How to Get Started with Video Marketing on a Shoestring Budget

Brent Barnhart

May 12, 2019

Brent Barnhart

May 12, 2019

If you’ve put been putting off marketing your business via video, the clock is ticking.

Food for thought: approximately 80% of all web traffic will be made up of video content within the next few years.

Couple that with the fact that social video scores 12 times as many shares as images or text-based content and the writing is on the wall for businesses.

And why not? Video content allows you to show off whatever you’re selling in action. If nothing else, producing video is a prime way to entertain your target audience.

Despite all of this, many businesses are still on the fence about video marketing.

Because when we think “video,” we traditionally think of pricey equipment, tedious editing and the need to be some sort of creative genius.

The reality, though? The barrier to entry for video marketing is arguably lower than ever. The learning curve is lower, too.

To prove it, we’ve put together this quick crash course to understand exactly what you need (and don’t need) to produce video for your business.

 

“What Kind of Gear Do I Need?”

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Before you go out and buy a brand new DSLR and the best editing software money can buy, relax.

Gear and equipment are often seen as the gatekeepers for creating video content.

And yeah - if you want blockbuster production value and drones flying around everywhere, you’re going to have to pay for it.

But for the majority of businesses out there, you might be surprised at how little you need to produce engaging video content that’ll “wow” your audience.

 

Start with Your Smartphone

If you have a smartphone, you basically have a production studio in your pocket.

This is especially true if you’re an Apple addict. The iPhone X’s video quality is noted to give many DSLRs a run for their money. Features such as slow-motion capture and depth control can make even the simplest videos feel cinematic.

Seriously, what’s capable on an iPhone is truly insane.

If you’re not on the Apple bandwagon, you’re still in the game. Brands such as Huawei are being promoted like crazy by YouTubers right now for their phones’ video capabilities. Here’s an example of a vlog shot on the Huawei P30 Pro:

Even if you have a budget smartphone, chances are you’re capable of shooting in 720p (or higher) video that looks up to snuff after a bit of editing. The takeaway here is that you can at the very least experiment with your own personal device rather than splash a bunch of cash on a professional camera.

 

How to Create a DIY Vlogging Kit

Now, let’s talk about some other useful tools for video marketers.

Although these items aren’t necessarily must-haves, they are a cost-effective way to immediately make your videos look more professional without blowing out your budget.

We’ll assume you don’t have thousands of dollars to drop on one of Canon’s vlogging kits. Instead, let’s take some inspiration from their pre-packaged kit and DIY one ourselves.

Tripods and stabilizers. If you’re shooting with your smartphone, the Pocket Tripod can do the trick for ~$35 AUD. Budget brands such as Ulanzi also sell camera stabilizers which you can pick up for ~$25 AUD or less, like this one.

Microphones. You can find a decent smartphone microphone for cheap, although you might be surprised at your phone (or native webcam) if you’re filming from your desktop. If you’re going to be vlogging from home or recording narrations, Blue microphones (including the Blue Yeti) are regarded as the gold standard for USB mics.

Lighting. Although not a necessity per se, anyone filming frequently from home should consider investing in a proper lighting setup. Here’s an awesome breakdown by YouTuber Sheldon Evans on how to do it yourself on a budget:

 

“Okay, But What About B2B Video?”

Hey, good question!

If you’re primarily focused on B2B content such as tutorials or software how-tos, your requirements might slightly than your average B2C brand. For example, you need little more than a basic microphone and a free screen grabbing software to make a video like the one below.

If you want to include a facecam, look into picking up an external webcam (here are some options from Officeworks). Honestly, it’s probably worth investing in a high-quality microphone (such as a Yeti) if you’re going to frequently record narrations as part of your video content.

 

Apps for Creating and Editing Social Video

Editing is key to stepping up your video quality no matter what you might be producing.

Although some types of videos content might not need to be edited, an editing platform can give you productions some creative flair. Additionally, you might want to cut out pauses or produce something long-form that can’t be done in one take.

There are tons of options available to help you do just that. Below are some cost-effective examples depending on your goals.

 

InShot

InShot’s millions of downloads across Apple and Android illustrate just how widely used this mobile video editor is. Want to crop your video? Experiment with stylish filters? Make memes? You’re covered. Available for free with in-app purchases for full features, this promo video highlights what InShot is capable of.

 

Adobe Premiere Rush

Adobe Premiere is a wildly popular platform for editing professional video. Premiere Rush is a simpler, more straightforward video editor that works across mobile and desktop alike. The program is already part of the Adobe Creative Cloud if you’re paying for it: if not, you can also check out the free editing features of Adobe Spark.

 

Headliner

Although not a traditional video editor, Headliner is an invaluable tool for B2B video marketing. Key features include the ability to create text animations and transcribe blog posts into a social video. Headliner boasts a forever-free plan in addition to a paid plan for full features.

 

7 Types of Videos You Can Produce on the Cheap

Okay, let’s assume that you have your video gear and tools squared away.

Before you start shooting, you’re going to need some ideas.

To provide you with some much-needed inspiration, we’ve put together a list of engaging video content ideas that will cost you next to nothing to produce.

 

1. Time Lapse

Tools such as Instagram’s own Hyperlapse make it easy to create time-lapse footage, ideal for “before and after”-style content.

 

2. Boomerangs

Almost like .gifs, Boomerangs are incredibly simple but work well to catch the eyes of your followers as they’re scrolling through their Instagram feeds.

 

3. Slo-mo

Oddly satisfying, you can create slo-mo videos via Instagram Stories or with the help of pretty much any video editing app.

 

4. Behind-the-scenes

Taking your followers behind the scenes of your business is a welcome break from purely promotional content.

 

5. Product Tutorials and How-tos

Although such videos do require some editing, they’re a fantastic way to put products on display in a real-world setting.

And here’s a B2B example to show how such videos can target keywords, too.

 

6. Event Hype

Attending a conference? Video is awesome for promoting events of all shapes and sizes.

 

7. Q&As and Interviews

Whether it’s an industry influencer or just you and your mates, Q&As can be surprisingly entertaining and likewise teach your audience a thing or two in the process.

And with that, we wrap up our guide to video marketing on a budget!

 

How is Your Business Taking Advantage of Video?

Even if you’re skint, you can create video content.

At this point, marketers don’t have many excuses left as to why they’re not on board with video.

Given the free and cost-effective methods to shoot, edit and publish video content, there are options available for brands of just about any size or budget. With the help of our guide, hopefully you’re ready to get in the director’s chair sooner rather than later.

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