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I’m a '80s music fan. The loud guitars, big hair, and over the top antics — I love it all. So, when I started thinking about making the leap into business video, one thing came to mind, Van Halen and the song “Jump” has been in my head for weeks. If you’re not familiar, let me pause for a moment to introduce you to this timeless classic:

So, why am I taking you on the "way back" machine? Because video is not easy. For that reason, many marketing professionals have avoided it for years. They know it’s important, but getting started can be a hassle. For those of you thinking about taking the leap in 2018, I have one thing to say to you. “Jump. Might as well jump.” Go ahead and take the leap. (See, I told you I'd explain myself).

You’ve probably been told that video is the future, but, like many others, you don’t know where to start. Video seems simple enough to consume, but when it comes to creating effective videos there are a lot of different moving pieces to consider: content, strategy, optimization, distribution, etc.

While those are important steps in the process of creating a long-term video strategy, there are three important questions that you need to consider first. Getting the answers to these three questions will give you the necessary framework your next steps.

1. What videos should I create first?

Let’s start with the types of videos you should create. I always answer this question with a question. “What problem are you trying to solve?”

  • If people aren’t sure what your company does, maybe a company overview is the best place to start.

  • If you’re about to launch the next latest and greatest product, maybe a product overview is the best place to start.

  • If you’re having trouble finding top talent, maybe an HR recruitment video is the best place to start.

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Some people have a hard time defining the problem. If that’s the case, take a look at your FAQs or ask your sales team what questions they get most often. What are customers asking about? What are their most common barriers? This is a great “jumping” off point if you’re not sure where to start. Take your top three FAQs and produce three short videos answering these questions.

2. Should I hire a video company or create the videos internally?

Now, you have an idea of the types of videos you need, but you’re unsure if you should hire a professional video production company or if you should look internally. I’m biased toward using a professional but there are instances where an internal resource is best.

Facebook live is a great way to reach your audience. I recommend using Facebook live to give quick bursts of information and to interact with your customers. In this case, using an internal person to run the camera (usually a cell phone) might make sense.

However, if you’re looking for a company overview video that will be featured on your homepage, it’s time to call in the professionals. This video will be the first introduction for many, so you need to create a great first impression.

3. What should I budget for video?

Finally, if you’ve determined you need a professional video production company to help, you'll want to know how much to allocate in your video budget. The stock answer most video producers will give you is, “It depends.”

While that is true, it doesn’t really help you. That’s why I say, start with $5,000 and work upwards. The reason I say $5,000 is because that amount should get you a nice, professionally-produced video you’d be proud to show your customers. For $5,000, the video won’t be flashy. Don’t expect high-end motion graphics, complicated camera moves, or highly stylized treatments. But you should expect a professional looking video. Here’s an example of the type of video you can expect in the $5,000 range.

Looking for more examples of what you can expect for around $5,000? Check out this examples page.

In the past, video has only been a dream of yours. But it’s 2018, not 1984. Don’t say, “I’ll Wait" until 2019. The time for video is Right Now. So, go ahead and Jump. (For those counting, there are five Van Halen references in this paragraph.)

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