Jason Hsiao is the co-founder and Chief Video Officer of Animoto, an award-winning online video maker that makes it easy for anyone to create professional-quality marketing videos, even if they have no technical skills and have never created a video before.
With the mission of empowering everyone to create powerful videos regardless of age or experience, Jason founded Animoto with his high school and Dartmouth College friends back in 2006. Animoto’s certified partnerships with Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and the Small Business Administration give it unique insight into the changing social media and business landscape -- which may be why more than 1-million businesses around the world are already using Animoto to create marketing videos.
Prior to founding Animoto, Jason was a producer for MTV Networks and Comedy Central.
How to Make a Video in Minutes Even If You Have Zero Experience
No doubt you’ve noticed that videos are everywhere, from Facebook lives, to IGTV, to YouTube, to short fun videos that pop up as we’re surfing our favorite social media app. People love videos!
Gone are the days where only the big businesses with even bigger budgets could create promotional videos and share them with the masses. Anyone with a smart phone and access to video editing software is capable of creating videos and using them in their marketing strategy.
Social media has also leveled the playing field when it comes to reach. We can literally connect and share our message with hundreds of thousands of people from all over the world.
So how can you leverage this power and weave videos into your marketing? Jason Hsiao of Animoto shares ninja video tips to get more visibility, leads and engagement with your videos, and how to easily get started even if you have zero video editing experience.
Why Videos Trump Other Forms of Online Content
There have been many interesting studies done in the last couple of years about the results you can achieve when you include videos in your marketing strategy. These tests tell us:
- People tend to remember six times the amount of information in video than from text
- Video gets shared 12 times more often than text
- 64% of people tend to make a purchase decision after watching a video
Using videos in your marketing leads to tangible results. Video is compelling, it's visual, it's moving, it connects to people emotionally.
But sometimes, with all the other constant changes taking place in the online marketing space, the idea of making videos can be daunting for small business owners.
We have to ask ourselves if this is really worth investing in. But what the statistics bear out is that video is only growing in importance. We can safely assume that no matter how things continue to evolve, the video is wave isn’t coming, it’s here.
Anyone and everyone (including you!) is capable of creating videos even if they don’t consider themselves tech savvy. Now is the time to jump on the video wave!
How to Use Videos to Amplify Your Current Marketing Strategy
For small business owners, we’re not referring to the big budget ad commercials you see on TV. We're talking about the short videos you see on social media.
Video should be used as a regular form of communication with your audience. We're not just talking about one-off videos here. This isn’t a one and done strategy where you simply put together an introductory video and call it good.
Just as you regularly email your followers or create posts on social media or blog content, videos should also be created and shared either as a stand alone piece of content or to enhance other forms of communication.
The Easiest Way to Get Started Making Videos
To get started with video, Jason suggests taking inventory of all the things -- blog content, products, services, testimonials, success stories, cast studies -- that already work in your business.
Maybe it's something on your website, the perfect image of or video clip of what you're offering or that perfect tagline or description. Think about the things you really rely on in your current marketing strategy. Think about how you can translate and amplify that in video form.
Jason shares an example of this from a company called Buffer. They not only make great social media tools, but they have great blog content that people love. To get into video they basically just took their three most popular blog posts and turned them into videos.
The videos were a recap of the whole blog post or a teaser. They would take one of the main points, explain it and then say, ‘If you want to learn more, click here.’ This was the best way for them because they knew that type of content already resonates with their audience.
Developing a Video Creation and Promotion System
If you’re already putting out content on a regular basis, whether that’s weekly or monthly, then that is the perfect time to consider how to boost your efforts with video.
For example, if you have something new coming out, whatever it may be, content, product or service, ask yourself how you can highlight, tease, or announce that with a video.
Think before, during, and after it goes live, how can you use video to really to amplify that piece content or material?
This should be incorporated into your workflow for each piece of content or marketing promotion.
Remember though, these videos are not long, involved productions. They’re simple and short videos to quickly share your message. People’s attention spans are short, so the shorter the better. Think 15-20 seconds with a few lines of text and images.
Jason knows that once you get started you’ll find it's actually not as time consuming or daunting as as you may think. The same images that you're putting into that blog post, or that newsletter, or that email, or those handful of bullet points can be used in a video.
It’s not actually a whole new type of marketing. You can easily leverage the work you're already doing. It's basically about layering on to what you already have. If you already have a cadence or process, you can supplement it as much or as little as you want to with video.
Supplement your regular content with a short video on something exciting coming up in your business, details about what you want them to do, where to go, how to follow up, etc.
Steps to using video with your existing content:
- To get started, take a look at what’s already working in your business and build on that with video.
- Begin to incorporate video creation into your existing content creation workflows. For example, if you have a new blog post or podcast coming out, create a preview teaser or a short summary video with the main points.
- Use the same images, headlines and bullet points from your original piece of content. It doesn’t have to be the full piece of content, just the highlights.
- Keep videos short and simple, only 15-20 seconds with images, text, music or voiceover. You don’t have to get in front of the camera unless you want to! Include a CTA (call to action) at the end.
- Create templates for your system so that this process can go even faster. From there it’s just a matter of swapping out images and text.
- Think about how you can incorporate video before, during or after your content goes live. You don’t have to do it all, start with what works best for you.
- Create a content calendar for your video creation and promotion strategy. To start, commit to just one short video per week and build up from there. Keep coming up with ideas.
What to Do If You Don’t Produce Regular Content
What if you don’t create regular blog posts or podcasts to use with video? If you’re a product or service based business there are still many things you can still do with video.
Beyond summaries of existing content, there are many other types of videos you can create. These include:
- An overview video about your company and what you offer
- How-to videos
- Product demos
- Quotes from clients or interview guests
- Inspirational or motivational quotes
- Event invites and recaps
- Video Newsletters
Whatever you choose to do, develop a system for regularly creating videos for your audience. They’ll come to expect it and look forward to it!
How to Make a Video People Will Actually Watch
To really get the most out of using videos in your marketing strategy, follow a few basic guidelines:
- Share videos early in the week (Mon-Thur) when people are more likely to be highly engaged.
- Keep them short, 30-60 seconds is plenty long.
- Make them watchable without audio. People often scroll through their social media in public places where they don’t have their sound on, so create captions at the bottom.
- Put the most interesting stuff first. It’s tempting to save the best for last but this isn’t a good tactic with social media videos. People want instant gratification.
- Square videos perform better. Square videos take up more of the screen on mobile devices, so you have a better chance of standing out.
How to Use Each Social Media Platform for Best Results
There are a few important things to keep in mind when sharing video on social media if you want to get the best ROI.
Why You Can’t Just Create One Video and Plaster It Everywhere
Although you can certainly can do this, it isn’t really the best strategy. You can't treat all the different social platforms out there the same. Each have different algorithms and different types of audiences and content, all things you must be cognizant of.
In 2019, Facebook is actually still the biggest despite some of the rough news they get here and there. YouTube is number two, and the fastest growing is Instagram at number three.
But people are using these platforms differently. You must do what performs best on Facebook for Facebook, and so on.
Here’s a basic breakdown of how to use each social media platform with video:
- Facebook - Facebook is primarily content about updates on other people’s lives, what's happening within your country, and the latest news and entertainment.
Use this to share your newest products and services or what's happening with your company.
- Youtube - YouTube in many ways is actually more of a search engine these days. People are not usually using it to connect with friends and family. Instead, they typically want to learn something.
If you have something to teach people this is the perfect platform. How-to, instructional and tutorial videos really excel on YouTube.
- Instagram - Instagram is still early days and people are still experimenting, but it’s very much where people are looking for inspiration. That's why visual content works particularly well on Instagram.
Anyone already working in some type of visual business where having great images or video clips is already part of how you market yourselves can do well. This includes fashion, travel, food, art, beauty or physical products and services.
No matter which social media platform you use, the purpose is to have a regular dialogue with your followers and keep abreast of what's happening and what's trending and what's changing. In other words, what’s going on their world? Use this as a chance to connect with people!
The Best Online Video Editor
We may be a bit biased over here, but Animoto is our absolute favorite online video creator and editor. They are the leading drag and drop online video maker that allows even the newbie to create professional videos in minutes.
And we’re aren’t the only ones who think so. Animoto is an award-winning company that has certified partnerships with YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin, Twitter and more.
Animoto - An Online Video Maker with Music & Images Built In
Animoto provides you access to hundreds of royalty free music tracks plus over a million stock images through their partnership with Getty Images. Literally everything you need to create stunning and compelling videos that increase sales, drive traffic and engage your audience.
- Creating images doesn’t have to be difficult or time consuming! Animoto makes it drag and drop easy.
- To get started, expand content (blog posts, podcasts, products or services) that are already doing well. Summarize or highlight these in a short video.
- If you don’t produce regular content, get creative with ways to highlight your products and services. Think how-to videos, product demos, FAQs, testimonials, interviews, etc.
- Develop a video content or product/service creation and promotion calendar alongside your already existing content production workflows. Weave it into the process.
- Aim for one 15-20 second video per week to get a feel for it and then build from there.
- Be cognizant of what social media platforms you’re sharing your video on. Consider what type of content performs best on each platform.
Now is the time to catch the wave of video marketing! Even if you have absolutely no experience, you can “do videos.”
Jason and his team have put together a page of helpful tips and advice just for my readers on video creation and marketing whether you’re just starting out or are ready to take your videos to the next level. Check it out at animoto.com/nicole.