It is no secret that video marketing is quickly becoming one of the hottest business trends, with the Managed IT industry taking no exception. What makes this form of marketing so appealing is its relatively low-cost and high engagement, allowing those who are consistent to drive very impactful amounts of awareness toward their brand and establish true thought leadership in their community.

The problem that I have seen is that those with no creative skills or experience are unsure how to get started. They have great ideas and a willingness to give it a try, but they are hesitant to just pull out their phone and hit record. One reason for this is that as new tools are being developed, the quality of these videos is rapidly increasing. Our feeds went from mostly simple videos shot on a cell phone, to now branded and designed podcasts, interviews, and editorials that look relatively professional. This can be intimidating and is creating a psychological barrier for entry that we have not seen before.

To help break through this barrier, here are a few ways to launch your video marketing campaign immediately without investing a ton of time, money, or resources:

Don’t Buy An Expensive Audio/ Visual Kit Right Away

As an IT Provider and general lover of technology gadgets, you are likely going to be tempted to spec and procure the perfect kit for recording your content. While there is nothing wrong with well produced video, there is a lot wrong with delaying your first video recording for weeks or even months until you can acquire, set-up, and test new gear.

What I recommend to clients is that they just get up and running with whatever equipment they use for Zoom or Teams conferencing and see what quality they can immediately produce. Lighting makes a huge difference in the quality of video, so try recording in different spots throughout your home or office and see how the video quality changes. You may decide to upgrade various components as you go (and you probably should), but the idea is to remove video and audio quality as a barrier completely and move forward immediately with what you have.

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Record Your First Conversations w/ People You Know

One of the biggest challenges of launching a video strategy is getting comfortable in front of the camera. We talk into our webcams every single day without a second thought, but for some reason when it is being recorded and “red light” is on, it changes something in our brains that brings on anxiousness and nervous energy. This is why including others in your content is highly recommended, especially someone that you talk to frequently and already have a rapport with.

Getting great guests can definitely propel your video content forward, especially if those guests cross-promote it, but this is not necessary right away. You may be better off recording a few takes with a coworker or customer that you are comfortable with as you figure out the format of your videos and how to best conduct the session. Once you have figured out how to pace the conversation and flow through topics, you will be far more comfortable recording content with guests that you don’t know.

Choose A Topic That You Are Passionate About

One thing that I have noticed when recording video is the more relaxed and comfortable I am during the session, the better the final product. When I first began recording I often wrote out a script and essentially read it into the camera. While my message was concise, I often felt like the final product was not me, simply because the way that I speak and the way that I write are vastly different.

As I became more comfortable, I began to realize that I didn’t need to script my words if I stuck with topics I was truly passionate about. When you start creating your own content, I would recommend choosing something that you know inside and out and have legitimate experience with. Your ability to tell stories and offer opinions is what differentiates your content from any other video or article out there on the web.

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Leverage Lightweight Platforms and Services

I get asked by clients all the time, “What software should I use to record video content?” While there are a ton of great tools out there for both capturing raw video and editing, I often tell them to start recording using Zoom or Teams (even if they are recording by themselves). The reason I tell them this is because 100% of them already know how to use these tools and it essentially guarantees that they can begin creating HD quality content immediately without the need to buy and learn a new platform.

When you export your raw video from Teams or Zoom, you will probably want to edit it. I personally use a software called Camtasia, although I would not recommend this getting started. If you are using a Mac, then iMovie will allow you to do just about anything you need in your early learning stages. If you are on Windows, there is actually a “hidden video editor” that you can use to splice, trim, and add effects. This replaces the popular Windows Movie Maker that has been retired for several years. In addition, you can also use an inexpensive web-based tool such as Zubtitle to add your logo, headline, and subtitles with just a few clicks.

Don’t Let The Editing Process Delay Publishing

After you have recorded your content you may think that the hard part is over, but the editing often takes far longer than the initial capturing of footage. I try to do more visual edits than I do actual trimming of footage, leaving most of the conversation in its organic state (unless there was an obvious slip up or error). If you are going to do a full edit and cut out parts of the conversation, I would recommend starting with shorter clips. Watching and editing a full 60 minute recording can take hours (even days) if you let it, which is just another hoop to jump through to get this in front of your audience.

My preference is to break the video down into roughly 5 minute clips. I have found that conversations tend to naturally shift from one topic to another in this interval, so it is easy to find a naturally beginning and ending with this length of time. Once I have these shorter clips, I can “frame” them all differently, essentially squeezing as much usable content as possible from whatever original footage was produced.