Lights, Camera, Action: How to Get Started with Video Marketing

Why aren’t you taking advantage of video marketing to communicate with customers? It can seem intimidating or expensive, but there are ways to easily create professional looking video content to attract and retain insurance clients.

With the growth of smartphones and flattening of data plans, video is more accessible to a wider population than ever. According to YouTube, the number of hours people spend watching videos on mobile devices is up 100%, with the average viewing session now more than 40 minutes. Other apps like Snapchat, Periscope and Instagram allow you to share smaller, more digestible videos.

Here are quick tips to get you started:

  • Choose your camera. Years ago, video was expensive. We’re talking hiring a full camera crew and agency expensive. Now, an iPhone can be used to shoot professional looking content. Another cost-effective solution is a DSLR camera, which can be accessorized with different lenses, microphones and stabilizers to step up from starting with your mobile device.
  • Stabilize your shot. Always use a tripod for interviews or other shots. If you do not have one, set the camera on firm ground and prop it up so that the shots are steady. In a pinch, setting a phone in a mug can work, but the cost of gimbals and stabilizers makes them an affordable consideration as well.
  • Invest in a good microphone. Ever watch a video that looked great but the audio was tough to understand? You probably stopped watching, which is what your viewers will do is the sound is not crisp and level. The built-in microphones on smartphones and DSLR cameras are not good enough to pick up an interview.
  • Add lights. While natural light is ideal, a few lights can help eliminate shadows and add dimension. A basic light kit can be found on Amazon or at Best Buy.
  • Edit. If you have access to a Mac, iMovie is a simple program to clean up and trim down the video you shot.
  • Find a host. You can host your video on YouTube or other places. In my opinion, Wistia is worth the extra money. Unlike YouTube, ads will not show, and Wistia works with most email services to easily share videos. Also, Wistia support is second to none. Check out their website for tons of video marketing tips.

Next Steps

Now that you have the equipment and basics, what kind of videos do you make to help solicit new clients? Start simple and be consistent.

  • Interview your employees to show the human side of your agency or company.
  • Ask for video testimonials in addition to written ones for a job well done.
  • Create a quick weather update during extreme weather conditions to show current clients you are aware of dangerous situations and are a helpful resource.
  • Provide weekly driving tips for recurring content that helps with your retention.
  • Learn what people like to watch and shoot some more.

What other simple video production tips do you have for those starting out?

Charlie Riley is a marketing, business development and communications professional with experience across multiple industries. Follow Charlie on Twitter at @charlieriley or connect on LinkedIn.

*This post was originally written for IA Magazine to focus on helping insurance organizations begin to utilize video marketing in their overall strategy, these very simple tips could be relevant for other industries as well.