Video content can be used in a variety of adaptable, effective and meaningful ways to benefit your business, from helping to optimise your various local citation pages such as Google Places ensuring your business is found by your local customer base online to creating content that can be shared socially to generate interest, encourage interaction and raise awareness of what you do. You can even place this video on your own website to engage and communicate with people who respond to more visual stimuli, useful if your site is very text heavy.
Hiring a video production crew can be expensive in terms of both time and money for a business without the resources, however here I’m going to show you how you can create some basic video content simply using a collection of photos and the software inherent to your desktop PC.
This method is quick, inexpensive and easy to do. The only real limitation is your imagination…
To follow this simple tutorial you will need access to a PC running Microsoft Windows with Windows Movie Maker (since renamed Windows Live Movie Maker) and a collection of photographs that are appropriate to your business, and I would recommend anywhere from between 5 – 10 photos or images.
Whilst not everybody has a digital video recorder, almost everybody has access to a digital camera or a mobile phone with a sufficiently good camera built in that will allow you to take pictures for your project.
Ideas of what photos to take… you might want to show people the sorts of products that you stock, what your services involve, the faces of your team or staff, what makes your business tick, where do you work? Whether an office, a warehouse, or driving out and about? What projects are you working on? What does the inside of your store, shop or premises look like?
Once you’ve decided on the theme of your video, you’ll need to either go out or take the photos that will present the story you want to tell or select some from a batch of existing photos. Either way, once you’ve decided you want to organise these in a project folder somewhere on your computer.
In this example, we’re going to use our team photos.
- Find and navigate to the Windows Movie Maker software.
Start > All Programs > Windows Live Movie Maker
You will be presented with this screen once the program loads
- Open your containing photo folder and then drag and drop your photos into the main empty workspace pane as seen on the right side of the screen grab above.
- Rearrange the order in which your photos appear by clicking, dragging and dropping the various thumbnail photos shown in the workspace pane.
- Apply some simple transition effects that will link from one photo to another in order to give more flow and interest to your video.
Use the “AutoMovie themes” box to select a transition effect
Once you’ve happy with your order and composition, you will want to export your video as a playable file that can be uploaded to the web. Potential locations include YouTube and Facebook, who will both allow you to upload and share your video for free as well as the ability to place and embed your video on your own website.
- You may wish to create a title or cover page and author credits, however this isn’t strictly necessary. These extra pages are automatically generated for you upon selecting a theme or effect in the previous step.
If you do not wish to include these pages in your video, feel free to select them with the mouse and pressing delete to remove these from your finished video.
- Now save and export your finished video. Videos require more processing power from your computer to make, so be patient when saving your file.
Save and export your video
Now see our further reading to learn how you can use your videos effectively to market your business.