The 3-Part Recipe for Successful Use of Video in Your Content Marketing Campaign

Many small businesses are trying to edge their way into the unfamiliar waters of the digital marketplace. By now, most people understand the need for profiles on Facebook and Google My Business, with Instagram and Twitter being used where appropriate. Text posts about deals alongside photos highlighting new products or services are the bread and butter of some small businesses, especially those in the food industry, and are a mastered art by many thanks to the ease of use of smartphones. But one facet of the social media experience that tends to be harder to grasp is video.

Relevant

Unfortunately, there is no magic formula to make the perfect video. If there was, well, every video would look and feel the same and that would be even worse! Instead of focusing on trying to be the next viral hit, focus on creating consistent, concise, and relevant content for your audience.

Consistent

I’ll assume you’re making relevant content for your audience, as what is relevant varies wildly depending on your individual target audience, but consistency really is key. That seems like a no brainer, but letting your audience know how often you’ll be making videos, and sticking to that schedule, will help build and maintain your audience and their interest. Every Wednesday. Every other Tuesday. Twice a week Monday and Thursday. These suggestions, and other schedules, can work wonders.

Concise

Being concise is also incredibly important. One pitfall many small businesses trip into is making videos that are far too long. While it’s excellent to have the owner of a business get on camera to discuss a new product or service, it can be painstaking to watch if they are unprepared. Long pauses, “um’s” and “uh’s,” and hard to follow tangents are all risks of unscripted videos.

Writing a script, even if you’re not going to read it on camera, will at least help structure your thoughts and feelings in an easy to digest manner. Some instances, however, work much better with a script to read. These include news-like segments, telling a cohesive story, using narration, or just to add some nice visual flair.

Length can still be an issue when using a script, sometimes even more so. Often people less familiar with video will write their script in a blog like format. While that tone is great for video, if it is appropriate for your brand, the writing itself can sometimes end up much, much longer than anticipated.

Here’s a screen shot of this blog post in Google Docs, for example:

Blog Screengrab

And here’s a screen shot of the script for the video you can find at the top of the page:

Script Screengrab

The difference is dramatic. First, all-caps and double-spacing makes the lettering somewhat more uniform, and increases readability from a distance. Second, there is much less text on the page.

By using this form, you can also determine an approximate time/length for your video using a trick I learned from my radio copywriting days. One minute of audio is about 14-18 double space, all caps lines. The exact number of lines will vary depending on everyone’s speech cadence, but that number is certainly a start.

The script, then, should be about a 1.5 – two minutes of audio.

The blog at 61 lines double spaced and all caps would be 3.3 – 4.4 minutes of audio.

It is also important to keep in mind any time-consuming visuals. If you’re planning to have a picture, video, or graphic on screen without narration or voice-over underneath, you’ll have to change your estimated video length.

Video doesn’t have to be daunting anymore. With smartphone in-hand and a little determination, your business can deliver some quality videos for your audience to engage with. And most importantly, delivering consistent, concise, and relevant content for your audience will ensure your videos hit their mark.


Matt McGroarty was born and raised in South Jersey. While pursuing a BA from Rider University, cultivated his passion for both hands-on audio and video storytelling. During his free time, Matt enjoys playing card games and watching reruns of “The X-Files.”

Matt McGrorty

Videographer / Podcaster

Emails you will look forward to.

Top