by Lou Bortone
These days, video is much more than talking heads. With so many tools and resources at your fingertips, there are dozens of ways to create great videos. (Here are 16 Types!)
So the question is not whether you should be making videos for your business (you should), but what is the right type of video best suited to your needs.
As with any marketing endeavor, you’ve got to know your goals for video before you decide. Is your video to promote a product or service? Is it to gain visibility and credibility in your niche? Or perhaps the video is a product in and of itself – like a video webinar, video series or video lessons.
Once you’ve determined your business objectives, then you can decide whether to produce an on-camera or off camera video. Here’s a brief comparison to help you select the appropriate option for your specific needs:
On camera (as in you on camera) videos are the traditional, tried and true “talking head” videos with one or more people on screen. But you can go beyond the typical video and use on camera videos for:
- Video Interviews – Which you can do for free on Google Hangout
- “Welcome” videos to welcome visitors to your home page
- “About Me” videos to share your background and experience on your “About” page
- Video testimonials featuring clients or colleagues singing your praises
- Video tips series – Which you can use to build trust and enhance your expert status
Off-camera videos, as the name implies, are any videos where you don’t appear on camera. These include screencasts, video PowerPoint presentations, animated videos, photo montage videos or any combination of the above. The best thing about off-camera videos is that you don’t have to be on camera if you’re having a bad hair day! Some off-camera options include:
- Animoto – Where you can create quick and easy montage videos
- Stupeflix – Similar to Animoto, but with more options and fewer restrictions for the free version
- PowToon.com – Which turns everyday business owners into expert animators
- Videoscribe (Sparkol.com) – The popular “sketch” video creation site
- Camtasia screencasts – Perfect for demos or capturing anything on your computer screen
It’s great to have so many options but, again, it all comes back to strategy! Generally speaking, on-camera videos are best for personal videos where you want to make a connection, establish trust and credibility, or present your message in a more personal and familiar way.
A home page welcome video is a good example. Since this is a “first impression” video on your website, it’s important that you’re front and center as the face and voice of your company. When you’re looking to build a relationship or start a conversation with your audience, then on-camera videos are the way to go.
On the flip side, if you need to teach or demonstrate a concept, off-camera videos or screen captures may be more appropriate. Videos using Camtasia or PowerPoint are great for explaining or communicating information – so it’s not surprising that they’re often used as information products.
And, if you’re looking for a more unique and creative approach to video, off-camera methods such as photo montages or animation may fit the bill. Videoscribe’s “sketch” videos have become hugely popular, as have the “cut-out” animation videos from CommonCraft. If you’re looking for the fastest path to creating a professional-looking video, photo/video creation sites like Stupeflix and One True Media make it drag and drop simple to crank out a slick production.
Once you try a few different styles, you may gravitate towards a particular method. Some folks dread the thought of being on camera, while others welcome the opportunity. The key is to test and explore the wide array of options and find what’s right for you.
What’s your favorite type of video? Click here to send me a tweet or let me know in the comments below!
This article was originally published on The Future of Ink and is reprinted here in its entirety for our Magnolia Media Network readers.