Sanjana Murali Sanjana owns inbound and branding at Hippo Video. She loves to talk about branding and marketing with videos. She values intelligent conversations more than anything else. An eternal writer, words are her lifeline.

8 Filming Tips for Small Businesses on a Budget

3 min read

8 filming tips hippo video

If you’re looking for a smart way to ramp up your in-house marketing efforts, consider shooting a video or two. Unsurprisingly, video marketing still reigns supreme in digital advertising, and it’s not hard to see why: videos are still the consumer’s favorite type of content, and 54 percent of them say they want more video content from brands and businesses they support. All of this video love translates into more leads, more sales and more success for your business. It’s a no-brainer, right?

8 video filming tips hippo video

Not exactly. Despite the measurable benefits of this kind of marketing, brands face challenges that deter them from filming their way to big profits. Some of the biggest things holding businesses back from producing quality video content include cost and complexity. But what many people don’t realize is that creating your own professional video marketing campaigns is easier and more attainable than ever, requiring zero fancy equipment and no thousand-dollar video editing software.

Budget-friendly Video Marketing Tips to Get Started

Think Beyond Expensive Equipment 

Here’s one of the biggest trade secrets in modern-day video marketing: using your smartphone, you can film educational videos, commercials, product demos and basically anything else you can think of. That’s right, you no longer have to go out and hire a third-party company just because they have top-notch gear. All you need to do is purchase affordable smartphone video accessories for your smartphone — microphones, rigs, lights and beyond — to create that super-professional look at a fraction of the cost. 

Remember, You Can Film In-House 

Got creative employees? Crowdsource every aspect of the video development process, from brainstorming ideas for topics to going out and capturing footage, with the help of your savvy team. The user-friendly nature of affordable, modern filming gear coupled with software that doesn’t require a pro means all brands are equipped to produce their own video-based marketing masterpieces, all without a huge spend.

Consider UserGenerated Content 

User-generated content (UGC) is any kind of content — videos, reviews, blogs, photos, etc. — that have been created by your user. You may be able to aggregate some of this content for free (or for offering a small discount or gift to your users, perhaps) and then use it in your own video marketing campaigns. This is an extremely affordable way to get rich, enthusiastic content for virtually nothing. You can encourage users to create content by hosting a giveaway or a contest for those who create content related to your brand and then tag it with a special hashtag.

Use Free Video Editing Software 

You may be surprised to learn that even big-name brands have used iMovie, Apple’s free video editing program, to create professionally polished commercials. In fact, luxe British car-maker Bentley once created an ad using an iPhone and an iPad Air equipped with iMovie, proving that you don’t need any fancy software to get the job done. There are tons of awesome and free video editing software out there that you can use to pull together all your pro-looking footage for an amazing result.

Turn Audio into High-Quality Video Content

For many, the visual component of filming video — costumes, sets, hair, and makeup, etc. — is far too overwhelming. But audio alone is much more approachable, especially if you have a camera microphone that turns your basic camera or phone into a pro-level recording device. Coupling high-quality audio (say, an interview or a produced podcast-type show) with still photos, animation or dynamic text is a great way to engage users without coming up with your own production-heavy video. You can also turn webinars and screenshares into engaging video content.

Use Natural Light and Existing Sets

One of the biggest cost factors associated with professional film and video shoots is the lighting. Artificial lighting is great because it allows you to capture the right visuals any time of day, even when the sun has gone down. But you can achieve the same spectacular effects using natural lighting, as long as you have a bit of patience. Though you technically don’t need anything if you have access to varying levels of natural light, you can enhance your natural lighting with cheap extras, like a reflector.

Collaborate and Share Expenses

Are there any non-competitive small businesses or services in your area that would complement yours? Chances are, they too are looking for super-affordable ways to get the word out about their business, and they’d probably love to collaborate and split filming expenses. Share the cost, and you can create professional advertisements, social media videos and YouTube content for half the price or more, depending on how many other businesses you include in the video.

Get Familiar with Free Music Resources

Even the most polished, visually stimulating footage just seems totally bare and unfinished without a score to go with it. Thankfully, you don’t need to go out and hire your local symphony or a real-life musical act in order to put a tune to your videos. Instead, seek out royalty-free music that’s completely free to use and requires no licenses to buy. Remember to only use royalty-free tracks that don’t exclude commercial usage. HubSpot recommends a few awesome royalty-free music sites to get you started.

8 video filming tips hippo video

Producing Premium Content In-House

Because there are so many tools available these days for transforming smartphones and basic DSLR cameras into full-fledged cinematography wonders, as well a free and easy-to-use editing software, you shouldn’t have to hire outside companies for brainstorming, filming, editing or any facet of execution anymore. With a bit of creativity and a few affordable accessories, you’ll be able to master the video marketing game like a pro, earning big wins that grow your bottom line through views, likes, and subscribers.

This is a guest blog contributed by Ethan Long from MovoPhoto.

Ethan Long is the Business Development Director for MovoPhoto. Before starting with them, he worked in advertising in NYC where he gained over eight years of experience in content and video marketing. In his free time, he enjoys being outside, learning new photo and videography techniques, and spending time with his wife and their dog, Rory.

Sanjana Murali Sanjana owns inbound and branding at Hippo Video. She loves to talk about branding and marketing with videos. She values intelligent conversations more than anything else. An eternal writer, words are her lifeline.