Video content is taking the marketing world by storm.
And that’s no surprise. People love watching videos.
Ever since the television found its footing and the iPhone put a quality camera in everyone’s hand, people use video to learn and entertain.
Although, back in “those days,” no one quite understood just how powerful video would become.
Not just in terms of entertaining us.
And not just for hanging with friends on a Friday night.
But for marketing.
In fact, last year, one source predicted that nearly 75% of all Internet traffic would go toward video in 2017.
That’s a massive portion of online activity that’s seeking out video.
Likely, though, you’re no different.
Think about your own experience. When you seek out entertainment, or you want to learn about something, where do you go?
I’m willing to bet that at least one of your go-to places is YouTube.
But people don’t just seek out video on the Internet more, but they also remember it longer.
80% of viewers recall a video ad they saw in the last month.
Why is that important?
Because you want people to remember your brand as best they can. That way, when they are ready to purchase, they’ll remember who you are and where to find you.
Evidently, video gives your prospects a better memory of your business.
Video also converts better than social media content, webinars, blogs, case studies, or infographics.
In other words, it’s the second most lucrative type of content.
Video is powerful and you, as a marketer, need to start leveraging it.
Apple is particularly savvy at using video content to spread their brand message, drive traffic, leads, and sales.
And Apple does it almost completely with micro-videos.
Fortunately, you can do the same thing.
First, though, let’s answer the obvious question.
What is micro-video content?
The exact definition of what micro-video content is differs from blog post to blog post.
Some argue that a micro-video is a video that is exclusively 6-15 seconds long. Others argue that micro-videos are simply a short-form version of video content.
All of those opinions have blurred the lines.
But that’s not such a bad thing. Every marketer has a different audience and should create content that caters to that audience specifically.
You shouldn’t have to bend to some ambiguous second-standard of how long a piece of micro-video content should be.
So, for my own definition, I hope you’ll accept this: Micro-video content is shorter-than-normal video content created for the purpose of retaining attention and catering to the increasingly short attention spans of today’s consumers.
Will that suffice?
Yes. I think it will.
And if it doesn’t suffice for your business, feel free to create your own definition with a similar idea.
Whatever you decide, the truth is the same. The longer a video lasts, the more people that stop watching.
That graph illustrates one of the major benefits of micro-video content.
Since people watch the entire video (rather than bailing out halfway through), they engage with your business, understand your message, and look forward to future content.
Basically, you build relationships with consumers that are actually worth having.
Lots of businesses create video content that is painfully long and painfully boring. Micro-video content looks to combat that tendency.
And Apple isn’t letting up.
Here’s one example of a micro-video they created that introduces the face recognition feature on their new iPhone X.
And here’s one more introducing an iPhone X feature that allows users to “animoji” themselves.
With content like that, there’s no reason for consumers to look away.
We’ve all started watching a video, only to quit after realizing that the video was 15 minutes long and we didn’t have the time to finish it.
For that reason, in most cases, shorter is better.
Micro-video content is the epitome of short, effective, lead-, traffic-, and sales-generating video content.
But how can you start making your own micro videos just like Apple?
Here are the six steps to make it easy.
Step #1: Determine your goal
Without a goal to guide your video content creation, you will aimlessly record anything interesting and hope it makes sense.
So yes. You definitely need a goal before creating your micro-videos.
And I’m not talking about a goal like, “I want to create three videos this year” or “I want the video to look nice.”
No. I’m talking about the goal of the micro-video you’re creating.
Take each video one at a time. While you want to create content like Apple, you probably don’t have the bandwidth or budget that Apple does.
And that means you need to create each video one at a time, ensuring that the quality holds up to the necessary standards.
The best way to make sure that happens is by understanding the goal of your video.
For inspiration, here are the top content marketing goals for B2C organizations. See if any of these resonate with you.
And here’s B2B in the same light for those of you with clients instead of customers.
Each video you create should have a semi-unique goal associated with it.
One video might be to build brand awareness while another tries to drive traffic.
One will try to generate leads and another, sales.
Make sure you understand the goal of your video before you start creating it.
Additionally, when setting your goals, make them SMART: Specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound.
This is a critical process in the video content-creation process.
This animated video from Apple about how their business is environmentally friendly…
Has a far different goal than this video about how the iPhone X unlocks in the dark.
To create different videos that are equally effective, you must understand the why behind each video.
Why are you creating it? What do you want it to illustrate? And, above all else, how do you want it to benefit your marketing efforts? Traffic, leads, or sales?
Step #2: Choose your video style
While the Internet has tons of video content from new businesses and old businesses alike, it also has loads of different types of video.
There’s the gif, the vine, the animated video, and lots of other various styles.
Before you create your own video, you need to understand what kind of micro-video you want to create.
The type you choose should naturally flow from the goal of the video.
If the goal of the video, for instance, is to build brand awareness through humor, then an animated video might do the trick.
If you want to elicit an emotional response, then real footage might be far better.
Of course, your budget and bandwidth will also help determine what type of video you create.
You can, after all, only create what you have the time and money to create. For less time and money, you might want to consider creating a simple gif.
Something like this, for example.
For companies with greater budgets, you might want to consider creating an animated video like this.
Naturally, though, doing so will take more time and money.
Or, you might want to consider creating a video with real footage that introduces a new and upcoming product, like Apple does for their MacBook Pro.
Whatever you decide, make sure that form fits function.
You don’t want to create a funny video on a serious topic, and you don’t want to create a serious video for a funny topic.
The style of video you choose is just as important as the goal of the video.
And the two should naturally flow together.
Step #3: Write the video script
In the actual process of creating the video, the first thing you should do is write the script.
Many video creators have made the mistake of creating a video before writing a script, only to find that they can’t write a great script to match the already-created video.
Script comes first. Video comes second.
Of course, you might not have a script for your video.
On a lot of Apple’s videos, they just play background music and show compelling images.
Maybe that will work for you as well.
But many of you will want to create at least a few words to go along with the video, whether that be someone talking or simple overlay text.
Helpful micro-video content like this resource often requires a well-thought-out script.
As you can see, Apple quickly tells you how to do something. They add a bit of humor, and, above all, they make it quick.
They don’t mozy, and they definitely don’t make you wait.
Their script is quick and punchy, allowing the video to be the same.
There are three essential parts to any great video script.
- Hook the viewer with humor, a compelling stat, or some other intriguing piece of information.
- Give the bulk of the information that you want to give (this could be for entertainment purposes or helpful purposes).
- Have some sort of CTA (this is optional).
The CTA is optional because sometimes you simply want to increase brand awareness. You don’t necessarily want the audience to do anything.
You just want them to know about your business.
And for many videos, that’s okay.
That’s exactly what Apple does with this video where they show you how they recycle iPhone parts.
They don’t use a CTA. They simply tell you about their recycling process to give consumers a healthy image of their brand.
Smart move, Apple. Smart move.
Sometimes, though, you will want to include a CTA in your script.
This, after all, will help you generate more traffic, leads, and sales.
To determine which CTA to use, ask yourself these questions.
- What is your goal for the video?
- What do viewers need to do to help you meet that goal?
- How can you create a CTA that entices them to take that action?
Once you finish and revise your script, with or without a CTA, you can move on to step four.
Step #4: Select your recording tools
Fortunately, in today’s world, there are lots of inexpensive devices you can use to record your video.
If you don’t have a smartphone, you can simply buy a reasonably-priced video camera off of Amazon.
Otherwise, I recommend just using your iPhone to do the dirty work.
The iPhone has quite a remarkable camera and, with the right lighting, you can capture some seriously-compelling content.
The more important part of the video production is the audio, if you’re going to use any.
While the iPhone camera is remarkable, the iPhone microphone isn’t quite as remarkable.
You’ll want to spend a little extra money on purchasing a quality microphone that can connect to your smartphone easily.
Consider the Audio-Technica AT875R:
Or the Blue Microphones Yeti USB:
Either of those will help you record fantastic audio for your micro-video content.
Don’t move forward until you’ve decided on recording options for your video. It’s imperative that you decide which camera and microphone you’ll use to create the best effect and meet the necessary standards.
Step #5: Select your editing tools
Once you’ve written your script and recorded your video, you’ll have to edit it.
Unless, of course, it’s perfect after the first time. And it won’t be.
It never is.
Fortunately, there are a plethora of video and audio-editing tools in the online world.
The first is Animoto.
With this user-friendly software, you can upload and easily edit your videos. The pricing plans are relatively cheap and should be able to cater to all different levels of expertise.
Also, consider WeVideo to do video editing.
If you don’t want to create outright videos, but choose gifs instead, you can use Giphy to create gifs for free.
And keep in mind that many people on social media watch videos without the noise on.
They are viewing it while at work or in the bathroom or at home, and noise is often not a welcome disturbance.
This means that subtitles on your videos are more important than ever.
You can use Rev to automatically add subtitles to your video content for $7.50 per minute.
Fortunately, that cost won’t soar very high since you’re only creating micro-video content.
Now that you’ve edited your video, there’s only one final step to gaining traffic, leads, and sales like Apple does.
Step #6: Find the best place to promote your micro-video
Content without promotion is like peanut butter without jelly, coffee without creamer, or ham without jam.
Okay. That last one didn’t make sense.
But you get the point.
If you create great micro-video content, you’re doing yourself a massive disservice if you don’t take time to promote that content to your prospects and customers.
But you already know that.
What you might not know, though, is where you should promote your video content.
That is why I’m going to recommend three different places.
With those three you should have some good promotional footing for your marketing efforts.
YouTube is sort of the king of video, and you’d be missing out to not post your micro-video content on the lucrative platform.
And lastly, Instagram is a notoriously visual platform, making it a great place for video content.
It has over 500 million active users, making it the second most-used social media platform.
Use YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram to promote your micro-video content organically and with advertisements, and you’ll quickly gain traffic, leads, and sales like never before.
Too good to be true?
Well, it’s not.
You now know how successful video content can be. You fully understand how it can gain you traffic, leads, and sales.
But you also understand the power of micro-video content on the modern-day person’s short attention span.
The longer a video lasts, the more people who stop watching it.
Which is why Apple is investing $1 billion next year in micro-video content creation.
If you want to join them, then follow these six steps.
- Determine your goal
- Choose your video type
- Write the script
- Select your recording tools
- Select your editing tools
- Promote on Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram
Then, and only then, will you reach consumers with video content like you’ve always wanted to, encouraging them to buy, buy, and buy again.
How do you use micro-video content to generate traffic, leads, and sales?