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7 ways to make videos that don’t break your budget

In a recent conversation with some client-side B2B marketers, I asked them, “What is one resource you wish you had as part of your in-house team?” The common theme was having someone who could produce videos quickly, primarily to add to the content they are posting on social media channels.

There's a growing demand for video content because B2B marketers are getting results. They’re seeing videos generate increased organic search traffic, increased click-throughs, increased social shares and higher conversion rates.

It's clear that B2B companies are seeing a higher level of engagement with video content. But for some marketing teams, video is a 'nice to have', rather than a 'must have'. Why? Primarily, because video is seen as a high-cost, high-production investment.

Many B2B marketers would love to have a budget that allows them to create videos that look like they came out of a Hollywood studio. But that's not what today’s audiences always expect. Many of today’s top YouTube videos were filmed with only an iPhone.

So how do you know what type of video will work for your audience? If you already have video assets, review your metrics to see what has been successful. But also take the time to look at what your competitors, or other companies in your market, are doing. If they have a YouTube channel, you can easily see the number of views for each video. By reviewing the most viewed videos, you can determine what video format will work best. Perhaps high-quality, high-production videos are the way to go, but you may discover there are other video formats that are worth exploring for your B2B brand.

Here are the seven ways B2B marketers can create videos without breaking their budgets.

1. Q&A with internal subject matter experts

It may be easier to get an internal expert to answer a few questions on video than it is to have them write a blog post. Draft a few questions you know your customers typically ask, collaborate with an internal expert on the answers and then shoot a video in which they answer those questions in an interview format.

2. Tradeshow highlights

B2B companies spend a lot of money to exhibit at tradeshows. Get more mileage out of this expense by creating videos while at the show. Have someone from your sales team share what they are exhibiting. Or do a narrated tour of the booth, highlighting what is new. Many trade associations and media outlets offer video packages at major tradeshows. Let them come by and interview someone from your staff, or do a product demonstration at the show. 

3. Product demonstrations

If you have a complex product, video can tell that story better than most other media. By showing the inner workings of a product, either through close-ups or animation, you can provide your customers with the detailed information they need.

4. How it’s made

This takes the product demonstration a step further. Getting a peek behind the curtain to show the manufacturing process is especially appealing to an engineering audience. Doing a factory tour video can be a complex undertaking, but you can simplify it by highlighting key steps and interspersing still photos or animation within the video. Another route is to do a time-lapse video, showing the various stages of production or assembly. Time-lapse allows you to take a normally slow process and demonstrate it in an accelerated way.

5. Internal events

Today’s B2B buyers are looking for more than just the features and benefits of a product, especially when it's a large investment. They want to know more about the company itself. Consider capturing and sharing video of internal events, like team building activities or community service projects.

6. Highlight key employees

Videos that recognize tenure, show employee awards or emphasize the importance of a particular role will help humanize your company. Telling these types of stories on video can also help with employee recruitment and retention.

7. Make the most of the videos you have

Take long-form video and edit it down into several smaller videos. Shorter videos are ideal for use on social media. You can create a teaser for the full video, or even tell just part of the story. And preplanning your video projects will help maximize your budget. A good shot of a critical process, for instance, may ultimately be used in dozens of videos. And think about how to shoot multiple videos in one day to minimize set-up time. In short, make sure you have a game plan completely ironed out before hitting record. Investing more time in pre-production will pay off in the long run.