6 Kinds of Online Videos You Can Make Without Spending a Dime


Online videos.

You’ve probably heard that people are watching them. In fact, a lot of people are watching them. Visible Measures’ Q2 2012 Social Video Advertising Report found that almost 900 million people watched video in the second quarter of 2012, making it the second largest quarter for social video ever.

That’s a 45% jump from Q2 2011 and a jump of nearly 75% from Q2 2010.

If you haven’t started experimenting with online video, now might be the time. You don’t need a fancy production crew or a big budget, either. You just need a good story and a smartphone or digital camera.

Here are six ways small organizations (coincidentally, they’re all Constant Contact customers!) with limited budgets have used videos to:

1. Announce a fundraiser

Organization: The Pajama Program

Campaign: An interview with local children about what the Pajama Program does and why the organization needs a new reading center in New York City.

2.  Show off the business

Organization: Belmore Court & Motel

Campaign: Eight-year old Lewis McCartney, son of hotel owner Terry, performs a guided tour of the hotel. In fact, his tour became so popular that Belmore Court & Motel won the 2011 Best Online Strategy Award at the Digital Advertising Northern Ireland awards, in part because of the video.

More importantly, Lewis now has competition from his seven-year old sister, Ellie, in a new video tour.

3. Show people what you can do

Organization: Splintered Studios

Campaign: Stephen Quick is an artist by trade and he makes sure to feature a lot of his speed painting videos on YouTube. He has gained a fair amount of popularity from showing off the paintings — his painting of The Joker, for example, has nearly 150,000 views.

4. Give some advice in an engaging format

Organization: MarcTV.net via Fourword Marketing

Campaign: Whether he’s dressed as Wonder Woman or walking through a mall explaining SEO, small business marketing expert Marc Gordon’s Marc TV dispenses a lot of marketing advice in some very unique ways.

5. Promote a webinar

Organization: PropertyMinder

Campaign: PropertyMinder, a web service firm that specifically helps real estate agencies, drove about 150 extra visitors to a webinar by promoting it through email and gained new fans in the process.

6. Conduct an interview

Organization: Constant Contact

Campaign: At Constant Contact, Ryan Pinkham, our junior content developer, has been filming our “Ask an Expert” interview series since April. All it takes is a digital camera, an expert about internet marketing, and a table and some chairs.

Don’t forget the social part

Email marketing campaigns previewing online videos can be a great way to promote video to your loyal customers, but don’t forget to post it in other networks, too.

Aside from sharing the clip on social media sites like Twitter and Facebook, why not set up a QR code in your store that leads visitors to the video? All you have to do is grab the URL and paste it into one of the free QR code generators.

The thing to keep in mind whenever you do post a video is, even if it doesn’t go viral, you’re still growing your audience and showing off your organization in a unique light—and that’s a resource that will always be there.

No one can predict what’s going to be popular next on the notoriously fickle YouTube, but better to have filmed and posted than to never have filmed at all.

How have you used video to market your business?

Curious how to make a video go viral? Check out “8 Steps to Making a Video That Goes Viral.” 

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