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You Don’t Need a Big Budget to Get Traction with Video
By: Elaine Reed
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Video on the web is nothing new. In fact, it is one of the fastest growing areas and even has spawned its own cottage industry of pros that script, shoot, and edit shorts into impressive, professional packages. This can be intimidating for businesses with a tight budget. How do you compete when you have next to no money to pour into video development? Go organic.

Studies show that “homemade” videos, shot with a webcam or mobile phone, can be just as effective as produced packages. Before you whip out your phone and dive in, here are a few quick tips.
  • Whenever possible, practice what you’re going to say before you record. That extra bit of poise can go a long way to make your video stand out to your target audience.
  • Make sure the area where you are shooting is well lit and doesn’t have anything you wouldn’t want your boss to see floating around in the background. Using your webcam to shoot a quick Q&A video is perfect, but make sure your racy calendar isn’t peeking out over your shoulder. Unless you sell the calendar, you don’t want the responses to your video to be questions about where people can also get the calendar.
  • You don’t have to be an expert to edit video! If you are using your cell phone or digital camera, many times the video starts and ends with you reaching for the record button. Try this. Push the record button, get in position, count to five and then start talking. Once you finish, count to five, then hit the stop button. Upload your video to YouTube and use their editor to remove the frames where you can see your arm reaching for the camera.
  • YouTube has a library of royalty-free music that you can add to your video. Just make sure that whatever music you choose doesn’t overpower the speaker.
  • Mobile phone video is perfect for customer testimonials. It makes the testimonial more authentic, and makes it easier for you to get the testimonial. Rather than scheduling time for your customer to come in, get on a set and be nervous to create a pro video, next time they are at your office, ask them if they wouldn’t mind saying a few words for you. You can show them the video immediately and get the video on your site just as quickly.
If you still don’t believe me, cruise over to the Sony website. They have staffers showing how to use products and talking about up-and-coming news at the company using webcams as well as small, handheld cameras intended for the average consumer. Granted, the people making the videos have a bit of jump on the average Joe, but they are still producing, and they're highly successful with amateur video.

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About the Author
Elaine Reed is a marketing professional with heavy emphasis on e-commerce and Internet marketing. She blogs regularly on her website and tweets often.
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