Using Video to Reach Your Customers

It can be tough to build up your brand, especially when you’re still new. Finding an inexpensive way to bridge your intention for your brand with what your potential customers want matters! There’s no “right” way to do it or one-size-fits-all solution, but well-placed videos could be the medium for you! The great news is that it costs almost nothing to try and is a great way to share your creative process, hype a new product you’re dropping, or showcase your music or a performance.

At Big Cartel, our Support team creates video content to help our shop owners in myriad ways. Our videos take the form of “short take” tutorials, live webinars, and Instagram tips and tricks. You can see all of that and more on our YouTube channel (subscribe while you’re there!).

You may not be interested in creating educational vids like we do and that’s not a problem, but there are some basics that apply, no matter what kind of videos you’re making.

For our Support team, we already had most of the tools we needed to get started: our computers and our phones. Most smart phones are so sophisticated that they’ll take amazing video with no accessories needed. There are inexpensive accessories out there if you’re into it: lenses for your phone’s camera, plug and play mics and headsets to get better audio, and ring lights to brighten up your shots.

We also picked up some apps for a few dollars a piece. We use Screenflick for screen recording on our computers and WebinarJam for hosting live classes. We looked into some video editing software, but decided to keep our videos more approachable and more budget friendly by using the free stuff that comes with our computers.

Here are some tips for making a great video:

  1. Audio quality is more important than you’d think. It’s difficult to stick with a video that’s too loud, too quiet, or full of background noise. If audio is done right, your viewers shouldn’t really notice it at all. Start with a good mic and you’ll be on your way to avoiding audio issues.

  2. You want to showcase yourself and your products in the right light. This means your literal lighting! Your audience needs to clearly see you, or your products, or whatever you’re filming.

  3. You should be aware of your surroundings. What does the background look like? How are you gonna frame your video? Cluttered surroundings might interfere with the vibe you’re trying to create and nontraditional framing could be distracting. Test shots in different spaces and at different angles to see what looks best and lets your subject shine.

  4. Be thoughtful about what you choose to feature. A video telling your story could work great embedded on your shop’s “About” page. Providing care tips for keeping your products in great shape could be amazing on a custom “Product Care” page or in your product listing details. This works double if you have products that require a bit of instruction to use, like a garment that can be worn multiple ways.

  5. Consider the duration of your videos to keep things tidy for your audience. And you’ll want to make sure you’re posting relevant content in places where your customers will be looking, like in your monthly newsletter or your shop’s blog.

  6. Trust yourself. You don’t need to try to be someone else or shoot the same videos you’ve seen from other brands. That doesn’t mean you can’t get inspired from others’ work, but don’t get lost in it. You know everything about your brand and the products you sell. There is nobody better qualified to talk about the goods you lovingly crafted, the product line you curated, or your business than you. And your customers will appreciate that!

Once you’ve created videos you’re proud of, you’re almost to the finish line! Upload the videos to a free video hosting service like YouTube or Vimeo and get your copy and paste fired up - embedding videos in your shop is a breeze if you’re on a paid plan.

After that, all that’s left is to sit back and watch the impact storytelling can have when building your brand!

Additional resources

Alexandria Shrader

Support at Big Cartel, laser cutting novice, and leader of a fine dog pack.

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