Viral videos. It’s becoming a trend for brands looking to win in content marketing. This is not surprising, as over 79 percent of senior marketers say video’s role will increase in overall visual content strategies and gets three times the engagement of other content. While going viral should never be the objective of your video marketing campaign, the term itself has really garnered a lot of attention each year as brands like Dollar Shave Club create videos that reach thousands — sometimes millions — of people. But, to produce an effective video, and before you can focus on the outcome of the video, you need to ensure you’re using the right tools.

Walk Before You Run

After concepting and determining the “big idea” for your brand’s video, think about your next steps before you start recording: scriptwriting and storyboarding. This will give you, your team or your client a graphic representation of how your video will unfold, shot-by-shot. Storyboards can really smooth out the post-production process when it’s time for editing, as well. It also makes recording a snap, so you don’t waste precious budget on multiple video drafts. There are plenty of tools to use to help the process, such as FrameForge or Toon Boom Storyboard Pro.

Small Budget? No Problem

  • Don’t discount your iPhone! With the quality of iPhone cameras and editing apps, using your device is becoming a popular choice — even with big brands such as Bentley or Fabletics.
  • Look into cheap help. Contact a college or university and request the services of students or interns with video editing experience.
  • Try screencasting. This inexpensive alternative is a digital recording of computer screen output, also known as a video screen capture, often containing audio narration. Screencasting is commonly used for tutorials, video lessons or SlideShare presentations.
  • DIY video studio on your own. I once worked with a brand who held a video shoot in their office and used the office gym as their recording room. By choosing the location, they were able to set up a backdrop, bring in their own lighting, control their sound and leave their setup as-is until they were completed with the shoot.
  • Online platforms. See below!

Which Online Platform Fits Best for Your Video?

Twelve years ago, the first video was uploaded to YouTube, and since that day, the video industry as a whole has changed. There are a variety of different video platforms and depending on the type of video you’re trying to produce could impact the format you’re delivering it in. Let’s focus on online video platforms. Online video ads experience a higher click-through rate than any other digital ad formats. Marketers are shifting more and more of their advertising resources towards placing video ads programmatically.

  • YouTube is still the number one video platform and could overtake TV as America’s most watched platform. (It’s also the second biggest search engine next to Google! Wowza) However, because the service has been around for over 10 years, it’s much harder to build a new presence today. YouTube is still largely accessed via desktop, which means HD-sized frame rates and resolutions are a great option. A typical video length is more long-form, ranging from 1 – 4 minutes.
  • Instagram allows the user to post videos that last up to 60 seconds. This avenue lets you build a story and integrate real human connection with your followers. Try varying the perspectives of your shots to make it more enjoyable.
  • Facebook is another avenue for videos — and not just traditional video. It allows users to use video ads, but their videos autoplay in the news feed on both desktop and mobile. This means you have three seconds to convince the user to watch your video. You need to engage people immediately. A few things to note — videos in Facebook’s news feed are designed to be viewed with the sound off. You should spend extra time when creating Facebook videos to ensure they are visually stunning and can be understood without sound. Even consider posting a video with subtitles.

Results, Results, Results

Don’t just record a video and post it and expect to understand what video format and length works best for your brand. Instead, try using a video analytics tool, such as Wistia. This platform is a professional video hosting platform with analytics and video marketing tools. You can secure your videos, generate leads, improve your SEO and understand your data. Improving your video SEO is very important, and Wistia videos use JSON-LD to ensure your videos rank for pages on your website, not just YouTube. Win-win!

With all the different platforms, devices and resources to consider it’s important to remember to keep it all simple. Don’t overcomplicate production. Backgrounds and the way you deliver your information can be simple and consistent once you establish an overall strategy. And finally, don’t focus on the word “viral,” but if you’re lucky, your video just might circle widely around the web!