Ask John Branch: What Types of Videos Should I Make?

This month, YouTuber, photographer and HoneyBook member John Branch is answering your most pressing video marketing questions in our new Ask An Expert series. Have a question? Ask John here.

Your Video Marketing Questions Answered

What’s up. This is John from John Branch IV Photography, and in today’s video we’re going to answer your questions about content creation, content calendars, and other video marketing questions. If you haven’t had a chance to check out the other videos, check them out right here on HoneyBook’s IGTV, and you can learn a little bit more about myself as well as see some other answers. So, let’s go ahead and get into it.

What type of videos should I make and why?

So with this question we could have a really, really large answer, but let’s start out with the baseline of what I feel most all videos should have. For your videos to really catch with your clients, the main thing you need to do is make content that answers questions. With answering questions, you’re providing value to your clients, something that they can actually use. So, rather than it just being about what kind of videos can I make, what you should be asking yourself is, “What videos should I make for my clients or for my community? What do they want to see from me? What can I provide for them?”

Once you get into that realm, it gets it a little bit easier. If you’re an expert in an area, well, you have answers to things. So, if you’re a florist, a cake maker, a photographer, and someone has questions and you’ve been doing that stuff for years, you have answers.

Then you can choose what kind of format you want for your video. So, they can be more funny, they can be more serious, they can be talking head videos like this. (That’s what I like to call them, it’s just a person and the head talking.) You can really take a large range from what kind of videos you can make. You can even make stuff where there’s a lot of B roll and you’re talking about your company and what you do. You can just go on and on forever. But the easiest ones to make are talking head videos where you’re answering questions for your clients.

Which leads right into our next question.

How frequently should you be creating content for your business?

My answer for this is always. Create content always, but do not burn out. This is really huge when it comes to video content, especially if you’re talking about working with a platform like YouTube. If you watch a lot of YouTube videos, you know some people put out a video every week and that’s a lot, especially if you are still trying to run a business as well.

Making content once a week is usually pretty good and safe, but honestly it depends on what type of videos you’re making. Are those videos way more involved? Do they take a lot of production and editing work or are they more simple, easy videos that you can edit very quickly on the fly? That’s going to be the first thing that decides how much content you should make.

And then the second thing is just burnout. You should never be making so much content that you wake up one day and you’re like, “Oh, I’ve got to make this video because I’ve made all these other videos and there’s so many videos.” It should never feel like that.

I also think it should be based on things that make sense for your business. For instance, as a wedding photographer, I have the chance to take some B roll at a wedding. I can use that in a video or I can have my second photographer take B roll of me shooting. Things like that to show how happy the couples are, how I work with my couples, just record some stuff that makes sense for my business. Whereas I’m not going to go out of the way and do something totally random just to make a video for it.

Constant content is good, but it needs to make sense with your business and the timing of the month, which will lead into our next question, and also what type of videos you’re making, and how much production value goes into them.

And speaking about content creation, here’s our next question.

How do I develop or outline a content calendar? How to frame or sequence the content?

Creating a content calendar really is based on a couple of different things. I usually like to go through steps.

  1. The first step I start with is just the normal holiday calendar. So I’ll look at all the U.S. holidays, see what lines up with the kind of content I want to make, and I’ll throw that on my content calendar. That way I can get an idea of I want a video for X holiday, or this other holiday, so on so forth.
  2. After that you need to dial down into your market and start from there. For example, I do a lot of videos on iPads and iOS and also just tech stuff. So for me, big events like WWDC or CES really matter. So, those will be on my calendar as well. That way I can make videos surrounding them. Or even if I get to attend those events I know that I’ll already have some videos in my backlog that I can publish and then also make new ones based off of those events.
  3. And then, the last kind of content to put on your calendar is the impromptu stuff. This is not really on your calendar but this is stuff that may come up. So if you’re a wedding photographer and there’s a new camera that comes out, you may not know when that’s happening, but make sure you have space in your calendar. Then when something comes out like that, you can just instantly jump on it and make a video.

With your impromptu stuff it actually may swap with other items on your content calendar. So, if you have a video that’s not so determined on the date or the week of the content coming out, you can push that back and have an impromptu video take its spot. And that’s pretty much how I handle my content calendar.

A lot of the times, my ears are always open for some impromptu information, which, being into so many different things like photography and tech, there is a lot of impromptu stuff. But those videos usually are easier to make too because let’s say a rumor of a new camera’s coming out or if you’re like a baker maybe there’s some new kind of sugar substitute but it hasn’t been tested yet, it’s easy for you to give your opinion on that as a video. Impromptu is quick and easy. Get it out and then you can push back some other content to make your content calendar even larger.

And then for our last question.

What is the easiest way for someone who doesn’t use video currently to start?

I’ve gone over this in the last two videos and little snippets, but I think this is a great moment to actually pull it all together now. Let’s list the whole thing out right now and I’ll throw in some extra little tips on how I actually record myself.

So, starting out with obviously the camera. If you’re checking out the comments on the last video I gave my recommendation of the Fujifilm XT-30 mainly because it’s small, it’s cheap, and it records in 4K and the colors look awesome. If you’re not looking to buy a camera or you can’t afford one right now you probably have an iPhone, which you can use that as well. I also mentioned using the moment lens on your iPhone to give it a better quality look. And don’t forget iPhones shoot in 4K as well so they’re pretty good.

After you get your camera and a nice little small microphone, the next thing is going to be how you edit. Again, if you want to go cheap and easy, for $9.99 a month, you can do Adobe Rush or you can get something like Final Cut Pro or Adobe Premier Pro.

Now, when it comes to editing here’s a tip I have for you all. I actually don’t script any of my videos at all. I just practice them out loud and record them in. Obviously mistakes are made. But one thing I like to do especially since I’m not scripted is, if you can find a nice pace to your talking it is so easy to edit yourself.

So, basically when I’m recording a video like now, and I actually won’t edit it this time so you can see it. I don’t do it after every phrase like I am now. I’m just trying to be drastic so you can see it but I do put pauses in where I can. This way, if I mess up a phrase, it’s easy for me to just go back and talk about what I did before and then I just do jump cuts throughout the whole video. I’ll even do jump cuts in spots where I didn’t really need a jump cut just so the video feels more cohesive and it’s not like all these random jump cuts cause you can tell that I messed up. So, that’s a huge tip if you don’t want to script yourself is take your time in your talking. Don’t rush and pause between the phases, just like that.

After that, obviously figuring out what kind of content you’re going to make is part of how you get started with videos. Like I said earlier, make sure to answer questions. It’s the easiest place to start. If you’re a catering company and you work with wedding couples, obviously you’ve done it for a while, you know their questions. Make videos answering their questions. Get stuff out there. Answer questions that you don’t think a lot of people know or are larger questions that you think they would ask. An example I gave in one of my first videos was how I made a video on editing in Lightroom on the iPad. That’s a large question, but there’s not a lot of answers on it.

People are thinking, “Oh, it’d be cool if I didn’t have to bring a whole laptop. It’d be cool if I had something small and light and I can just take with me and edit real quick. Can I do that on the iPad?” And so my answer was, “Yes you can. Here is how you do it.” So, that’s how you should think about your content creation to start out. Then you can get into more lavish stuff and get a little bit more extra with it.

But you know, if you want to make your videos more exciting and stuff, you can add more in. A great example is Peter McKinnon. If you don’t know about him, check him out. He’s a photographer, but his videos are very vloggy and they’re really cool, and there’s a lot of B roll, and they’re very stylistic. And that’s kind of how he carved out his niche in a market that was already full of other photographers making videos.

Those are my tips for getting started. I hope that helps you out. And don’t forget to check out the past videos right here on HoneyBook’s IGTV. And I’ll check y’all out next time.

Additional Video Marketing Resources

For more answers to your most pressing video marketing questions, check out other posts from our Ask John Branch series.

Want to learn more about getting started with video marketing and transforming your business leads? Get our Ultimate Guide to Video Marketing here.

Thanks, John!

Sobrina Pies

I’m a HoneyBooker—writing about small businesses, the people who run them, and tips and tricks to help them grow—and a lifestyle blogger at Quiet Like Horses, sharing stories, not small talk. HoneyBook helps you manage your business all in one place, from sending proposals, invoices and contracts to managing your projects and getting paid. Want to give it a try? Start a free HoneyBook trial here.  

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