energy and connectedness with each take, and flat-line your video.
People want to get to know YOU, and your staff! When you look like you are having fun, people will want to join you. So, don’t stress yourself out about saying it “perfectly”, just say it the same way you would say it if you were telling a group of excited brides who happened to walk by your boutique! Have fun and GET IT DONE!
Don’t waste time making a video that won’t connect! Just get excited, look into that camera, think of that group of excited brides, and tell them all about it! Then, when you watch the video, check for ONLY the things on this checklist — good lighting good sound, good energy and good info.
Don’t critique yourself to death, and lose your confidence in the process. (Yes, your personal appearance is important, but I think you know what makes someone look professional or not, right?! So, don’t body shame yourself — remember, your team and your brides are watching you, and you hate it when they do that, right?!) You are gorgeous — you are amazing — and you are helping your audience know about an incredible thing! Go tell them!
Wrap it Up!
When you make a video, make sure that you empower the audience to have all of the info and then to DO something with the info!! Give them the dates, the times, the location, the cost, and the most vital facts about the event (or product etc.), both in the middle of the video and then quickly at the end to review! Where/How do they get tickets? How do they reserve a spot? How can they contact you for more info or if they have questions?
Sometimes it is GREAT to have someone hold a paper with that info on it where you can see it, (but of course where the audience can’t, lol), so that you don’t have to remember all of the info yourself! Forgetting that info, when the rest of the video was great, is very frustrating, because you lose some of your original energy on each successive take. And that info MUST be on there!
Tell the audience what you want them to do — and give them a reason to take immediate action! Urgency is key - “spots are filling fast”, “space is limited”, “the first 25 brides to book get….” etc. Do a drawing for a gift where anyone who shares the video is entered to win the drawing! Anything to give the audience a positive and exciting reason to take action, spread the word, book an appointment, etc.
Also, REMEMBER, you have 10 seconds to grab their attention — audiences have an attention span of 10-15 seconds to decide if they will keep watching! And if they are not inspired or interested, they will turn you off. Sooooo, if your video will be 60 seconds, make your first 10 seconds power-packed and give them a reason to watch till the end! If you are sharing great content, you can keep your audience! BUT, 15 second videos are also POWERFUL because social media tends to show them more!
So, if your content is relevant and your audience connects with it by interacting, commenting, sharing, etc., it can have an amazing organic reach even if it is 2 minutes or so — AND if it is only 15-20 seconds it will also naturally get shown more (you just may need to talk super fast to get any info out, lol!). Put vital info in the description — links, websites, phone numbers — so that it is EASY for your audience to reach you — and so that you get cross-promotion with other vendors, bloggers, event sites, etc. Let it get as much organic reach as possible and then boost it! Don’t stress — JUST DO IT!
Look at that!! You can do ALL of these things! But the key word there is DO!!!! Don’t just do what I tend to do with exercise info that I read — I think, ooooh I need to buy that magazine to read how to lose 50 pounds in 2 weeks!! I buy it, read it, and then NEVER DO IT — and shocker: Nothing changes.
You want to change the traffic at your business? Put your hesitations, excuses, and past video frustrations aside — grab your phone and make some videos that get your audience energized and empowered to engage with you! (The National Bridal Sale Event (link) is coming up for boutiques, and NOW is the time to be churning out the videos about it!)
Let’s lead the way in showing that being a confident, empowering, encouraging, and magnetic presence can inspire others to take positive action! And aren’t you all about that?! Effective marketing, simply put, inspires action. Help others take positive action using these 5 tips, and you’ll find yourself multiplying your reach with amazing videos on every platform!