How to Make a Video If You’ve Never Done It Before: a Step-by-Step Guide

By now, you’re well aware of just how important video can be to your larger marketing campaign. Not only is video in general on track to become the dominant form of Internet traffic by 2019, but it also checks a number of important boxes at the same time. Video is engaging, it’s informative, it’s shareable (especially in the mobile space) and it produces higher levels of brand recall. It’s a perfect storm for your business, your products and your services.

But knowing why it is important to create a video and actually creating that video are two entirely different things. Luckily, you don’t have to be a professional video maker to get in on the action. Even if you’ve never made a video before and you’re setting out on this journey for the first time, you’ll find that the process is a lot more straightforward than you were probably expecting.

Step 1. Choose Your Topic

The most important thing for you to understand when creating your video is that you need to choose your topic carefully. Never create a video just for the sake of doing so – create one because you have something of value to say or add to a particular discussion.

If there is a problem that your customers are having, create a video to help them solve it. If there is a question that they’re asking, create a video to help them answer it. Make sure that your video adds something to their lives to help entice as many people to watch it as possible.

A good example of such videos is short tutorials. Here at Animatron, we created a series of super short 15-sec tutorials on various topics. We analyzed the questions our users most commonly ask about the tool and aligned the tutorials with these requests. The tutorials turned out to be a success: since the videos were that short, users realize they could learn something useful without spending too much time. The 15-sec format turned out to be effective for sharing on social media. In total, the tutorials got 16,266 views, which is a great number! Short tutorials Animatron

Step 2. Create Your Video (or Choose One From Stock)

When it comes to the actual video itself, you have two options – you can create and upload brand new content or choose a stock video that you then personalize in a few different ways.

Creating your own video will take planning and hard work, but at the end of it you’ll have something totally original that people won’t find anywhere else. You’ll need to basically design your video on paper first (in the form of a script, storyboards and more) before you record it for the best results.

You could also choose a stock video (meaning one that already exists) from services like Shutterstock or Adobe Stock for Video just to name a few. The choice is yours and will likely be dictated based on what you want to accomplish.

Once you’ve got a video, upload it to a site like YouTube for easy access from your viewers. Create a new YouTube account (or use an existing Google account to create your own channel) and click the “Upload” option. Select the video file from your computer’s hard drive and upload it to YouTube’s servers.

For a more detailed overview of how exactly to upload videos to YouTube, make sure to check the video “How To Properly Upload Videos To YouTube” by Derral Eves (hosted on YouTube, of course).

Step 3. Place Text Over the Video

Adding text to your video through YouTube’s Video Editor is a great way to provide links back to your website or related products and services, to expand on points you didn’t have an opportunity to in the actual video and more. It might not be an appropriate technique for every video, but it’s definitely something you’ll want to at least consider.

Once you’ve opened your video in the YouTube Video Editor, navigate to the frame where you want your text or caption box to appear. You can select what type of text you want, how long you want it to appear, where any caption-based hyperlinks point to and more right from this easy screen.

If you want your text over the video to look a little fancier, you might want to try out Wave. It offers 16 nice looking fonts and a dozen of swatches plus text animations. So you can make the text appear “in style” (by symbol, word, slide from bottom, etc). This might be especially helpful when making a promo video or an ad.

Step 4. Add a Call-to-Action

You’ll also want to make sure you don’t forget the ever-important call-to-action, which isn’t just for blog posts anymore. A call-to-action (also commonly referred to as a CTA) is the point in a video where you actually tell your viewers to do something when the video finishes. It can be as simple as “did you like this video? Click the “Like” button below to let us know!” or as industry specific as “Are you looking for more information about the product we featured in this video? Call us today at XXX-XXX-XXXX to find out more!”

CTAs are hugely important because they create action. One study estimates that a CTA within a video itself will get 380% more clicks than a normal CTA that might be on a sidebar on your website or in a text description. CTAs boost everything from conversion rates to engagement, so you’ll always want to include at least one in every video. The point is that you need to tell your viewers what you want them to do and make it very, very easy for them to do it.

Check this video by popular vloggers Andrew and Pete and pay attention to the CTAs the folks place within their video.

YouTube allows you to place a call to action overlay. This way, you can direct the traffic from the video further to your website or any other resource you want the audience to visit.

Step 5. Share Your Video

Finally, once your video is exactly the way you want it, get it out into the world far and wide. Social media is a great way to do this, which is why YouTube is recommended for your video platform – every video will already have unique social media “share” buttons accompanying it when it goes live.

Remember how YouTube sends out an email every time there is a new video on a channel you’re subscribed to? They do it for a good reason. Don’t be afraid to send out emails, too, to your mailing lists letting people know that you’ve just published a new video – something that will likely increase the conversion rate of that email by 80%, by the way. Send out links to that video on your own social media channels and have employees do the same. Publish a link to your video on your website, blog, etc. The important thing is that you let some people know that the video is out there. If you’ve crafted a well-designed, thoughtful video that adds value to a relevant topic, your viewers will take care of the rest.

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