So what's the craic with video?

If you're not already creating video content to showcase your products and services in NI or at least thinking about it... NOW is the time to get started. 

It's a tricky subject, particularly in Northern Ireland. Why? It's such a small country, everyone knows everyone and there's a stigma or taboo around taking photos never mind doing videos. Unfortunately, (or fortunately) small businesses in NI are going to have to bite the bullet with this one and get comfortably in front of the camera. The best way to market your products or services in 2016 is for you or your staff to create a short entertaining video and market it on social media or e-marketing.

Don't believe us? According to Cisco: "By 2017, video will account for 69% of all consumer internet traffic". Nielson, one of the greatest aggregators of internet stats suggests "64% of marketers expect video to dominate their strategies in the near future." and finally: Unbounce reports that "including video on a landing page can increase conversion by 80%".

So, now your're convinced. How do you get started? Do I try it myself? Do a hire a video team? What should my video consist of? Where and how do I market my video?

The important thing is not how you start but simply getting started. Your first video doesnt have to be perfect. You'll learn a lot about the process and the time involved in just doing it. Here's some general tips for starting a successful video content strategy...

1. Just do it! It doesn't matter how, it doesn't matter what - just make a video and upload it to YouTube. The feeling of success and freedom you'll gain from knowing you can do it once will help drive you to greater and better things.

2. Review. Step into the shoes of your customer or client. How did your first video look? Did it look honest, professional? How was the lighting? The sound? Do you need some editing? Music? Or graphics?

3. Now create your second video. Taking into account what you've learned from the first. Perhaps improve the image quality by sitting in a well lit position. Place the camera in a fixed position reducing shake. Drowned out background noise by shooting early in the morning with all windows closed. Maybe you'll try a simple editing tool like movie-maker and add your logo or some music. Now upload video number 2 to YouTube and again, watch this from your customers point of view.

4. Decision time. At this point your now either; 1. Confident you can create your own video content or 2. Scared as hell because your video looks daft. If the answer is 2. You should contact a professional web video team like Beacon13 straight away and be glad that you now have some understanding of the process. If the answer is 1. Congratulations! Start improving your videos with each iteration.

5. Marketing your video. Now you've got some video content (either produced by you or a professional) and you want your customers or clients to see it. You can market your video in many ways and we'd recommend all of the above. (or below). a) Create a YouTube advert, localised to Northern Ireland and to your exact target market. b) Share your video on social media with a Facebook post, a tweet (linking in some relevant hashtags or anchors.) c) Add the video to your own website and d) Create a bulk email to customers and clients showcasing your wonderful work.

* Make sure your video has a link to your website! Or at least a "Call to action" where users can buy your product or service or at least start the process.


Can I hire my local wedding video man to create the video?

Mmmm, a tricky one. Will he know a thing or 2 about lighting? Creating a nice looking video? Yes. Will he know how to market your video on-line? Or how best to showcase your products or services to your custmers on YouTube or your website? - Not likely. In short, unless a traditional videographer can show you a portfolio of short, snappy, entertainment internet videos that they've created for their clients - perhaps you should let them stick to there day job of weddings and slow dances.

Are you really sure video is such a big of a deal?

Yes! We help 100s of businesses in NI to market themselves on-line. Video is fast becoming the best way to market and growing exponentially in popularity. Knowing how to do this well will be the difference between you and your competitors.

What's the key to creating the ultimate video?

2 Things. - Attention and Story. You've got a few milliseconds to capture someone's attention. So your video title and thumbnail should jump out of the screen at people. Secondly - once the video has started - it's all about story. Start, middle and end - with a nice feeling of "Awwwwww." Just after watching.

If we engage with a professional team - How much would it cost?
Depends on the team. At Beacon13 - we can shoot, edit and market a video for a business for around £750. Once agreed and scheduled - the process takes about 2 days.

I'm pretty savvy - what sort  of tools and software do the big boys use?
We use Adobe Premiere Pro for editing, We shoot on canon DSLRs with a range of lenses. A good wide angle lens makes things look really professional. We source music from SoundCloud and we create aerial footage with Phantom 4 drone.