You may have heard that YouTube is a great channel for marketing your local business. It is! It can be intimidating to get into YouTube if you haven’t done much video production before. The good news is you don't need a bunch of expensive, professional tools to make it on YouTube. Here are a few tips for how to create a YouTube video on a budget.
Your first step is to gather the right equipment. If you have a high-quality video camera and know how to use it, great. If not, don’t despair. That cell phone sitting in your pocket has a camera on it that is more than good enough to get the job done. If you don't have access to a good cell phone camera, borrow one from one of your employees. Even the kids’ phones these days have amazing video recording capabilities.
You'll also want some sort of tripod or stable place to rest your camera while you film. A tripod will create a stable shot that gives a professional feel. If your video includes dialogue or narration, it could be worth investing in a microphone. Finally, you'll need to think about lighting. No need to buy anything too professional for your first videos. Experiment with different lamps you already around your house or office. You can upgrade to a nicer setup later on if you start doing a lot of videos.
Shooting the video is the next step. The more time you take to plan our the video before you actually shoot, the better your chances of success. Write a script or at least an outline of the story you are telling. Be sure to think through a hook at the beginning and a clear call to action at the end of the video.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself as you plan your video.
Consider doing several takes of each shot. Even if you think you nailed it on the first take, it’s always good to have a backup take (or two, or three) just in case. It’s a lot harder and time consuming to go back and try to match the setup than to just take a few minutes and run through it a few more times just to be sure you’ve got some good footage you can work with.
Unless you use professional actors, you’re likely to come off as stiff and nervous. To avoid this, try doing an interview-style video where you answer questions to a person off camera and just pretend that you aren’t being filmed. Just talk to them like you normally would and you’ll come across as more natural than staring into the camera with the red record light blinking at you.
Editing is the final step in producing your video. Clean editing can make all the difference in the quality of your video. Don’t feel like you need to go crazy with special effects or motion graphics. Just keep it simple on your first videos. Trim it down to a length that tells your story as concisely as possible. Add some background music to improve pacing and drive emotion.
There are several free and low cost software tools you can use to edit your video. If you have an Apple Computer, you likely already have iMovie installed. That’s a great tool that is easy to use for beginners. Other great free video editing software includes Lightworks, Blender, and Shotcut. If you have a background in video editing, you might already be familiar with tools like Adobe Premiere or Final Cut Pro.
Once you have your video ready to go, upload it to YouTube and it’s time to start promoting it. You can push it out to your social media followers and email subscribers. If this thing takes off, you’ll grow a following of subscribers on YouTube who want to see all your new videos, but to start, you have to put a lot of effort into promoting your video or nobody will see it. You might also consider putting some money into a YouTube ad campaign. You can target specific users by demographics, interests, and location, so the right people are seeing your video.
As you venture into the ‘Tube, remember, you're not making the next Summer blockbuster movie here. You’re just trying to create engaging and relatable video content. The best way to learn is to just start doing it. Just like most things in life, your YouTube videos will only get better with practice.