Watching video content has never been easier or more accessible. Consumers are able to watch videos using different devices and through multiple streaming video platforms. Viewers watch everything from major motion pictures to original user generated web programs.
Just how popular is online video content?
- A third of all online activity is spent watching videos
- 100 million internet users watch a video every day
- In a month, an average internet user is exposed to about 32 videos
- YouTube has 1 billion unique visitors every month
By 2017, it’s predicted that 69% of all internet traffic will be video content.
As a small business owner, you might read that number and want to rip up your 2015 budget in distress. You might be trying to figure out how you can afford to produce commercials to share with your audience. Maybe you’re reaching for your calculator now, hoping that production won’t be too expensive.
Before you start crunching numbers, I want to stop you and ask you one question. Do you have a smartphone? If the answer is, “Yes,” you can put that calculator away.
Every year, new smartphones are released with better cameras and faster processors. It’s not only a device to make phone calls, it’s also become a production studio. It may weigh less than eight ounces, but smartphones are making videography and photography easier and easier. But it’s not just smartphones, if you have a tablet the same applications are available.
As more people want to explore filmmaking, software developers have been creating new programs that make video production accessible and fun. These tools make creating original and engaging content easy.
Vine - There’s a reason why Vine was acquired from Twitter in 2012, it’s the video equivalent of a tweet. You create a six second video that will loop continuously. There’s no editing involved after you shoot the video. No titles. No music. Just six seconds of anything you want to share. The Vine community is full of creative people and their website shares videos that are full of inspiration. My favorite Vine channel is “Batdad.”
Hyperlapse - Created by the good folks at Instagram, Hyperlapse is a free app that lets you produce timelapse videos on your phone. It’s one of the more simple and straightforward video tools available. Time lapse videos are very popular now and are a great way to show a slow process quickly. This is a time lapse video I made at a pet store using Hyperlapse.
Directr - Directr allows you to produce movies via your phone. And I don’t mean six second shorts. I’m talking about legit movies, complete with titles, edits, music and everything! The app offers premade storyboards that help you plan out your video. It’s fun and intuitive. It also was recently acquired by Google, so I wouldn’t be surprised if videos made using Directr get extra attention from web crawlers.
As you start to make these videos, don’t think of them as traditional commercials. These videos should be unique content produced for your business. If you’ve produced a commercial, you should post it online, but don’t think that only content that matters is the content you have paid to use on TV.
Use these videos as a way to showcase an employee, a product, an event or even a loyal customer. These content specific videos can be more engaging because you’re not selling your business, you’re sharing it. Consumers want to trust and be engaged with the brands they choose to shop at. By creating these unique videos, who are inviting viewers to become a part of your community.
What makes videos so engaging? According to Susan Weinschenk, Ph.D., consumers are drawn to videos because watching a video creates a personal connection with the viewer and the subject.
So take some time and download these apps and explore mini-filmmaking. Think about the different stories you can tell about your business in under 30 seconds. Studies show that audiences start to become less interested in videos that are longer than 30 seconds. It might not sound like a lot of time, but you would be surprised how much can be shared in half a minute.
Create content that you would want to watch and engage with and then share it online through social media. Who knows, you might even find a new career as a filmmaker.
Just remember to thank me in you Oscar speech.
Nick Pizzolato is the Marketing Content Manager at Wicked Local Media Solutions. For questions, topics for future blogs, or to share your favorite moment from the film “Back to the Future,” email him at email@example.com.