3 affordable types of videos to boost your marketing

Carve out some space in your budget for livestreams, interview pieces and helpful how-tos.

Want to cut through the messaging clutter and reach potential customers? Use video.

In a recent survey, 85 percent of consumers said they’d like to see even more brand-centric videos.

Video content can:

  • Make your business more visible in social media feeds
  • Boost conversions and sales
  • Improve your company’s search engine rankings

Even with limited resources, you can create sleek videos to make your marketing soar. Let’s examine three types of videos that your audience will love:

1. Livestreams

Livestream videos create a sense of community by welcoming your fans to experience an event in real time. They are typically low-cost and require minimal planning. It’s as simple as pushing the record button.

Here are three brands using livestream video to connect and engage with their audiences:

  • Women’s apparel company Oiselle takes viewers behind the scenes at road races.
  • Steve Roller of “The Freelance Manifesto” organizes weekly coffee chats.
  • Mike Stelzner of Social Media Examiner discusses breaking industry news, such as Facebook’s recent algorithm changes.

Livestream events

Oiselle uses Instagram to livestream local races and highlight how its employees gather to cheer for the runners.

These unplanned, unedited videos boost camaraderie by enabling fellow runners and Oiselle customers to watch a race together.

Host live chat sessions

These can help you build rapport with your audience.

Steve Roller, author of ” The Freelancer Manifesto ,” has a Facebook group called “Copywriter Cafe” that’s become a popular hangout for professional writers. Roller uses Facebook Live to host a weekly “Cafe Chat” for members of the group.

Steve Roller video chat

He starts his live session by sitting down with a cup of coffee. He then briefly discusses the week’s topic before opening the chat to group discussion. Participants join in to say hello, share tips and ask questions about the topic.

Copywriter Cafe’s weekly chat builds community and loyalty. It also requires little production, expense or preparation on Roller’s part—he just sits down and starts talking as though the entire group is at the same table.

Stream short announcements, updates or news

In January, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg made a public announcement about changes to the Facebook News Feed. This was big news for small businesses and marketers who rely on Facebook for social media reach.

Within the hour, Michael Stelzner of Social Media Examiner was broadcasting live on Facebook.

Social Media Examiner live stream

He clearly explained and reviewed the Zuckerberg announcement. One by one, fellow marketers joined the conversation.

Stelzner shared his opinions on how the changes might affect the marketing industry. He then opened the chat for discussion. By simply hitting “live record” and talking about the issue, Stelzner engaged thousands of marketers worldwide.

Stelzner’s live Facebook video was viewed 581,000 times and shared by more than 6,000 people.

2. Interviews

Interviewing people engages two audiences: yours and your interviewee’s.

Try posing the same question to several people individually. Then, turn those interviews into compelling content with a bit of light editing to create a composite.

For example, Code.org launched its business with an interview-style video, ” What Most Schools Don’t Teach .”

Code.org video screenshot

It features clips from interviews with well-known tech founders, celebrities and business leaders. They each share how they wrote their first line of code and what they created with it.

The result was a collection of stories that the internet couldn’t resist.

Sparta Global tweet

The video became No. 1 on YouTube in one day, and it continues to be shared on social media more than five years later.

How to get started with interview videos

  • Research your audience. Find out what types of people, information and entertainment interest them.
  • Plan your interviews. Create a list of open-ended questions that require descriptive answers.
  • Turn interviews into engaging videos. Do some light editing, and include only the most compelling parts.
  • Keep them short. Limit your videos to between 30 seconds and two minutes.
  • Try varying questions and topics to see what brings out fascinating stories and observations from your subjects.

3. How-tos

Businesses use how-to videos to:

  • Train customers how to use your product
  • Inform people on topics of interest
  • Teach a skill
  • Share a recipe for success

HubSpot uses short how-tos to explain an array of marketing topics. For example, staffer Brian Bagdasarian recorded a 30-second video that examines conversational marketing.

HubSpot video screenshot

Using Kool-Aid as a prop, Bagdasarian delivers a mini-tutorial in under a minute. He posted the video to LinkedIn, but it would also work on Facebook and Twitter.

Great how-to videos quickly and clearly share tips and lessons in a conversational manner.

A version of this post first appeared on The Manifest .

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