content marketing videos

Are you using the latest iPhone? The video technology they packed into this thing is nothing short of wonderful. But it still cannot touch what my Nikon D7000 DSLR + lighting, sound, and editing can do for your corporate videos.

And that is the divide.

I look at a lot of small and mid-sized business websites and see the video they’re posting – many shot on iPhones or much worse.

Are videos made with your iPhone good enough to be featured on your corporate website?

Obviously I have an opinion. My opinion is based on years of experience using video to get clients more leads and customers than their competitors. What I’ve learned is that some of your videos can, and should, be created in a low-cost, approachable way. But by no means should all your videos be created that way.

Few companies can afford all their videos to be heavily produced. At ion Leap, we recommend clients adopt a 3-tiered approach to corporate videos:

Tier 1 – amazingly wonderful video production

These are the videos you hire ion leap for. If you’re like many of my clients, you will need no more than two or three of these per year. They might be fully animated with wonderful music and voiceover. Or they might tell the story of your corporate ethos in a more filmic way – beautiful lit and shot footage of your products, or your customers, or a lifestyle your product/service represents.

These are the videos you look at on YouTube and envy but think your company can never do. But you can.

Can your iPhone do Tier-1? NO WAY. The iPhone has:

  • No animation
  • No ability for careful, creative editing
  • No long lens look
  • Terrible audio quality
  • No zooming or smooth pans or tilts

Tier 2 – less expensive content video production

We do a lot of lower-cost video for our clients. Often, we interview their thought leaders. These videos are always better if they’re lit correctly. Your iPhone cannot do that by itself. You must get artistic and filmic experts in the room. And you must invest in the lighting equipment.

Tier 2 videos are always better if accompanied by some music and animated graphics to explain the thought leaders’ ideas. This can be very affordable from websites like Pond5, SoundRangers, etc. But you need to be able to edit it correctly. Having music fade out under your thought leader as they talk adds production quality. Your iPhone can’t do it. iMovie can, but it’s not easy. At ion Leap, we use Adobe Premiere. For the really easy stuff, we might still use iMovie.

Another thing is critical in an interview setting is getting the audio quality high enough. For interviews, a proper lavalier (microphone) set costs minimum $1,000 for just one transmitter/receiver. The difference between using a lavalier and the built-in microphone on your iPhone is Mickey Mouse versus Ridley Scott.

Long lenses focus the viewer’s eyes on the subject by making the background become soft. Only the subject is in sharp focus. Long lenses add “production value” to the video. There is only 1 way to achieve a long-lens look. You must invest in the camera, lenses, lights, etc. Or hire ion Leap to film your Tier-2 videos.

By the way, if you’re doing interviews, getting your thought leaders comfortable is an art form.

Can your iPhone do Tier-2? Sorry, it has:

  • No simple way to mix music over your thought leader interviews
  • No long lens look
  • Terrible audio quality
  • No zooming or smooth pans or tilts


————————————————–This is the big divide ———————————————————-

Tier-3 – do-it-your-self video content marketing

I encourage many of our clients to do their Tier-3 videos themselves. We even help them set up the software and cameras to do it. DIY takes a certain amount of training to keep it from being terrible. For many of our clients, Camtasia is a great solution:

  • Thought leaders write their scripts and record themselves and their screen demos on Camtasia
  • They send us the footage via Dropbox
  • We put on an opening and closing animated title
  • We edit together any graphics or screen captures to help explain the story
  • We export it and load it to their YouTube channel

It’s easy on everyone and keeps a high volume of videos hitting your website as “lead bait” for your followers.

Can your iPhone do Tier-3? YES, all of it.

  • It is perfect for the filming
  • You can even load iMovie onto your iPhone and then do simple edits
  • With iMovie in your iPhone, you can export directly to your YouTube channel
  • The audio will be terrible, but who cares?
  • You won’t have any long lens capability, but who cares?
  • You can do software demos in Camtasia and cut away to flat graphics, etc.

Tier 3b – Google+ Hangouts

This is the number 1 easiest way to consistently pump out low quality, highly informative video for zero or near-zero cost. The ones you’ll see online are almost universally terrible quality. They don’t have to be. Talk to us. We’ll give you the clues to lighting and sound quality to make your Hangouts better than your competitors.

Can your iPhone do Tier-3b? YES, all of it.

  • You don’t need an iPhone. Just log into Google+, start a Hangout and talk into your computer’s camera.

Consistency matters in video content marketing

To optimize your 3-tiered approach, be consistent within each tier. All of your tier-1 videos should have a similar high quality level. All of your tier-3 videos should have a similar lower-quality level. Then, when you divide them up into playlists on your YouTube channel, your viewers will see the consistency within groupings. They will happily accept the quality level within each YouTube playlist.

Oh, darn! Engaging ideas. Can your iPhone do that?

I’ve looked all over my iPhone and in the App Store. There is no button or app that will come up with brilliant ideas for your content. Sorry.

  • Ideas make your video content marketing engaging, useful and “share-worthy”
  • Engaging ideas are what make you stand apart more than any video production technique
  • Inventive ideas are what help low budget content videos beat expensive marketing with no ideas

Engaging ideas are based on a creative company getting deep understanding of your business, your competitors, and your corporate ethos. After that, they must have the experience to stretch a low video content budget to make it look like a beautiful production.

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