Smartphone video training for small businesses

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So, you get that you should be using video to market your business or organisation.

The case for it is open and shut, whether you are a small or medium-sized business, a charity or not-for-profit organisation, a government department/agency or a club/society.

Recent surveys* show:

* 73% of adults were more likely to buy a product after watching an online video about it

Over 70% of marketers say video produces conversions better than any other type of content

Facebook’s CEO says by 2019 nearly all of Facebook’s content will be video

By mid 2017, video will account for 69% of all consumer internet traffic.

There’s also a myriad of studies that show that people feel video is intuitive and emotive, and that they remember what they view much better and longer than what they read or hear. Engagement and shareability are key.

The cost of video is coming down from the days when it was prohibitively expensive, and it is now possible to provide quality commercial video at an affordable price.

The return on investment on that cost is well worth the effort in terms not just of conversions of customers but in brand awareness, perception and assisting in your own fund-raising/sponsorship activities.

However, if your budget is tight, you might want to consider generating low-cost videos yourself using iPhones, Samsung Galaxy handsets or other Android phones.

Before you do, here are our tips for using smartphone video in small business and organisations:

  1. Do a course on how to shoot basic video. Bad images and poor quality sound will reflect on your brand and could backfire. Learn how to do it properly; you won’t regret it
  2. Get the right kit. A tripod, mount, the right microphone, good editing software – these are the absolute minimum.
  3. Do a video editing for smartphone course. A basic tutorial is all you need – there’s no need to fork out for the high-end training the pros get
  4. iPhone v the others: While it doesn’t really matter as long as you get the shots, sounds and editing right, SmartVideo favours iPhones and loves Apple’s iMovie editing software. But alternatives like Windows Movie Maker work well too. The cameras on phones in the later Samsung Galaxy series are excellent.
  5. Think about what you want to record in advance. What kind of video do you want it to be? Script or storyboard it out.
  6. Know the law. There are health and safety rules which kick in when videos are used for commercial purposes, mainly to do with the safety of the person recording the video, those appearing in it and bystanders.
  7. Understand copyright. You can’t just use any old song. And most of the so-called ‘free’ music available online has strings attached.
  8. Beware libel. You can’t just say what you want. Social media defamation is a big growth area for lawyers.
  9. Use hi-res logos and photos. Small file sizes pixelate, looking cheap and nasty. If you’re using your company/group logo, for instance, make sure it is at least a large file size and appropriate format.
  10. Work your social media channels. Simply putting a video on the internet isn’t good enough. You need to use all your marketing skills to get it an audience.

Training isn’t expensive or time-consuming for you or your staff. One or two days is enough to have you up and running equipped with basic skills.

* Sources: Animoto, Vidyard, Mark Zuckerberg, Cisco systems.


SmartVideo offers the following training courses in Northern Ireland:

1. Smartphone video for small business: the basics

2. Smartphone video for not-for-profits: the basics

3. Smartphone video editing for small business

4. Smartphone video editing for not-for-profits

5. Advanced smartphone filming

6. Advanced video editing

* Paul Connolly is managing director of SmartVideo, a NI-based video production and marketing company.