ILLUSTRATION: MARK FISHER
My boss is pressuring me to shoot a commercial for use on our website and in our booth at trade shows. Unfortunately, he's not allocating the necessary funds for production. Is there a hack to help me make a video that looks professionally produced?
Your boss is wise to be looking into video as a marketing tool. According to Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook Inc., we're at the beginning of a golden age of video. In fact, YouTube is currently reaching more 18- to 49-year-olds than any cable television network in the United States. And research from eMarketer Inc. indicates that 2017 will mark the first year in which more money will be spent on digital advertising (approximately $77.4 billion) than on TV ads.
Having said that, it's also wise to push back if you lack the skills to produce a video that will put your brand in a positive light. Thankfully, however, there are tools to help you.
YouTubeDirector is a suite of easy-to-use tools specifically designed for small businesses looking to make quick marketing videos using their smartphones. The suite's core product is a downloadable app featuring commonly used templates for video ads, which you can quickly populate with your own video content. The templates also include prepackaged music that can be used to further polish and elevate the production.
Moreover, for businesses willing to spend at least $150 to advertise on YouTube, the video Goliath will send a local video producer right to your door to put together your video free of charge. For businesses that go this route, the entire video-creation process takes less than a day.
If, however, you choose to go it alone, you're going to need everything from background music to B-roll footage. And based on your nonexistent budget, you're going to need to acquire those things for free. For no-cost video clips and motion graphics, check out Pixabay (www.pixabay.com) or Videvo (www.videvo.net), and try www.freestockmusic.com for background music to add a little professionalism to your project.
Just remember that there's a learning curve to everything, and video production and editing are no different. So if you opt for the DIY approach, be sure to allocate plenty of time for trial-and-error learning.
— Joe Dysart, president, Dysart News Features, New York