It is no secret that visual content – especially video – is the most effective means of advertising in today’s digital landscape. In fact, a recent study by Skyword found that individuals who watch a product video are 64-85% more likely to make a purchase. In addition, video marketing results in increased engagement, better visibility and higher retention rates. And, according to HubSpot, 78% of all internet users watch online videos at least once a week, and over half watch online videos every day.
Video marketing is an effective medium to reach your client families in meaningful and memorable ways – but unless you plan carefully, creating quality content can be expensive.
If you want to produce professional marketing videos, you are going to need to spend a little bit of money. But that doesn’t mean you can’t be selective about where you place those dollars. Here are a few suggestions for getting started without breaking the bank.
The most important investment in your funeral home marketing videos is your equipment. The better the camera, lighting and sound, the more professional your final videos will look.
If your firm offers in-house video recordings for memorial services, you may already have some high-quality equipment that will work well for marketing videos. If not, you may want to consider investing in some additional equipment. Homesteaders’ Senior Media Production Specialist Jim Carson recommends spending money first on a camera, then focusing any additional budget on lighting and sound equipment:
“Keep in mind that no matter what video camera you purchase, the camera resolution is going to match the final video. For example, if your camera shoots in 1080p (which is what I would recommend), your final video will also be in 1080p. More than anything else, the quality of your camera dictates the quality of your final video. Because of that, it’s important to do some homework and investigate the most cost-effective, high-quality camera to meet your needs.”
The next consideration is lighting. For most of your lighting needs, you can position your video subjects in natural light or a well-lit interior space and achieve a sufficient quality. If you find that your shooting location doesn’t have enough light to produce professional-level videos, you might want to consider spending some additional money on video lights.
“Lighting comes in many shapes and sizes, from a small LED light that mounts directly on your video camera to professional LED studio lights (which can get costly). The smaller LED light can come in handy if you don’t have studio space or need to pack lightly for on-location shooting.”
At Homesteaders, we do a lot of video shoots on location. Instead of traveling with our bulky studio lights, we look for spaces with good natural light and attach a small, inexpensive LED light to the camera. The initial investment on the attachable LED light was minimal, but it has made a significant difference in the quality of our final videos.
The final thing you need to consider is the quality of the sound. For the most part, you can control any unnecessary ambient noise by carefully considering where you shoot your videos. If you are indoors, pick a quiet room away from foot traffic, phone calls or hallway conversations. If you’re outdoors, shoot somewhere far from busy roadways and crowds. Whenever possible, avoid filming outdoors on windy days.
Even if you carefully choose your location, you still may need to invest in some equipment to control the quality of sound. The easiest and simplest place to start is by purchasing microphones.
“Ask anyone who is talking on camera to use a microphone. The best approach is to purchase some small, clip-on microphones. You can control where they are placed to ensure maximum sound quality while avoiding distractions associated with larger, hand-held microphones.”
Once you feel comfortable with the quality of your equipment, you can shift your focus to video production software.
To produce professional-level funeral home marketing videos, you need to spend some time editing the raw footage. There are a surprising number of high-quality, inexpensive (or free) software options for editing videos. If you’re just getting started with video production, a free service is a good choice to get your feet wet and learn the basics of editing. Software you likely already have – like Windows Movie Maker or iMovie – are simple, streamlined services that can help you create quality video content without additional expense.
Once you’ve developed your skills and are ready to expand your capabilities, you might consider investing in software applications that include additional features and greater editing flexibility like Final Cut Pro or Adobe Premiere Elements.
There are a lot of ways to save money on marketing by investing strategically. In the next installment of this blog series, I’ll explain some additional ways you can save money when building and generating high-quality content for your funeral home marketing videos. Click here to read Part 2.