How to Make a Video If You’ve Never Done It Before: a Step-by-Step Guide
First published on Jun 14, 2017. Updated on Nov 23, 2018.
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.
If you are wondering how to make a video but don’t know where to start, you’ll find that the process is a lot more straightforward than you were probably expecting. Let’s dive in!
Step 1. Choose Your Video Topic
The most important thing for you to understand when creating your video is that you need to choose your topic carefully. It’s important that the topic of your video meets two major goals:
- Brings value to your customers.
- Helps you promote your brand or service.
Now, let’s take a closer look at each one of these parts.
Bring value to your customers with video
With every piece of content that you create, it’s important to help your customers solve a problem they are having. When you are wondering how to make a video, try to put yourself in your customers’ shoes. If there is a question that they are asking, create a video to help them answer it.
You probably know what their pain points are. It might also make sense to check the following sources:
- reach out to your support team. What are some questions that customers ask on a regular basis?
- conduct customer interviews
- check your social media channels
- talk to people at industry conferences
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.
These topics will make up for a great how-to series. For instance, some of our customers were having troubles with video marketing related questions. We set up a dedicated playlist on YouTube where we share some video marketing how-to’s, based on our blog posts.
The result: these are some of our top performing videos on YouTube. People find them on YouTube directly when searching for a solution to their problem. After that, they head over to our blog to read more on the topic. Win-win!
Promote your brand or service with video
Finding a topic that would be of interest to your audience AND promote your brand is that content marketing sweet spot you want to be after. There is no point in wondering how to create a video that will be super helpful to your audience but will have nothing to do with your brand.
With YouTube keyword research, you can stay on top of trends in your niche.
In this sense, it does pay off to spend at least some effort on video SEO. Come up with a solid list of key phrases that you want to use to drive traffic to your website or blog with your videos.
Work on your video titles and descriptions to make sure they are SEO-friendly. Make sure to include a link that would lead people back to your website.
Step 2. Make That Video
The next step in our “how to make a video” quest is coming up with an actual video.
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.
How to Make a Video with Stock Footage
When you want to create a video using stock footage, the hardest part is probably choosing what footage to use 🙂 You might stick to this plan:
- Create a storyboard for your video. Outline the main ideas your video needs to cover. It might be something simple like writing down what every scene of the video needs to say, one by one.
- Search for the most suitable and compelling videos or images that will serve as a background. Some video making tools like Wave.video come with a built-in stock footage library. So all you need to do is type in your search and choose a clip or image you like the most.
You might also want to check these websites with free stock footage.
- Add text to video. We will talk about it in more detail in the next section. But the golden rule is as follows: don’t put too much text on your videos!
- Download and share.
How to Make a Video of Your Own
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.
There are different types of videos that you can make by yourself:
- Talking head videos. These perform great, as people love watching other people (as opposed to just static objects).
Perhaps with this video type, the most difficult part is to overcome the fear of appearing on camera. Try to imagine people behind the camera, relax and smile. After all, you are an expert on your subject!
12 Simple Tips to Make Your Videos Look More ProfessionalWondering how to make your videos look more professional? Watch this video to learn all about it.
- Screencast tutorials. Use free tools like Loom to record your screen. What I personally love about Loom is that it allows you to show your screen AND the video or picture of the presenter at the same time. Talk about personal connection!
- Product reviews. In order to make a great product review video, you don’t have to have any fancy equipment. Even your phone will do (it does make sense to get a stabilizer, though). Shoot your product from different angles and provide a text or voice annotation.
Step 3. Add Text to Video
The next thing you might want to do when creating your video is adding text to video. It makes sense as, or instance, 80% of videos on Facebook are watched with the sound off. When wondering how to make a video that will stand out, adding text notes to your video is an easy and effective way to improve your video’s engagement.
If your video has a voiceover, you can use YouTube’s Video Editor to add a transcription. In order to do it, head over to Edit Video > Transcriptions. You can then choose a language for transcriptions.
If you want your text over the video to look a little fancier, you might want to try out tools like Wave.video. It comes with 300+ Google fonts (you can also upload your own, too) and text animations. This might be especially helpful when making a promo video or ad.
There are a few things to consider when adding text to your video:
- Text size. Don’t make it too big or too small.
- Text colors and fonts. You want it to be clear without it being distracting.
- Placement of text. Make sure it doesn’t obstruct important visuals in the video (like, that it doesn’t cover a person’s face or an object).
Step 4. Add a Call-to-Action
When you create your first video (and all the others that will follow), you want to make sure not to forget the ever-important call-to-action.
A call-to-action (also commonly referred to as CTA) is the point in a video where you actually tell your viewers to do something when the video finishes.
Adding a single CTA within a video generates as much as 380% more clicks than a CTA on the sidebar of the same page.
CTAs boost everything from conversion rates to engagement, so you’ll always want to include at least one when you are figuring out how to make a 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.
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!”
Here are some great CTAs that are guaranteed to work:
- Learn more at [yourwebsite.com]
- Contact us and plan the trip of your dream today
- Click here to download your free trial! Be warned, it’s only available for a limited time!
- Contact us to find out how to make money while you sleep
- If you care, share!
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, when you learned how to make a video, and it turned out 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 might be a goof option for your video platform. Every video will already have unique social media “share” buttons accompanying it when it goes live.
Here are other ways how you can get more eyes on your video:
- Send out emails to your subscribers. 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.
- Share your video on social. Make sure to give your video a round of share on all social platforms your business is present at. Play with different video sizes (square, landscape, vertical) as well as formats (why not create a short GIF from video?) to see what resonates with your audience. Uh oh, and don’t forget Pinterest for video promotion, too!
Learning how to make a video might seem intimidating but don’t be frightened. Follow this step-by-step guide and you’ll create your first video in no time. What is your first video going to be about? Share in the comments below!