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Video marketing in lockdown

The popularity of video among consumers continues to soar. But how do businesses continue putting out quality video content in the midst of a global pandemic? How do you make engaging videos when the country’s in lockdown, everyone’s social distancing, and most of the population is working from home? Comma Chameleon suggests three types of video that can be made remotely…

Video marketing statistics for 2020The era of video domination

Video dominates the internet these days. As the attention span of the average consumer has plummeted, so the popularity of quick-to-consume video content has rocketed. The more visual social platforms like TikTok have grown exponentially, and traditional types of long-form written and printed content continue to struggle. The modern consumer demands instant gratification. They don’t have the time to spare in their hectic lives to pore over tracts of text. They want to know what they need to know, and they want to absorb that information passively. It’s no surprise that video is leading the charge.

Research by tech giant Cisco reckons that, by 2022, 82% of all consumer web traffic will be online videos. That’s a pretty spectacular figure, when you consider just how many people are logging on every day. Even Facebook, traditionally a platform for images and longer-form written content, reckons that by the end of next year their users will be posting all video and little-to-no text. That’s mind-boggling, however you look at it.

And it certainly hammers home the idea that businesses – even small ones – need to up the ante and wholeheartedly embrace video as a marketing tactic. Many had started doing just that…

And then COVID-19 decided to come along and take a massive dump on everybody’s content calendars.

All in it together

The good news is, everybody’s in the same boat. Businesses of all shapes and sizes are facing the same quandaries when it comes to maintaining a strong presence of engaging video content. We’re all cooped up at home and agonising over the appropriateness of certain content. And everybody understands that we’re toiling under less-than-ideal conditions.

That does, however, mean they’re going to cut you some slack when it comes to your video content. They’re not going to expect polished editing and luxurious locations, because they know you’re doing it at home, on a laptop you share with the kids. They’re not even going to expect presenters or actors because… well… social distancing. Unless you’re filming with a wide lens, you’re not going to get two people comfortably in the same frame if they have to stand two metres apart.

So, what does that mean for your own video marketing efforts? It means it’s time to get creative and crack out the DIY, back-to-basic model. And remember: rough around the edges can often make it more endearing.

Proper naff. Even rough-around-the-edges videos will have a certain endearing quality.

Three types of video you can make in lockdown

Demos or tutorials

Everyone likes to learn something new, and the popularity of online tutorials has been building steadily to a crescendo over the past few years. Just think of all those make-up tutorials that are doing the rounds on Facebook. Or those gameplay vids on YouTube that are turning people into millionaires for sitting around in their pants all day, playing Call of Duty on their PlayStations.

Luckily for remote workers, a demo or tutorial is something that can be done almost anywhere, and at little to no cost (pants optional). The focal point of most of these videos is going to be a product or process, so the aesthetics of the setting really don’t matter too much. You certainly don’t need to worry about spending big bucks on studio lighting or expensive backgrounds.

If you work primarily on the computer and have some specialist software knowledge, sharing some hints or tips is going to be a massive winner. You could make a video whereby you record what’s happening on your screen, and talk the viewers through what you’re doing – explaining each step as you go. Try and think of the pain points your audience might have, then talk them through how to overcome them. Answer the questions you think they might have.

You really can’t go into too much detail. Your audience has come to you because you’re an expert who they can learn from – show them exactly why they’re right to think that.

If your business is product-based, you’ve got plenty of options. If you’ve got a certain product you want to showcase, make a video that shows it in action. If you know there are certain products you sell that users struggle with, film yourself using those products and talk your viewers through the proper way of handling it. Again, the background is virtually irrelevant as you’re going to be focussing your camera on the product. As long as you film somewhere relatively well lit and free from too much intrusive background noise, you’ll be golden: an engaging video, for little to no monetary output.

Explainers

An explainer is a great way to show off your expert knowledge. Unlike a tutorial or demo, an explainer focuses on explaining a complex topic or a new strategy. You don’t necessarily have to talk about a product or service you offer – an explainer is more about demonstrating your skills and expertise and positioning you as an expert in your field. Use your video to talk about the latest industry news, an upcoming trend, or a strategy or tactic that’s doing the rounds in your industry. Tell people what you think of it and why. Explain the theories and processes in a way that’s engaging and informative, and maybe even opens a conversation with your viewers.

Again, there’s no need for expensive sets and studio-grade lighting. You can film an explainer as a talking-head video with a casual background, or even with a whiteboard positioned behind you that contains relevant information. A simple, one-take piece to camera will do the trick, but if you have access to a graphic designer or are confident in knocking together some illustrations, you can add in some images and infographics in the editing phase, if you like. If you’ve got a graphic designer on your team, you might even consider making an animated explainer, or one that uses only graphic visuals, with a voiceover that does the explaining. Whatever helps you get your point across. And whatever you’re comfortable doing, obviously.

Expert Q and As

Everyone likes an expert. Even better, everyone likes an expert who can answer questions about their topic in a way that makes the information accessible. This type of video allows you to draft in an industry guru to answer questions posed either by you, a host, or the audience.

A pre-recorded video will obviously allow you greater control over what goes out, but if you’re feeling brave (and have a tried-and-trusted expert interviewee) a Facebook Live can be much more fun for the audience, allowing them to get involved in real-time.

An expert Q&A is a fantastic marketing tool, as not only will it demonstrate to your audience that you know what you’re doing and are fully inveigled in the upper echelons of your industry, it will also expose you to a whole new audience when your expert’s followers tune in to your channel to see what they have to say.

The way you film a Q&A depends on what you want to achieve. Your expert can film him or herself with a smartphone and send their footage to you, or you could set up and record a video call. This second option has the added benefit of allowing you to have more than one expert or influencer answering questions, depending on their fields of knowledge or stances on a given topic. Get two people with contrasting viewpoints and you could end up hosting an impassioned debate. Have fun with it. Get the audience involved and let them have fun with it, too.

Beware the subtitles!

So there you have it: three types of video content you can put out cheaply during the coronavirus lockdown. You don’t need expensive equipment. You don’t even need a subscription to expensive software, as most laptops will have a basic version of a video-editing app already installed – have a dig around your hard drive and see what you can find.

All you need to do is keep on doing what you do best, and letting your audience know why they need you in their life.

And if you’re going in for captions or subtitles, please get them proofread. We’ve all seen instances where a video goes viral because of the un-PC or erroneously-sweary captions, rather than the content of the video itself. Don’t be that person. Make sure your captions match your audio and drop us a message – we’ll make sure your video isn’t memorable for all the wrong reasons.

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About Comma Chameleon

Comma Chameleon is a Manchester-based team of copywriters, editors and proofreaders, with decades of experience. We work with clients throughout the UK to bring colour to content and clarity to messages, no matter the size, format or platform. We simply love words, whether they’re yours or ours.

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