How to create audio visual content on a budget

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Zazzle Media discuss the rise of podcasts and audio, with tips on how marketers can make the most in this space. / Pixabay

Audio visual forms of content, such as podcast and video, have quickly become popular in the world of marketing. Those without a significant marketing budget may feel daunted by this prospect, as it’s often felt that these particular forms of media are incredibly expensive to produce.

Not only is it thought to be costly, but, according to our recent survey, 43% of marketers find it hard to create this content. Don’t let budget or professional equipment ruin your marketing plans - you’ll find it’s much simpler than you think.

Here are our tips and tricks to enriching your content plans via modern multimedia methods.

Why you should use audio or video content:

Written content is an excellent way of getting your brand message out, but that doesn’t mean you should stop there. Podcasts and videos cater to your audience in different ways. They also help to connect the audience with the business on a more personal level.

This builds trust and a relationship with your target market, giving you more chance to reassure them that you know what you’re talking about in a format that they might prefer. Podcasts can be listened to on the go, for example, while videos are great for instructional content where it pays to show the audience what you’re talking about.

Provided the circumstances are right and your audience wants content in this way, audio and video content can make your brand appear more tech-savvy and professional too.

But how do you look professional and capitalise on these benefits without spending too much money?

Tools and tips for affordable content creation:

Here are our tips and tricks to creating enriched content without breaking the bank.

Creating Video

Whether it’s showing off a product, service or skill, video is a highly effective form of media. It allows you to explain your service thoroughly and demonstrate how your products and services work. When you think of video, you may assume you need a professional camera and studio, but this simply isn’t the case in our technology-led world.

  • There is a plethora of free editing apps to help you smooth out the content with transitions, cuts and titles. This includes Inshot, Splice and iMovie, all of which are incredibly easy to use.
  • Rather than paying out thousands for a flashy DSLR camera, use a good quality smartphone instead. Test the quality in different locations and use the back camera, as this tends to be better quality than the front.
  • Don’t worry about buying an expensive light and background kit, natural lighting will do. Stand near a window but ensure the background is neutral to avoid distracting the viewer. A white backdrop is best for this, although you’re free to experiment.
  • Buy a microphone that plugs directly into your phone. Doing so will increase the quality significantly, making the overall video seem much more professional. Studies have shown users can ignore slightly lower quality visuals but will be immediately turned off by low quality audio.
  • Plan out what to say in advance, rather than coming up with it on the spot. This will save time when it comes to editing too, as you won’t have to worry about pauses as much.
  • If you write a script or notes, practise them before you record. You don’t have to remember it word for word, but it will help you stay on topic.
  • If you would like to use a script you can get ‘autocue’ apps on Apple and Android. Using an iPad (other tablets are available) you can position this above your camera, and ensure you are reading smoothly and slowly enough, without forgetting anything important!

Creating Podcasts

We’ve written a longer read on the rise of podcasts and how to create your own – but it’s important to appreciate that there are cost effective ways to create this content.

  • You don’t need a professional, sound-proof space to record. A room away from the hustle and bustle of the office is perfectly fine, so long as it’s quiet. Try to avoid glass doors as this could cause unnecessary echoes. If in doubt, use your car. Most cars are quite well soundproofed – and radio journalists will use these while out on the road if they’re stuck.
  • As suggested in the video content section, when on a budget, it’s wise to get a microphone that plugs into your phone, with a muffler on it if possible. This will help block out any background noise that an iPhone would otherwise pickup, as well as sounding more professional overall.
  • Start out by interviewing people in your office, or contacts that would be willing to do it for free. Think about what they can offer, such as specialist skills, knowledge and experience. Think about what angles you can use your expertise for and use the experts you have to hand. Leveraging in-house experts is important for any content plan – but it also allows you to have friendly interviewees who might forgive you if you have a few technical issues while you are finding your feet.
  • Use free editing software rather than paying out for programs, especially if this isn’t a regular thing. Audacity and Ocenaudio are both highly recommended and can deliver quality results for no cost.

Creating non-written content doesn’t have to be expensive; in fact, you may already have the equipment to do so. Engaging and accessible, they’re an excellent way to show off your skills while building a relationship with your target market in a way your competitors may not have nailed yet.

Aoife Daly, content editor at Zazzle Media.

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