Are you ready for your close up?
By Maegan Supple, The Pottery Stop, Ellicot City, Maryland
Videos. We all know they get a great response on social media, but man, who really has the time to make them? The answer is you do--if you know what’s good for you! Video posts have the biggest reach of any post type, and the average video will get twice the Facebook engagement as photo. And I get it, this is just one more thing to add to the never-ending list in your brain. But I’m here to tell you it is easier than you think and more rewarding than you expect.
So last summer, I committed to making one video a week. Hahaha yeah, that didn’t go as planned. I made exactly one video—in November. But like you, I kept hearing how important videos were to a social media strategy, so I stopped faffing about, put on my big girl pants, and went for it. Here are some things to keep in mind and get you ready to post your first video.
Have a game plan. Your video should have a message or concise point. Decide ahead of time what that will be, and don’t try to cram everything into one. Are you about to open a kiln? Make a quick video to make your customers feel like they’re a part of the magic! Are you about to do a silk screen on a sample? Show them how stinkin’ easy it is!
Get the right tools. I exclusively use my phone (an iPhone 7+) to make videos, and I bought a tripod on Amazon for $15 and a Bluetooth shutter remote. They’ve been super helpful, but you can also just record in selfie mode or have a staff member help. I just like the freedom of being able to do it on my own—often before anyone is at the studio so I no one hears my crazy words.
PS: If you’re making videos on your phone, check your setting and make sure you’re recording in HD, too! No one wants to watch a grainy video.
Relax! Don’t over think it. Videos do well because watching something move is more interesting and eye catching than just a photo. They don’t have to be fifteen minutes long—a quick 30 second to two minute video is perfect and will get better engagement. Think about those Buzzfeed and Tasty videos that are everywhere on your Facebook feed— short, simple, easy to follow.
Remember, you’re not trying to be the next Kubrick here—you’re helping people remember why they want to come to your studio!
You may end up doing multiple takes and make silly faces, and that’s okay! I usually takes me at least two takes to figure out what I’m going to say and how I want to say it. My latest attempt took ten tries because words are hard. That’s why we have…
Apps and Editing. You’ll also want some great apps in your back pocket. I had been using iMovie to edit my videos (ie: trim the video, speed them up, etc), and that is a great tool. But I just found the app Splice and I LOVE it. It is super easy to use, has a great selection of music to overlay time lapse videos, and you can add text, fade in/outs, and more. Also, it’s free so… y’know.
If I’m doing a time lapse technique video, I love using the Hyperlapse app too. For just a quick animation, the Boomerang is super helpful. That is more Instagram focused, but can work fine on Facebook too and will help bring your feed to life!
If you’re looking to make more of a slide show video of still images, the Ripl and Animoto are popular and useful! Those are great for a video about upcoming events happening at your studio.
Upload and be prepared to WOW! If you’re aiming for engagement upload your videos natively to Facebook or Instagram, don’t just post a link to a YouTube video. Be sure to check your settings to ensure you’re uploading in HD!
After you upload your video, click on it to change the thumbnail, add tags, keywords, descriptions, and more. The thumbnail should be eye catching-- you can pull it from the video or upload your own. Make sure to turn on the “Featured Video” option on your page that will show first when someone visits your page. If you have a YouTube account, upload your videos there as well. While you won’t post that link on Facebook, you can use it to embed videos on your website, blog, or emails. Plus, having a YouTube channel can help boost your SEO!
Hopefully that gives you a start, pottery fam. I know you can do this, and I challenge you to post a video in the next week. Once you get in the groove, you’ll find you want to make a video for everything. Can’t wait to see yours—share it on Chatter when you make it!
If you’d like to see my videos, visit The Pottery Stop’s Facebook Page. Some other great studios to check out for ideas are Artgarden Pottery, The Painted Peacock, and The Pottery Patch.
A note on Live Video: This is a great tool, and one I’m still experimenting with. I’ve heard it’s better to do at times that people will be more likely to watch, such as lunch time during the work week or evenings. These videos should be announced ahead of time, so your followers know to expect it, and longer videos have better interaction as it gives more people the opportunity to start watching live! However, you don’t have to do Live Videos just because it’s there! Regular videos are fine too.