Sandi's Social Media Content Secrets, Part 2: New Trends in Videos
Videos are wildly underutilized in the accounting industry, in part because there are so many false beliefs around them. And, yet, they are incredibly profitable when they are done right. So, first, let’s bust some myths about videos. Then, we’ll share lots of examples about what’s trending.
Myth #1: I have to be in the video (so I don’t want to do one). No, you don’t have to be in the video. The “talking head” is only one type of video, and usually it’s the most boring! So, keep reading, because if you’re shy, it’s not an excuse not to do videos.
Myth #2: It’s expensive to do a video. Nope. Not true either. Thanks to YouTube, it’s no longer necessary, in most cases, to hire an expensive video production team complete with professional lighting. All you need is a webcam, or even just your smartphone. It does help to have a good light source, but a window or a $100 light from your local camera store will do just fine.
Myth #3: It’s too time-consuming to create a video. There is a learning curve, and some accountants may want to outsource video production, but with labor options such as Fiverr.com, social media companies and apps, there are more affordable options than ever before.
Don’t let these myths hold you back. Creating videos is fun and profitable for your business, so let’s see how to get started.
A simple way to get started is by creating a slideshow and then putting it to music. You can use your own photos or video clips. You can create slides. Or, you can purchase stock photos or videos from companies that sell them. We’ve used Graphic Stock, Dreamstime and iStock at different times in our marketing division. We get our video clips from Free Video Stock and Shutterstock. Our music comes from AudioBlocks. Be careful with copyright licenses – don’t use music from your iTunes store unless you have a license to do so.
Although we use professional video software from Adobe Creative Cloud® Suite, including Premier and After Effects, you don’t have to buy expensive software to create videos. Animoto is one example of a cost-effective app that lets you create videos using photos, video clips, slides and collages.
If you do plan to shoot your own video, there are three important things to get right: the lighting, the sound and a steady shot. Buy one or two photographer’s studio lights (not strobes) from Amazon or your local photo shop. This will light your set and make your videos look much better. Also purchase a microphone, getting either a clip on that plugs into your camera or the Blue Yeti USB microphone that works with your computer sound and your webcam. Last, get a tripod, unless you’re going to always shoot with your webcam. I have an old, heavy Bogen from my studio days, but any brand will do fine.
Video Options and Examples
Here are several ideas to get your started.
1. Create a very short niche video by thinking of a specific type of client you want more of and benefits, or a description, of your service. This 20-second video consists of three very short video clips with text overlay and a slide at the end. There’s music in the background, but it’s not essential to understanding the video’s message. This video was specifically cut for Facebook’s news stream. It’s square format, which is preferred by Facebook, and it works fine if no one unmutes it while seeing it in their Facebook stream. Sharing, encouraging comments and promoting this video will give it the reach you need to be seen. You can also embed it on your website. Click here for an example.
2. Create a testimonial video. A testimonial video is easiest to put together. Simply grab your smartphone or video camera, plug in the microphone, do the best you can with the lighting (because it will be candid, not in-studio), and shoot. Post this on your website’s testimonials page, and share it in social media. Click here for an example.
3. Create a service-based marketing video. This video starts with an emotion: frustration about completing a tax return. After presenting the problem, show that you are the solution. Then, add tips on how to hire a tax preparer, which is the logical next step for the viewer. This video builds credibility, while adding value for the viewer. There are many components to this video: the graphics, slides and the voiceover. It’s designed for YouTube, and can be embedded on the company website. For this type of video, start by creating the voiceover script, and then select your visuals around the words in the script. Keep the length around one minute. Click here for an example.
4. Convert a webinar. Another super-easy way to create a video is by holding a webinar, recording it, converting it and uploading it to YouTube. Click here for an example of an hour-long webinar created using GoToWebinar software.
5. Promote an event. Instead of a voiceover, this video has music and conveys the fun of the event by showing a collage of still photographs and screenshots with text captions that list the benefits of attending. Always make sure the last slide has your contact information – it’s your call to action for the viewer. Click here for an example.
6. Create a how-to video. This type of video is great for marketing, as well as customer service. It should show the viewer how to do something they need to do. I recorded this one using GoToWebinar, and my staff added the annotations. It’s better to have many short videos showing one major action each, as opposed to one long one showing an entire sequence. Click here for an example.
7. Promote yourself. This video is my own “sizzle reel,” which is common for professional speakers to have. But, there’s no reason why you can’t make your own sizzle reel, summarizing your professional achievements that are relevant to your business. This video was done for YouTube with a mix of live voice and stock music.
These seven ways should give you plenty of ideas to generate your own video so that you can spread the word about your business, reach more people and help more small businesses thrive.
Editor’s note: This article is part of a multi-part series; check out Part One, “Out of the Mouths of Clients.”