Woman holding a video 101 clapperboard

How can video marketing help your business?

Social & Email
By Team Holly & Co


Create powerful videos for your business with just your phone. Learn expert tips on lighting, sound, planning and editing. Repurpose your videos across platforms to increase open rates and share your unique story with the world. Here’s how…

Holly Tucker and Suzi sitting on a bench under an umbrella whilst being videoed

The benefits of video marketing for small businesses

We’re now in the era of video. For brands, it’s no longer a nice to have, it really is a necessity. So how can it help small businesses? Did you know…

  • Video is now considered by many to be the most instantly engaging type of content.
  • 66% of consumers have actively searched for video content to find out more about a brand.¹
  • 91% of people say they want to see more online videos from brands in 2023.²
  • When asked how they’d most like to learn about a product or service, 73% of people said they’d prefer to watch a short video than read about it.³
  • Evidence suggests that simply including a video on your landing page can boost conversions by over 86%⁴. It’s why QVC still does so well, people love to see how a product works and how it’s made. With video, concepts can be explained in simpler ways than by writing about them — or simply demonstrated, no words needed. Think bite-sized pieces of information that are easy to digest.

We asked Holly & Co’s resident videographer Charlie Harris, to give us his top tips for getting started. We also chatted to another expert, Xanthe Berkeley, who is a lifestyle photographer and videographer with lots of experience working with brands on how they can integrate film into their content. Here are their tips…

How often should I post videos? Can I use what I’ve filmed across social media, emails and your website? We’re here to give you some pointers and help make video something fun that you want to do rather than something that you feel you have to do.

The video equipment you need to get started

The main thing that both our experts want you to know is that you don’t need lots of high-tech video equipment to get started. All you need is your phone. A DSLR camera is the next step up, which you can buy for a few hundred pounds if you’re keen to try out more. But with a DSLR, your video files are stored on an SD card so you’ll need to transfer them onto a laptop to edit. Something to think about for those of you who are adept at filming, but for the rest of us, here’s how to get the best from your phone.

How to get the perfect video lighting?

“Your lighting is probably more important than the piece of kit you’re using,” says Charlie, ‘If your lighting is bad, your video is going to be bad.’ Think about having light coming in from all angles rather than simply a front-facing light which is going to shine directly on your face. Read through reviews before you buy and think about things like whether the cable is long enough and whether it has adjustable dials for tone and strength. What about bulbs? ‘I would say cool white bulbs are better than warm white bulbs as things can end up looking too tanned and you can’t adjust it. You can easily warm up cool white when editing,’ says Charlie.

Your video marketing strategy: how to capture the best video content

  • Having a bit of a plan is really important so that you’re producing a video that hangs together well.
  • There’s no point in appearing at the top of a search page thanks to your ranking going up if someone then goes to your site and immediately clicks away because the footage is not engaging.
  • Your plan doesn’t have to be complex. All you need to do is think through which shots you need so that you can systematically film them rather than filming reams of footage which you then have to watch all the way through to edit.
  • The experts call it ‘storyboarding’ and you can simply do some sketches or note down ideas on Post-Its to create your sequence of images.
  • Don’t forget to make and save snippets of footage as you start and grow your business. It’s great to look back on, and you can make a short film showing how the company has changed and grown. Think of it as a visual diary of your journey.
Holly Tucker being filmed by lady wearing stripe top and dungarees
Don’t forget to make and save snippets of footage as you start and grow your business. It’s great to look back on, and you can make a short film showing how the company has changed and grown. Think of it as a visual diary of your journey.
White ceramic mug with the word begin written on it sat on a wooden table

How to improve the sound quality on a home recorded video?

  • The only thing worse than bad light is bad sound.
  • Your phone is probably going to be fine for recording speech, but if it’s windy, the mic will pick that up which will distort any dialogue. Just record for a minute and listen back to it. If it’s not good, buy an attachable external mic.
  • Always consider the noise levels in locations where you want to film and maybe do a recce beforehand. Charlie says, “On a noisy street, go towards a wall, a shop front for example, because it’s going to help deflect the sound coming from the road.”

More tips on creating amazing videos

Ok so you’ve sorted your sound and lighting, and made your plan. Now it’s wise to think about…

Vertical vs horizontal video: what orientation should you use?

If it’s for Reels, it will be vertical, for YouTube and IGTV, horizontal. Try and stick to that orientation so you don’t chop and change and have footage that you can’t edit together easily.

Camera positions and angles in filmmaking

Are you going for a wide angle? Shooting from overhead? Can you get down at a low level? Try different things, there’s no wrong or right way of doing things (other than capturing good light). You’ll notice that actors and models tend to be photographed from the left or the right depending on what they consider is their best side. Do some test runs in natural light and see which you prefer. If you’re filming face-on, it’s more flattering to position the camera slightly higher than your face.

Test and experiment with content types and formats

Don’t worry about what’s trending. You don’t need to dance or point at text. Do what feels right for you. If something feels a bit mundane or ordinary, how can you shoot it in an interesting way? Practising shots and angles are the best way to find something you like.

Other video editing tips and tricks to try

Videos don’t need to be linear or straightforward even in terms of shooting. There are plenty of ways to use creativity and make something new and interesting for customers….

How to experiment with time-lapse

Time-lapse videos are really popular and great if you aren’t keen on speaking to camera, because you can simply show your making process. You can also share things like packing up a product to send to a customer — people love knowing what they can expect when they buy something from a maker. Hyperlapse is an app from Instagram that you can easily use to do this.

Have you tried stop-motion?

Stop-motion is a really easy way to do a fun animation, you can bring a product to life by making it move around the screen. Both Android and iPhone offer the Stop Motion Studio app for free. There’s also a free stop-motion lesson on Xanthe’s website.

What are the best post-production apps or techniques?

Post-production is just a fancy name for ‘editing’, much of which can be done on your phone.

  • If you want to edit or optimise footage there’s good software available that’s free — Windows Movie Maker or Apple’s iMovie.
  • To dip your toe into the world of professional desktop editing, you can try Premiere Pro by Adobe with a 30-day free trial.
  • There are lots of mobile editing apps available too depending on your needs and skill level.
  • As for music, Reels allows you to use background music that’s all royalty-free, but what about video that you’re hosting on YouTube or Vimeo? Epidemic Sounds is Charlie’s go-to site for background music and sound effects.

Xanthe’s advice is to, ‘Just jump in and start creating.’ She says that there’s so much to learn by just doing it. “Don’t worry about, ‘I don’t have the right camera, I don’t have the right equipment or I don’t have an idea.’ We have these amazing tools in our back pocket, these phones, and the video on there is extraordinary, particularly on the newer models. Just play.”

'On air' with Chewie
Don’t worry about, ‘I don’t have the right camera, I don’t have the right equipment or I don’t have an idea.’ We have these amazing tools in our back pocket, these phones, and the video on there is extraordinary, particularly on the newer models. Just play.
Start somewhere

Always think about how you can repurpose video content

Anything that you use on Reels can be cut up into GIFS which is a great way of using film in emails. Whenever you’re planning to film, think about how you can section out footage for shorter and longer versions.

Embed video in emails for marketing success

What about video in email? This isn’t always possible but according to Covideo, just by adding the word video to the subject line, you can increase an average email open rate by 19%⁵. So why don’t you try including it in your emails and see if it creates an uplift in opens or clicks? Don’t forget too, that any video on your website should be hosted by an external site like YouTube or Vimeo so as not to slow download speeds and put people off your site.

Go on, give video a go

The key is to make it fun — even if your daily routine feels familiar and unextraordinary to you, film can be a creative and engaging way to share the details of what you do with a wider audience. Once you start experimenting with video, you’ll soon find that you naturally reach for the camera to document both the everyday and the milestones of your growing business.

How to use video: key takeaways…

1. Video is crucial for converting customers:

It is the most engaging form of content, simplifies concepts, demonstrates products and leaves a lasting impression on viewers, driving positive consumer behaviour.

2. Use the practical tips for making videos:

Use your phone to create great videos. Good lighting and sound are important, so make sure you have light coming from multiple angles. Plan your shots and create a storyboard to keep viewers engaged. Save snippets of footage to document your business journey.

3. Experiment and repurpose your videos:

There are lots of creative options to explore, such as time-lapse and stop-motion videos. Have fun with video creation and use it as a way to share your unique story and engage a wider audience.

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