How To Incorporate Video Into Your Social Media Strategies On A Limited Budget

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This year, it’s all about video. As the mini-video-taking Vine app recently hit the top of the charts for free apps in the U.S., everyone seems to record their own videos and post them online.

Why? Because people are watching it!

Andy Warhol once said: “I don’t read, I just look at pictures”. That’s what we all do today.

Did you know that YouTube has around 140 views for every person on earth? [tweet this] It’s more than 1 trillion views in total. (Can you envision the number 1 trillion? I can’t. So let’s just stick to that it’s A LOT.)

What all this comes down to, is that if you connect to and start to post content on YouTube or any other video sharing site, you’ve got a huge potential to reach a lot of relevant people.

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The following guest article is written by Valerie Mellema, author and photographer as well as owner of the writing service company Words You Want. Valerie explains how even small businesses can incorporate video into their social media strategies within a limited budget and time frame. [tweet this]

Video = not necessarily a heavy expense

Traditionally, the cheapest ways to get involved in advertising and marketing would start out with words only, then expand to include audio before jumping into video. Due to the extra talent and challenges that are faced in making a video, it can be cost prohibitive for some small businesses. But it doesn’t have to be in the Internet age, if you know what you’re doing. Here are some tips.

1. Be Consistent with Video Content

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You don’t have to crank out a video seminar every day, which would be a bad idea anyway, but you should be able to put forth a few minutes of video each day. [tweet this] You can even record in advance if you prefer.

Now that you can blog your video and embed it on Facebook or link to it from Twitter, there are a lot of ways to drive traffic to your videos. Often, a Twitter link with a mention of available video will get more clicks than a regular tweet that doesn’t mention the content, so make sure you market your content.

2.  Keep Your Videos Short

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Internet users have notoriously short attention spans, so don’t get too carried away. [tweet this] Consider five to six minutes an absolute maximum and try to aim for two to three minutes. If the content that you want to put in video will not fit in that amount of time, consider making it into a multi-part series.

3.  Consider Lighting and Background

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There is no quicker way to make your video look awful and your site unprofessional than to shoot a video off of your laptop webcam while sitting at your desk in poor lighting, with the glow of the screen illuminating your face. Try to find good lighting – the best without buying professional lighting would come from the natural sunlight. Make sure that it is on your face, not behind you, as this will make you appear backlit.

Also, try to frame a nice background. Make sure that no objects in the background appear to be growing out of your head (potted plants are a common offender), and try to keep the background neat and tidy. A bookshelf with some interesting books or knick-knacks can make a great background for a video blog. [tweet this]

4.  Look Professional (Or Appropriate)

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You should dress appropriately in your video, but this of course can vary based on the content. If you’re teaching people to surf, you don’t want to be wearing a business suit on the beach. [tweet this] On the other hand, if your video blog is about financial products, you probably want to be dressed up to at least a business casual standard.

Try to strike a balance somewhere between overly formal and a sloppy t-shirt. If you’re having trouble getting this right, check out the video blogs of others in your industry and see what they wear.

5.  Web Commercials on a Budget

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If you’re considering creating an ad campaign of YouTube videos for social media marketing, the budget can be a lot lower now than it might have been a few years ago. Hunt for good freelance talent and consider using stock video, which can save you quite a bit of money while still enabling you to use well-shot, high quality video.

Just remember to work within your constraints and keep your concepts simple enough to be carried out easily and affordably. [tweet this] If you have big ideas, you’re going to need a more expensive video editor and perhaps a higher quantity and quality of footage.

Social MediaValerie Mellema is an author, photographer and avid traveller living with her husband and son on beautiful Lake Fork in Texas. She is also the owner of Words You Want which offers SEO writing services as well as guest blogging packages, eBooks, press releases, blog writing and more. Visit the Words You Want blog for weekly specials. Tweet her @valeriemellema.

Photo credits:Scott Kinmartin via photopin, mashable.com, ccMr. T in DC via photopin cc, Ozyman via photopin cc, Davo_ via photopin cc, kino-eye via photopin cc, ukaszSie via photopin cc

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