Is a DSLR suitable for making business videos?

Is a DSLR suitable for making business videos?Digital SLR cameras are popular with photographers and filmmakers alike. Their affordability, high quality picture and general portability, makes them very attractive as a video camera – but is this a good choice for making your business videos?

The answer to this will depend on a number of factors. First of all, have you used a DSLR before? If you are familiar with the controls and happy with using manual mode then you will find this camera a good choice. The detachable lens offers good low light performance (depending on what lens you have attached) and controls such as the zoom focus and light meters can really help you get a great looking picture. The DSLR format also boasts a huge range of useful accessories with something for every budget.

If you have not used a DSLR before then you might find this camera less easy to use. It is designed to primarily take photos, so the controls are not as accessible as on dedicated video cameras. If you are not careful it is easy to take a photo instead or change a setting that is not right for using when taking video footage. It does of course have an automatic mode, although for video the results are often less than perfect with unexpected focus changes and image brightness adjustments potentially ruining your takes. If you want to use a DSLR for your video, then you really need to learn how to use it in manual mode. If you don’t fancy this, then maybe a DSLR is not for you.

The next consideration will be around budget, as previously mentioned you need a good lens to obtain good low light performance. This might not be an issue if you are filming outdoors or if you have an adequate lighting set-up, however if you need something a bit more versatile then the bundled medium spec lens will not be up to the job. Many DSLR buyers opt for a ‘body only’ purchase and invest in a better lens for this reason. Of course as with any other camera set-up, you will also need to allocate some of your budget for a decent tripod, maybe some lights, a background and audio equipment too. It is best not to think about the camera as being a single purchase but as part of a bundle of equipment that all works together.

The final point is not necessarily DSLR related but is an important consideration for any video set-up; sound. Although the camera has a built in microphone it is not going to be that much use to you. As with all built in microphones they just are usually too far away to pickup up good sound. This means you will need to consider an alternative, this could be a tie clip style microphone on a long lead or could be that you record sound separately and sync it up when you edit. Some DSLR’s have been noted to have poorer quality sound recording capabilities, possibly due to the basic fact that what you are using is a modified stills camera and somewhere there will have been some compromises.

So, is a DSLR right for making your videos? If you like cameras, and you want to get your hands on buttons and menus then yes, it will be. If you prefer a ‘point and shoot’ or maybe just want something that was originally designed for recording video then maybe you should consider another option.

Using YouTube videos as part of your LinkedIn marketing

Using YouTube videos as part of your LinkedIn marketingLinkedIn is a powerful business network with opportunities for meeting new people and strengthening bonds with existing contacts. Although there is plenty of self promotion and even some spammy posts, generally it is regarded as a valuable resource.

As you would expect, plenty of people post content to LinkedIn and depending on what they post and who they are connected with will get a variety of responses. When posting videos on LinkedIn your poster image (the still picture you choose as a thumbnail in YouTube) will automatically be shown along with a play button, this immediately makes your content stand out from the normal updates and links that most people post.

YouTube video can be used on LinkedIn in four rather powerful ways.

1. YouTube video as a status update

To do this, you simply share your YouTube video as a status update. This is shared with all your network and depending on the title, description and image chosen will entice browser to click and watch. As mentioned above video stands out an is easier to watch than a blog article is to read. Once you get a few comments expect others to watch and add their thoughts.

2. YouTube video on your LinkedIn profile

You can now add YouTube videos to your personal profile. Simply edit your profile and use the add link option. Now post in your YouTube video link and it will appear as an image and play button. You can also add a custom description and move it around to chose the best position. This is really useful if you have a profile video or a small set of service description videos. Now when new connections or potential connections check out your profile you will really stand out.

3. YouTube video on your company service page

If you have set up a company page and added services, you may have noticed that you can add a YouTube video. Currently you can only add one per service page each with an associated short title or description. This is a great place to add your product or service introduction videos or maybe some related testimonials. If you are using the powerful and very credible recommendations system, then your videos can very nicely sit among these and offer a showcase for interested potential customers.

4. YouTube videos on LinkedIn groups

The best and most powerful option is saved for last. With a LinkedIn group you have a massive amount more exposure potential. When you post a YouTube video in a group you immediately reach a large audience who have all joined due to a common factor. This might be location, business topic or member status; if you post the right video you can appear on everyone’s radar. This is all about topic, get it right and you are the centre of attention, watch your video gain comments and shares, all of which you will be expected to respond to. This is a real engagement driver, build trust through expertise and you become the ‘go to’ person for your specialist topic.

All of the above rely on you having already spent time building up a LinkedIn network, customising your profile and joining relevant groups. Of course you also need to be a ‘player’. Ideally you will already be active on LinkedIn, have posted, shared and commented to help build a reputation that makes other people take notice.

In this post there has been little talk of topic. This is undoubtedly the make or break of your strategy, the ideas above only really tell you what your options are once you have mastered this. Choosing the right topic is a whole new subject…

Video as Content vs. Video to Drive Traffic

As part of your video planning, it is essential to determine if your video marketing project is to sit in a web page as moving content or if it is designed to entice new traffic to your website from an external network. Rarely can the video do both. This article will briefly look at both strategies and also consider the few exceptions where you can get the best of both worlds.

Video as content

This is the most common video type, your video is part of a web page and will either be the main content or add to what is already there. This type of video can be to introduce a company, service or product or could be more informational, process orientated and support based. Generally the viewer will already be on the website and will therefore find the video on their travels and hopefully choose it as an easy to ingest option.

YouTube may well be used to host the video but due to the company specific nature of the video, it is unlikely to achieve any remarkable search engine positions. For the same reason, the video is unlikely to be a popular share on social media or via other referral methods. This video is designed primarily to communicate existing messages and is usually specified internally based on existing marketing communications.

Video to drive traffic

This type of video is still a relatively new concept in business and still takes a little explaining and careful management to ensure it does not end up as ‘video for content’ instead. The prime objective is to research what is being searched for that is related to your business activity. This has to be based on hard facts and not perceived activity to be truly effective. Once you have identified what your prospective customers require, the videos need to be made that fit this search criteria.

By creating the perfect answer, your organisation has just engaged with many potential customers – not by pitching your services, but by providing helpful and unbiased answers and useful information. In a world full of ‘broadcast’ style adverts and promotions, the viewer has learned to tune out and instead undertake some initial research themselves. With video an attractive research medium and YouTube being owned by Google you can easily see the potential of this format. Now take into account the power of social sharing and potential for referral traffic and you can see why YouTube is so popular.

Video that works as both

The crossover point is where you can create videos for both your website visitors and the Google/YouTube audience. These videos are FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) which correctly identified should provide valuable answers for both situations. You will be able to cross reference known pre-sales questions with YouTube and Google search data to identify the best order to develop new video content.

One of the biggest myths of video marketing is that you can gain valuable search engine positions by simply having video content. Although it is true that it is possible to get surprisingly good positions, relatively quickly, the value element is only true if you target search terms that your customers are actually searching for.