Video and Podcasting Made Easy: 5 Things to Avoid

Seth Spriggs

Content marketing isn’t all about words on a page. In reality, you have an infinite number of ways to engage your customers and this includes videos and podcasts. One of the reasons these content types are so engaging is because they’re highly interactive and provide a huge value to those who play them.

As a small business owner, videos and podcasts are a great way to show potential customers how much you know about your product, business and industry. They can also help you connect with your customers on a more personal level.

All of that said, you might be thinking, “This sounds expensive!” Producing videos and podcasts may seem expensive at first but always remember, it’s the Return On Investment (ROI) that matters most.

Here are a few things to watch out for that will help make your video or podcast more successful.

1. Long unexciting content

Creating valuable content is the most important part of developing podcast or video: it’s what gets people to keep coming back to your site and allows you to pitch to your audience once in a while.

Remember, just because your content is long doesn’t mean that your content is valuable. In many cases, people will leave or not even engage if they see that your content is really long. If you do have extended content, be sure to hook your audience with a compelling intro.

For videos, your piece should be no longer than five minutes, but shorter is better. A good example of valuable content is the series from Gary Vaynerchuk that gives simple tips on being an entrepreneur.

2. Forgetting your audience

Whenever you create a marketing piece, whether it’s an online ad or blog post, you always want to think about who is going to see or hear your content. You particularly want to get a sense of who your target audience is and what they want.

Think about questions like:

  • How old is your audience?
  • Where do they work?
  • What are their favourite activities?
  • When are they online?

Once you’ve taken a look at your audience and figured out what they want, you just need to deliver it to them.

3. Going in without a script

Now that you have a better idea of what your audience is looking for and how long your content should be, it’s time to start writing your script. A script will help you stay on track and help you remember everything you want to cover. So, no, you can’t just wing it; however, it’s okay to create a bulleted list of what you want to talk about.

If you are shooting a video, you’ll find that using a teleprompter will help you keep your eyes on the camera as you read your script. With a teleprompter you can also set the pace of how fast the script scrolls, so that you’ll maintain a relaxed conversational tone. You can use a really fancy teleprompter, but there are lots of great apps for your phone too.

4. Recoding in a noisy place

Creating a high-quality recording will make you stand out from your competition. There are a few small things you can do to achieve this. The first thing is to record in a space that makes sense. This usually means a place that has a low level of background noise. But, you also want to make sure it’s not too quite or, on the other end, too echo-y. Both of these things can make your recoding sound weird.

Another thing to remember is to use a proper mic. There are lots of different mics that can be used for recordings. If you’re shooting a video, a lavalier mic would make sense. If you’re recording a podcast, you’ll want a decent dynamic microphone or you can find mics that can be powered using USB, which is perfect for recording on the road (just don’t do it while you’re actually on the road).

5. Poor lighting

In the movies you always hear, “lights, camera, action” and for good reason, lights can make you look great if done correctly. Dark videos make visitors work hard to see what’s going on in your videos and that’s not going to make your viewers happy.

You don’t need to go out and buy new lamps, but you do need to shoot your video in a brightly lit space. Just like sound, you don’t want to go too far in either direction: your location should be neither too dark nor too bright. You also want to make sure that your lighting covers areas all around you, so that way the lighting looks balanced in front of you and behind you. You can create some pretty interesting visual effects with lighting, but most marketing videos are best when lighting is simple.

Okay, now you have the tools to get out and create a video or podcast, so go out there and create. Once you’re done, be sure to come back here and learn how to promote your content across the web.

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