You might well have heard people describing themselves as “content creators” or seen it used in job notifications. If you’re wondering what a content creator is, what sort of content they create and even why you might want to have a go at taking on a content creation role, read on!
What is a content creator?
Let’s start with what a content creator is. Content creators work across a range of media to produce interesting and informative items that will somehow engage people. The idea is to draw in an audience using anything from a magazine advertorial to an email and to build a relationship with them. For businesses, content creation is a key component of their marketing strategy. It helps to reinforce their brand, drive awareness and (sometimes incidentally) promote their products or services.
What content do content creators create?
As well as the emails and magazine advertorials that we’ve already mentioned, “content marketing” includes blog articles, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram posts, physical items such as t-shirts, bags and stickers, podcasts and, of course, videos.
Video is a central pillar of any content marketer’s strategy. If you’re creating content, you really need to include video. For plenty of people, the idea of creating video content is intimidating. But it really shouldn’t be. Putting together a great video and a great video strategy can be simple.
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Why you need to be creating video
1. To reach the broadest audience possible, you need to create content across the broadest spectrum of media possible.
First of all, video is something that you should always include in your content creation strategy because people absorb and engage with information in different ways. Some people are always going to respond best to the written word, so interacting with them will work best through emails, articles and maybe even infographics. Other people are visual – photos and infographics will work best here. There are some people whom you’ll captivate via audio, for example, a podcast. And for others, it’s a combination of all of these, which makes video the perfect medium for engaging with them.
For anyone who has grown up with the Internet as part of their normal life, video is a natural medium. They expect to see and enjoy videos. This means that a marketing strategy without video content is likely to exclude a large–and growing–potential audience. This isn’t just about monetizing YouTube (although that is a good idea, too). If you want to build a brand and a relationship with an audience then you need to be making videos.
2. Social media posts containing video enjoy higher engagement levels
The figures from social media companies support this. According to Twitter, tweets that include video receive 10 times more engagement than tweets without. Research conducted by HubSpot and Mention shows that Instagram videos receive double the engagement than photo posts do.
3. You can use video for so many different types of communication
There are so many different types of video out there that you can always make the right type of video to convey your message, whatever the platform and however long the video needs to be. And that’s exactly what you should be doing. Starting a YouTube channel is just one step in your video content strategy.
You can make longer videos for things like tutorials or brand videos that show a company’s culture and what they are about. You can show off new products, share tips and tricks, or conduct interviews over video.
For Twitter, Instagram and TikTok, you can use shorter, punchier videos that tell a story in 30 seconds. All of these platforms allow you to post longer videos, but you still need to get your message across in the first 10 or 15 seconds. And remember that the visuals need to be strong, as many people watch videos on their phones without sound.
4. Video is easy to repurpose
When you’ve made a video, it’s so easy to repurpose the same content for multiple platforms. This makes it a very cost-effective way to reach your audience, but it also maintains brand consistency. Different audiences will always be seeing a part of the same content, but it might have a different aspect ratio or perhaps be a little shorter or longer.
5. Creating video is much easier than you think
You might think that creating video content is expensive and time-consuming. And while it can be both of these things, it doesn’t have to be. There are so many assets and resources out there to help you. For initial guidance, have a look at Film Riot.
You don’t need a big and expensive camera at the beginning; you can start shooting video with your smartphone. It’s right there and will do the job, especially with the help of some smartphone accessories.
You will have to decide on your target market and message and plot out a storyboard before you start filming. It will be a lot less stressful and a lot more efficient if you have a plan. Don’t panic if you realize that you really want to include footage that you simply can’t shoot. Maybe it’s the wrong season, or it’s the other side of the world. You can always use stock footage to suggest the time of year or set the scene.
Any stock footage will have to be edited into your video, which might sound intimidating but the truth is that you are going to have to edit any video that you create. Editing isn’t just about making sure that you can share it on multiple platforms, but a few simple tweaks here and there will raise the quality of your video. Don’t be afraid of editing. There are lots of choices for video editing software for beginners that will do what you need them to without being overwhelming. Have a look at HitFilm, Clipchamp, Movavi and OpenShot, and you can find overlays and templates on marketplaces like Motion Array.
If you’re really pushed for time and budget, don’t forget that you can make a timelapse with stock photos!
You never know, your experiences making videos might lead you to decide that you want to become a video editor, or that you’d like to focus more on trying to make money as a filmmaker. Then you might want to think about upgrading your gear and look at how to choose a video camera.
More than anything, though, don’t be afraid of video. Remember how important video is to your marketing strategy and how versatile it can be. Video absolutely should be a part of every content creator’s arsenal.