In my last post, I shared about my library’s YouTube Video ads, and what our experience has been so far with them.
Here’s are links to the videos I made, if you are curious!
Here’s a little more about how I made these videos – I’ll discuss:
- Creating the video (and the awkwardness of making a video yourself)
- Equipment used
- The first 5 seconds
Creating the video:
Believe it or not, making a 15-second video is pretty tricky. It’s so short! Because of that, I created a script for each video. Our Marketing Director and I figured out what the focus should be for each video, and what the most important points should be for each video.
Then I wrote out a script, complete with different video clip framing ideas (i.e., move closer, stand by some books, etc.), for each video. After that, I followed along with my script and shot the videos.
Yes, it’s just me doing these – I’m the “behind the camera” person and the “in front of the camera” person (well, except in the Clean and Safe video – that’s someone else’s arm doing the cleaning).
For me, this type of video can be pretty awkward to do. I shot each of these at the library, mostly in our stacks, where the books are. For better or worse, we aren’t very busy at the moment, so it was pretty quiet, and no one interrupted me. We do have a staff member stationed in that area of the library, so I let them know what I was doing, and then did my thing.
For a couple of the video clips, I needed to be in a busier part of the library (like our circulation area), and I felt pretty silly setting up a camera and talking to it while other people were present! Not sure how all those YouTube vloggers do this type of thing while they’re hanging out with a bunch of people. Just awkward.
And the car in one of them is my car. For that particular shot, I parked my car in a Curbside Pickup parking space, then set up the camera, pressed record, then got in my car and backed out of the space, then drove back in again and parked. While talking. Yay for wireless mics!
Trimming the different video clips down to fit into a 15-second slot was … fun. I was mostly there already (because I timed out and then followed my script). But I also edited out space between words and sentences, trimmed beginnings and endings of video clips to shorten them as much as possible … and even slightly sped up 1-2 video clips so they’d fit.
Pretty simple stuff. For the first video, I used a Canon G7X Mark II point and shoot camera, and a Rode Smart Lav + lavalier microphone that was recording to an app on my iPhone. For the other four videos, I upgraded a bit and used the library’s Canon M50 mirrorless camera and a Rode Wireless Go lavalier microphone. For all the videos, I mostly used a tripod. You can see the difference in quality between the first video and the other four!
The first 5 seconds – get this right!
On the first video, I accidentally got something right that I think is really important with these video ads!
With this type of YouTube video ad, you’re essentially “forced” to watch at least the first 5 seconds of the ad. After that, you’re presented with a Skip Ad button.
That means that the most important message needs to be in the first 5 seconds of your video, while you have a captive audience. So I made sure that happened.
Here are my 5-second messages for each video:
- Oh Hi, I’m David. Did you know we’re open? We miss you guys!
- Hi, David here. Our library is really clean and safe. Here’s what we’re doing.
- I got a whole stack of books selected just for me, by using Browsing Just for you. Here’s how it works.
- Curbside pickup is happening everywhere, including at the library. It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3!
- Too busy to browse for your next read? You need a Grab and Go book bundle! Preselected and bundled by librarians …
For each video, our main message (we’re open, we’re cleaning the library, a quick intro to a new library service) is shared within the first 5 seconds. After that, there’s a bit more explanation or details related to the main message, and then a What to do next” message (come visit, check stuff out, etc).
And it worked! The videos are getting watched (see my previous post for details about that).
So that’s what I did, anyway! I’d love to hear about your experience making social media ads – please share!