15 Rules to Follow When Creating Your First Business Video

Video helps draw in customers and increases engagement, but can be overwhelming with details to keep in mind, especially when your business is first starting out in the medium. That’s why we asked members of the Young Entrepreneur Council this question:

What are the most important things to keep in mind when creating a business video for the first time? How can you make sure your company’s first video will convey the right message in a professional, engaging manner?

1. Be Intentional

Make sure you understand where video fits into your overall marketing strategy. How will it be tracked? How will it be measured? What is your target audience? If you want your video content to see results, you have to be intentional about the content you’re producing. Otherwise, you’ll have no clear way to track ROI or attribute leads to your video marketing. – Michael Mogill, Crisp Video Group

2. Make It Simple

The best video is often the simplest. What are you teaching? Who is your audience? Speak directly to that person and connect! Don’t film in front of messy or busy backgrounds, and be sure you look like the best version of yourself. Keep it simple, straightforward and to the point until you know what your audience wants. – Jen Brown, The Engaging Educator

3. Know Your Goals

What are the goals of your video project? Every client I speak with hears this question, whether it’s their first project or their 100th. Once you know your goals, you can reverse engineer the rest: timeline, budget, creative concept and all the production nuances. Speak with multiple production companies about your goals, then figure out which company best aligns with them. – Stanley Meytin, True Film Production

4. Stay on Brand

Make sure your content is appropriate for your brand. A lot of companies think they need to be funny, brash or professional, but random attention for a company isn’t good — it needs to be planned. Even though it’s not a CTA, all content should present your company in a way that appeals to your target audience, and not just for attention. – Artem Mashkov, DEVTRIBE INC

5. Use Professional Equipment and Editing

The shooting and editing of good video content isn’t something that can be dropped on an intern. Choose better equipment than a cell phone camera, and make sure that the editing is done by someone who has the experience to give it that professional shine. You can do this on a budget with your first sets of video content by having it done using short-term contracts. – Matt Doyle, Excel Builders

6. Have Great Audio

Make sure you have great audio. Invest in having someone help you set it up or run it for you. You can have an amazing looking video, but if no one knows what you’re saying, or the quality is so poor that it’s distracting, your video will be a waste. – Colbey Pfund, LFNT Distribution

7. Get to the Point Quickly

A strong opening is essential for video, especially mobile video. Those long title sequences are great when you have captive audiences, i.e., movie theaters, but branded videos need to cut to the chase much more quickly. – Sam Saxton, Paragon Stairs

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8. Be Meticulous With Every Detail

Most marketers assume it’s easy enough to pick up a camera and start filming. While that may work for personal social media accounts, brands need more polished videos to build a meaningful and engaged audience. Be selective with the talent you hire. Carefully choose every word in the script. Use proper lighting, recruit a director and rent appropriate equipment. Remember that every detail matters. – Firas Kittaneh, Amerisleep

9. Customize Your Video to Each Platform

Be sure your editor has the skills to scale the videos across YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and anywhere else your customers live. Shoot horizontal for YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram, but be able to scale the video vertically for Facebook and Instagram stories. Keep the level of quality high across each platform and customize the length, depending on how users behave on each platform. – Matt Wilson, Under30Experiences

10. Have a Clear Conversion Strategy

It’s all about how you plan to use the call to action in the video to convert your audience. I know many startups that go into a spiral, spending fortunes on video content and it doesn’t get them anywhere because they didn’t have a clear conversion strategy in the first place. I always start with understand my goals and how I want to use video to generate more traffic or opt-ins to a particular page. – Sweta Patel, Silicon Valley Startup Marketing

11. Repurpose Existing Content

If you already have a blog, you don’t need to reinvent the wheel for all of your videos. You can use a tool like Lumen5 to repurpose your blog posts into video format, with little work. This makes it easy to create one piece of content and use it in multiple mediums. – Jared Atchison, WPForms

12. Create Awareness and Transactional Content

An awareness video is putting yourself in your target audience’s shoes. You can do this by going on Quora and finding out what questions they have, then create content that answers their questions. Since they are searching for those questions, your video will appear. A transactional video walks the user step by step through a new integration, or shows them how to use a specific feature of your product. – Syed Balkhi, OptinMonster

13. Consider Animation and Voice-Over

As with any content you produce, it’s important to consider how it will impact the perception of your brand. Consumers are accustomed to broadcast quality when it comes to video content — something that’s not easy to achieve on a budget. Consider using animation and still images coupled with a voice-over. Professional results are easier to achieve using this format rather than live action. – Ismael Wrixen, FE International

14. Be Consistent With Your Output

Most companies, startups and Fortune 500 alike, are way behind when it comes to using video effectively with their business. They often make the mistake of thinking one expensive and “amazing” video will change their business, but in reality, consistency is the key to building trust over the long run with your audience. They should also be consistent in theme and the audience they’re helping. – Dan San, Meural

13. Have Fun With It

There is so much video content on the web, and you want to stand out. Get creative and find ways to have fun with the videos. I always love getting team members together, expressing what the goal of the video is, then brainstorming new ways to execute that. It helps the team members think in a different way and makes the process really enjoyable. – Adrien Schmidt, OpenBouquet

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