Here is a guide for all you small business owners looking at changing up your communications. Video content is said to explode with and by 2019, video content will be the driving factor behind 85% of search traffic in the US (I assume in Australia will follow the same trend)
I don’t know about you but my forays into Facebook and Instagram Videos – Lives or otherwise, leave me cringing. I know we always judge ourselves harsher than anyone else, but I definitely have room for improvement!
The recommendations are for “viral content that millenials love to share”. I don’t know about you, but I’m going to need a combination of luck, practice and a hefty bag of dollarydoos to invest in production for create something seen the world over, but we have to start somewhere right.
Sometimes I find it hard to exactly and succinctly explain what we do. I mean, sure, in simple terms we create delicious ice treats. However when we start working
- Do you want us to come along to your event?
- Do you want us to serve your guests on your behalf?
- Do you want us to sell the pops at at event?
- Are you fundraising? Do you want us to donate a % of sales back to your organisation? Would you like to make more money and choose our fundraising package where we set you up for success with one of our carts and you sell?
- Wedding? Which set up? Serve after the ceremony or as part of dessert? Do you want custom flavours or engraved sticks?
- Corporate event? Would you like us to match to a colour theme or brand? Do you want a branded menu board, or cart or even more? Need a message on the menu board? Do you need a custom pop created?
- Wholesale customer? Sure! Who are your customers? Let us choose the perfect selection of flavours for them. Need promotional material? What about a branded freezer
- Which set up do you like? Do you have a preference – Vintage Van, Retro Cart or Portable Freezer?
- Just want pops for home? Sure, jump online and shop away.
…. the questions go on.
How to present all the information a customer needs so they can make a decision.
Video seemed like the perfect format.
I have had videos created in the past, but nothing I had on hand was perfect for what I needed, plus it was time for a refresh.
I started out creating a video we could send to couples enquiring about weddings. I did not have much of a plan really, but stumbled along the way and hacked something together that
- Free to set up (has watermarks)
- Hosted on Youtube and Wistia but also download as an MP4 so you can upload to social media
- Can narrate the video
- Has subtitles
- Add in close captioning / subtitles (super important)
Once you have had a bit of practice I think it would be super easy to create and upload a little video in under 30 minutes. Especially if you have an example as a template and can modify as needed.
Below are the steps for creating your own video with automatic subtitles.
Write your script
- Write your draft script / story board. Keep your message short and to the point. Most people stop viewing after the one minute mark
- When writing your script draft it to a text editor and keep it saved. You will continue to revise as you narrate, and you will use this as a base when you add your closed captions.
- Find images that suit your story. Landscape images are best. High resolution as possible.
- This was quite easy in this instance – I am glad I invested in some professional photography along the way so I have some great images to choose from. I have also been blessed in being part of some stunning collaborative shoots over the years (of which I can take absolutely no styling credit for. There are lots of examples up in previous blog posts). If you have been putting off getting professional images done for your business I really recommend asking for some quotes. It’s not as expensive as you think and some photographers have packages for business start ups. You can use them all over the place – social media, Facebook Storefront, your website, sending out press releases, videos, your quotes and shared by other vendors. Jessica Wyld is our photographer of choice but there are so many other talented souls out there. If you are a lady in business, you might try looking for recommendations in a couple of Facebook Groups – Perth Girl Bosses (WA based) and also Like Minded Bitches Drinking Wine (Worldwide, but mainly east coast of Australia)
- Make sure that you credit any images that aren’t yours.
Create your accounts
For this I used three accounts, you’ll need to create accounts if you don’t have already
- Adobe Spark – for your video creation. I stumbled across this and happy to say I was really impressed but it’s (free) functionality. There is a watermark in the bottom corner, and the video ends with the Adobe logo but…. in terms of being able to quickly and easily create something, it was great. Upload images easily, move the order around, narrate, add music and captions
- Youtube – I uploaded the video to Youtube and then used the captions feature to easily transcribe, match captions to speech and then downloaded the srt file (transcription file with times and text)
- Wistia where I could a) host the video and b) switch on automatic captions which I could not find out how to do that on Youtube. It seemed like the viewer had to manually do that.
Create the Video
Adobe Spark is pretty easy to use. just sign up and and then follow the prompts. You can design things like images (but with Canva available why would you bother)
I would use Canva for images and PDFs and Spark for Video Content.
It’s pretty intuitive – you can choose a template to prompt you or you can fly solo. I found I chose a template in the beginning but I have done it a few times I just select the “Make Up My Own”
The feature I really love is the Voice Recording feature so you can narrate easily. Spark then automatically sets the length of the image to the length of your recording – what I don’t love is having to hear my voice (shudder! But who does!)
A couple of tips
- You’ll need a bit of practice to feel comfortable and to allow it to flow easily. You can easily play the recording back and then redo if you don’t like
- Slow your voice down (but still sound as natural as you can) and enunciate – you’ll just need a bit of practice with this til you find what you are comfortable with. I found if I spoke to fast I would sometimes get a glitch in the sound – not sure if it was my computer or the program
- Leave your finger on the button for a second or two at the end so that there is a pause between your sentences/images. You’ll see what I mean.
Download MP4 and upload to Youtube
Once you are happy with the video you’ll want to download it, then upload it into your Youtube channel, and set us public.
I don’t know if it’s just me or if Youtube is not very intuitive but I can never easily find how to upload to my channel. The only trick I have is to click aimlessly for a while, swear a couple of times and then it seems to magically appear.
You want to persevere though.
Click the little video camera and then upload the video.
As it’s uploading add in the title, description and tags. Set the tumbnail and then publish.
Transcribe speech and add captions in Youtube
Go into video editor and then select “Subtitles/CC”, choose English (or whatever you like) from the drop down menu.
Then you can press play, start typing and whenever you stop the recording will stop. It’s super easy.
If you typed out your video script (hot tip) and recorded it word for word then you can copy and paste.
When you are finished typing then hit “set timings”.
They may not be exact, so you can then adjust as you need.
Download SRT File
This is what you are really chasing. Youtube is easy to transcribe and set timings and then you want to be able to download the .srt file.
So in the video editor hit “English”
Then on the next screen hit >Actions and then >.srt
I could not find a way to automatically have Youtube play the captions which is why I wanted to download the .srt file and then upload the video and .srt file to Wistia and host it all there. If you see our website then you will notice the videos are all hosted by Wistia and not Youtube. The formatting also looks cleaner and nicer.
Upload Video and SRT to Wistia
Sign into your Wistia account and upload the video. Note that you can only host a few videos on the plan before you start paying.
Once your video is uploaded, then go to > Video Actions > Customize
A menu bar will appear on the left hand side. Click on Captions and more options will dropdown.
Select upload captions. Once the captions are uploaded then wait for a bit and you can go back in and select “Captions on by default”
Now you should be ready to go!
When you want to start using then use the “Embed” button to get the code you will need to use.
How I’ll use the video
I still have a way to go – in terms of testing responses and engagement (don’t want to do all this work for nothing), but my aim is ti slowly transition over to lots more explainer videos.
Say for weddings, I will have a video as part of our Sales Page, but also to explain the different options a client can choose from when they ask for a quote.
We have lots of different options and so our quotes were quite text heavy. Hopefully this way we can convey the same information in a one / one and a half minute video with good visuals to make it easier for people to understand.
Using the same video as a base, I can
- Cut little sections to make Social Media Content
- Alter for our “non-wedding” clients – basically all the same information and pricing, but I change the script and some of the images so it’s not wedding focused.
- I think I might even try and use this to send a personalised pitch for when we get really big enquiries.
The .srt file could also be pasted underneath a video (if appropriate) on your website and this can help with SEO. Lots of interviewers seem to do this (but only do this if it is appropriate)
There’s lots to explore in this realm – hopefully it helps! This is a DIY hack to get you started, and then in the future it may be appropriate.
In the first instance, you’ll find that creating this video will probably take you longer than an hour, as you write your script, find images and sign up for accounts. Once you’ve done it a couple of times you’ll be able to smash them out pretty quickly.
To make it easier on yourself and project a great image I would suggest that you use professional photography taken specifically for your business. We have always used the talented Jessica Wyld but you should easily be able to find your own.
- taken images of “Delish Ice in Action” at weddings and events
- Deep etched images of our pops
- Styled photos of our pops.
If you have been holding back thinking you can’t afford it, then I’d suggest going and getting some quotes. You would be surprised I think. It’s worth it. You can use the images for quotes, Social Media Content, your website, videos and promotion.
Hope this helps – if there is anything missing, or needs updating let me know. If this has helped you in anyway or you create a video I would love to see it (send me the code and I can upload it below here and link to your page.)