Video is a great way to add fresh, new content to your blog – and it’s less expensive than you think! Discover the 5 best ways to integrate video marketing into your blog without breaking the bank.
Create Video In-House
You don’t have to have a professional setup or expensive equipment to create great videos in-house. Buying a “prosumer” camera (an HD camera with professional features, but created for consumers), tripod, speakers and editing software may be big cost up front, but it can save you thousands of dollars in production costs, especially if you’re planning several video projects. The camera and essential equipment could cost between $700 and $1500, but considering many video production companies charge twice that much for one project, you’ll see a return on investment quickly. Search YouTube for video shooting and editing tutorials, and Google DIY lighting and prop setups – you’ll be creating professional looking videos at a fraction of the cost of outsourcing in no time.
Use Stock Video
If you don’t have the budget for video equipment but still want professional looking video to be a part of your blog, stock photography websites are a great option. Many websites, like iStock Photo and Shutterstock, offer cost-effective, professionally produced video footage. Depending on the company, you can pay up front for credits or go on a pay-per-image plan. Stock photography websites offer videos in a variety of lengths, from 30 seconds to three minutes, and can often be integrated into other video (webcam footage, for instance) to give a professional look to your in-house content.
Get user generated content
Don’t look past your customers and employees for great video content. You might have an employee who is an amateur video producer or a customer with great editing skills. Put out an open call for video submissions on a certain topic – a current event, a new product or a seasonal topic – and offer a reward for the best submissions (a gift certificate or discount, for instance.) Another easy technique for generating great video is to create testimonials from satisfied clients. Invite customers to talk about their experience in their own words and use a flip cam or digital camera video feature to record a quick video. No editing is necessary, and you’ll have an authentic, original video in no time.
Use a Webcam
A webcam can be a powerful resource, especially for companies who want to increase transparency or connect in a new way with their customers. Many computers and laptops come equipped with webcams, but if yours doesn’t have one, they are available for less than $50 and connect easily through USB. Use YouTube to record directly to the website (and embed in your blog or website.) Webcams make it extremely easy to record regular content. Use webcams to record a weekly company update, to explain new features or products, to announce a product launch or to let you talk one-on-one to your audience about whatever is on your mind. Videos can often be easier to record than writing a blog!
Use Public Domain or Creative Commons
There are thousands of videos and music available in the public domain or through Creative Commons (creativecommons.org) that you can use with other content (or on its own) to affordably add video to your blog.
About the author: When Steven Chalmers isn’t providing excellent coverage of the technology industry, you can find him reviewing teleconferencing services from Intercall. He is also training for his first marathon as well as in the process of writing his autobiography.