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6 Tips for Filming Promotional Videos

Sharing your company's story may lead to more engaged and connected customers.



Every business has a story. Sharing that story helps companies engage and connect with customers, and creating videos about your business is a powerful way to do that.

“If you are passionate about something and love what you do, you need to share that with people because that passion is intoxicating,” says Matthew S. Dykes, cofounder of Naples-based Guerilla Media, which works with businesses to create and produce custom video content. “People get emotionally involved when they see and hear those stories. That’s why it’s so important for people to do, even if they don’t have the budget to produce a high-end video. I beg people to do it, because they’re leaving money on the table if they don’t.”

Think your business is too small to benefit from promotional videos? It’s not. And if the thought of getting on camera makes you nervous, that’s something you need to overcome in our social media- and online content-driven world.

Here are six tips to help you get filming from Dykes and company cofounder Hope Daley (who’s also his wife).

Start somewhere.

If working with a company like Guerilla Media isn’t an option at this point for your business, use your cell phone to shoot some videos. “For under $20 you can buy a lavalier mic for your cell phone so people can hear you clearly,” says Daley. “Just remember that first impressions are really important, so make every effort to do it well.”

Know what you want to say.

That can depend on your desired audience, but there are some standard things to keep in mind. “You need to know why you’re in business, why you sell this product or service, and why you’re doing this video,” says Dykes. “Then you can turn to, ‘Who am I trying to go after and how long can I grasp their attention?’”

Don’t let fear hold you back.

“We’ve been doing this a long time, and we try to put people at ease,” says Dykes. “If you mess up, just take a breath, smile and start over. People get to know you by seeing and hearing you and engaging with your stories, so you’ve got to get out of your own way and try.”

Create content tailored for various platforms.

Instagram devotees tend to have different preferences from, say, Facebook fans. “You don’t want to do one video and then share it across all platforms because you have different audiences on each platform,” says Dykes. “If a video’s 3 minutes long, let that live on YouTube and your website. For Instagram, do short little 15-second things.”

Don’t overestimate the cost of professional help.

Guerilla Media’s rates tend to fall within the industry standard of between $1,500 and $3,000 per produced minute of content. And for that fee, it does everything from concept to completion. “Talk to a professional, because chances are it’s affordable,” says Dykes. “And how much is your time worth? Do you want to spend 10 to 15 hours figuring out how to do something when you can go to a professional and pay them for 3 to 4 hours?”

Understand the benefits.

Linking your YouTube videos to your website, for example, can improve your search results. Well-done videos can explain your product or service in an easy-to-understand way, and many people these days are more apt to watch a video than read through content. Creating videos that are evergreen lets you keep them in circulation longer. “They can be out there 24 hours a day, 7 days a week like a salesperson who never gets sick or needs a vacation,” says Daley. “You can’t get that kind of outcome from an actual live person.” 

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6 Tips for Filming Promotional Videos

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