Video is everywhere and whether you prefer to stream YouTube shows, flick through Facebook or get your fix in 10 second Snapchats, chances are you’ve already engaged with video content today.
In fact, more than 500 million people watch Facebook videos every day. And that’s not just funny cat videos. If your business is not already creating video content, you are likely missing out on valuable opportunities to connect with customers, grow your audience and build your brand.
One third of the time that people spend online is now spent watching videos. And by 2021, 13% of internet traffic will consist not just of video content, but of Live videos. Video is no longer a ‘nice to have’ – it’s a marketing necessity. That’s why it is critical for businesses to start incorporating video into their marketing mix sooner rather than later.
I can hear you saying now, ‘But I don’t have the time or budget to create branded videos!’ That may have been true in the early days, but with the number of tools now available, that is simply not the case.
Here are five simple tools that make creating more compelling visual and video content easier (and cheaper than ever) for small businesses.
- Facebook – If you’re looking to create videos for social media advertising, Facebook has built-in features to make it easier, even if you don’t have any video clips to share. Take a look through your existing photos or even use a tool like Canva to create a series of slides. Then, hop into Facebook and create a Slideshow Ad, which will play your images in succession. You get that video look, without the hassle and it can be used on both your Facebook or Instagram page.
- Magisto – Maybe you have lots of photos or a few random clips from an industry event you recently attended, but have no idea what to do with them. Magisto is an app that instantly pulls together your photos and short clips into a social media video, right from your smartphone. Just select the images you want to use, choose one of their editing styles and music clips and voila! You have a movie, complete with editing, transitions and tunes.
- Ripl – Another way to make good use of existing photos is to add them to Ripl. With this app, you select the photos or clips you want to use and then add text. It will then suggest different ways the content can be animated and displayed, giving you lots of options to find a look that works for your brand. It’s so quick to use and makes a great choice for retailers who want to showcase special offers and promotions.
- Lumen5 – For brands who do not already have their own photos or video clips, there are still some great options to create branded videos. Lumen5 allows you to quickly turn blog posts or other written content into videos, using either animated icons or stock photos and videos to bring it to life. This desktop platform will grab your article content right from the hyperlink and start populating slides for you. You can also input copy on your own and edit each slide individually. All of the photos, videos and music clips are licensed for commercial use so you don’t have to worry about seeking permission in advance.
- RawShorts – An explainer video is a great tool for new startups and small businesses and can help get the word out about what you do. The only problem is that they are typically more complicated to create. RawShorts is an online platform that makes it easy to create an animated video that is tailored for your business. There are lots of templates to choose from and options to edit and change everything from the images to the movement and timing. RawShorts is a great option for any business working within a tight budget or deadline.
These apps and platforms are the perfect way to get your feet wet in the video content world. While businesses should look to create their own video footage and invest in professional video capabilities when needed, there is so much you can create with just a little effort. It’s all about using the latest tech to maximise your creativity and find new, engaging ways to stay in the forefront of your customers’ minds.
About the author
Lauren Trucksess is an independent content marketing and social media consultant. She founded Latitude Content as a way to help brands create content that drives stronger business results. Originally from the US, Lauren has worked in Australia’s best integrated communications and public relations agencies and has led content-driven campaigns for some of the world’s top B2B and B2C technology brands. Her previous contributions include Want to Drive More Engagement with your Blog Posts? You’ll need to fix five things, Lessons to take away from H&M’s PR disaster, Five ways small businesses can survive the ‘Apocalyptic’ changes coming to Facebook and Five reasons why businesses think case studies aren’t worth the time – and why they’re wrong.