This article was a sponsored guest post, written by Amanda Holstein on behalf of Collectively.
Creating a video for a brand can be intimidating for many reasons — it’s not cheap, it takes a lot of time and planning, and it’s just more complicated than a photoshoot. Video production doesn't have to be so complicated though! With the right planning and tools, you too can be creating quality video content. It’s definitely a skill to develop because more brands are layering videos into their influencer marketing programs.
For me, video generates higher engagement than static posts, captures a unique perspective my photos can’t deliver, and opens up new creative ways to highlight brands. Video also offers my readers an "up close and personal" view into my life. Because both brands and my readers are asking for more video, it's become essential that I invest in the skill in order to keep up with industry demand.
So, how does a non-video creator get started with video?
First, it’s important to ask yourself what type of videos make sense for your brand. Tutorials? Lifestyle? Editorial? Travel? Take some time to think about the different categories of videos that align with your current content strategy. Personally, I like to create a mix of simple tutorials and inspiring lifestyle videos.
When creating a video for a brand, take into account the budget they have to offer. When I have a substantial budget to work with, I’ll include multiple locations, a variety of angles, and even graphics. If I don’t have a lot to work with, I keep the process streamlined while still maintaining quality. For example, I’ll choose one location for the whole video and capture 1-2 angles so that shooting doesn’t take as long.
Once you know what type of video you’re planning to create and the amount of budget you have to work with, then it’s time to do some planning. Video shoots require a lot of detailed and thorough prep work to make sure they run smoothly. I suggest creating a shot list and a simple “storyboard” so you have an idea of what you’re trying to accomplish before you start shooting. A storyboard is essentially a visual map of each scene, shot, or frame of the video. Think about the intro, the various sections, and how you want to end your video. Put your vision on paper first before you begin shooting.
Using a videographer
Depending on the type of video I'm trying to create, I'll either work with a videographer or shoot the video myself. If the shoot is going to be more involved, and I'm receiving adequate compensation, then I'll definitely work with a professional. If the shoot is simple, like a quick at-home makeup tutorial, I'll simply use a tripod and shoot it myself (I like this one because it's super light, compact, and has a lot of options). It definitely depends on the budget involved and the end product I'm looking to create.
As for the actual content, it’s important to differentiate between a sponsored video and a commercial. Brands can create commercials whenever they want, but they’re looking for something different from an influencer. They want your personality and your brand to shine through because they understand how valuable your voice is to your viewers, and theirs. Focus on the content of the video first and foremost, and then naturally incorporate the product into it. If you focus solely on the product and put the content second, you’ll end up with a commercial, not an authentic sponsored video that reflects your true voice.
Editing is the most time-consuming part of video creation, so it’s important to know what you’re trying to accomplish before jumping in. Have your storyboard on hand so you can refer back to it when putting together the different clips. In terms of colors and graphics, you’ll also want to make sure they remain consistent with your brand. Create an overlay you can use consistently across all of your videos and use the same fonts you use on your blog. Consistency is key when it comes to branding!
I use iMovie when editing my videos myself because the user experience is pretty straightforward. I'm not a professional videographer, so if I'm going to be editing video content on my own I want to make it as easy as possible. YouTube tutorial videos can show you all the basic features.
Quick phone videos
Not all videos require tons of time and resources to execute. It’s important to master the art of the super quick smartphone video. Luckily, there are plenty of great apps that can help you create high-quality videos right on your phone. Here are a few that I love:
- Boomerang: We all love a good boomerang! Don’t be afraid to do these more often to add some movement to your static Instagram feed. The more you practice Boomerangs, the better you’ll become at perfecting timing.
- Hyperlapse: This is a super easy app if you want to do a quick makeup tutorial or styling video. Set up your phone on a tripod and film your process with one shot, then use the app to speed it up for a timelapse effect.
- Chromic: This is a great app for editing colors within a video. I use it to create consistency between my photos and videos.
- 8mm: This is another fun app for adding unique effects and colors. Most of their options give a vintage vibe that I just love! You can even add 8mm effects to your Story videos for something a little more unique.
- CutStory: Ever wonder how to create one long video to put on your Instagram Stories without having to stop every 15 seconds? Try CutStory! Upload a full-length video and it will cut it up into 15-second increments so you can post it all at once!
- iMovie: This is my go-to for editing movies on my phone. You can combine multiple clips, add transitions, and even add graphics. It’s great for a more finished video and doesn’t take a whole lot of time.
Not sold on why you should create videos? Here are some stats that reveal just how powerful video is today:
- 4X as many consumers would prefer to watch a video about a product than to read about it. (Source)
- Year over year, the time people spend watching video on Instagram is up more than 80%, while the number of videos produced per day on the platform has continued to increase by 4X each year. (Source)
- Americans are expected to spend 81 minutes a day watching digital videos in 2019, up from 61 minutes in 2015. (Source)
- More than 1 in 3 people say that seeing the logo of a brand they like could get them to stop scrolling and watch a video. (Source)
Mastering video takes time, effort, and most of all practice! Remember to focus on video as a compliment to your overall brand and play with different types to see what resonates best with your audience. The more you practice, the sharper the skill!