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7 Videos You Can Make in 7 Minutes (or Less) Using Only your iPhone

7 Videos You Can Make in 7 Minutes (or Less) Using Only your iPhone

Is it just me, or is Twitter brimming with videos these days? They’re all over the place and I love it! After playing with easy video apps for years at this point (Years! That’s scary), I can easily tell if a video was created using these apps or not.

But I’m always just a bit surprised when I can tell videos from big brands are made with free and cheap video apps. I mean, these are brands that have tons of money to spend on videos and easy access to pro videographers, but they’re using the same tools every solopreneur or one-man marketing machine could (should) be using.

This, more than perhaps anything else, should illustrate that you don’t have to sacrifice quality to produce your own videos on a smartphone. That good videos don’t cost a lot of money. And that you can still make compelling content on the fly.

To illustrate this point, I’ve shared seven videos you can make on an iPhone in 7 minutes or less over the past week or so on Twitter. Now, I’m aggregating them into a blog post for a quick reference/repository of ideas.

1) A Blog Graphic Video

Time: 1 minute

This is about as simple as video gets! Unlike most videos, these types of videos aren’t meant to tell a story. Instead, they convey a small amount of information quickly and attractively. The motion of the test also adds some extra oomph to your social feed.

Another benefit of a blog graphic video is that it benefits from higher organic reach on Facebook (up to three times higher than text or photos!). That’s a whole lot to gain from such a small amount of work!

All you need to do is use one of a handful of apps, like Adobe Spark Post or Legend, to add and animate text on top of an image or video. And, you don’t even need to film or take your own photos. You can also use stock photos or video. A personal favorite of mine is Pexels, which offers both stock photos and stock video and doesn’t require attribution.

Another pro tip? Have your brand style guide handy so you can make sure to match colors and fonts with your existing brand identity!

2) Animated Quotes & Tips

Time: 1 minute

Similar to the blog graphic videos, you can use these same simple apps to create short videos with tips or inspiring quotes. The benefits are the same: it stands out on a timeline, it has improved reach, and it also helps ease you into the process of making videos.

A pro tip for these types of videos (blog graphics and tips/quotes): use Buffer to schedule your videos across social platforms easily and quickly. They’ll post as native videos on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google+ and Instagram. And, unlike Twitter on a computer, Buffer can schedule mov files (as well as mp4 or avi), which is Apple’s standard video type.

If for any reason an app saves the video as another file type (like m4v), you can use iConv to convert your video and audio files to other formats quickly and easily. This is a great resource if you need to send your videos to a coworker to post on social media—then, you can share them in whatever format they’ll need!

3) Custom Calls to Action and Branded Intros

Time: 4 minutes

You know from my style guide suggestion earlier that it’s just as important to remain true to your brand identity in your videos as you do in your photography and design. You want to use the same colors, the same fonts, the same overall vibe as you do everywhere else.

An added bonus for using video, in general, is that it’s super shareable. In fact, some statistics I’ve seen say that video is shared up to 1200 percent more often than other types of content. That’s a lot of sharing! Which is great…

But I’m sure you’ve seen videos shared before that don’t offer any context. They don’t credit the source, they don’t provide a link for more information. One way to make sure every person your video reaches knows where to look for more info (your website, your social profile, whatever) is to add custom intros and/or calls to action.

The good news is you don’t have to hire someone on ZenDesk to make one of these for you. There are quite a few apps that allow you to make your own from basic graphics and logos.

Adobe SparkPost is a great option for calls to action (the slide at the end of the video that tells users what to do: go here, read this, buy that, etc.). There are quite a few video effects apps that can be used to help create awesome branded intros. If you’d like a tutorial on my favorite app to make custom intros, you can sign up for my free 7-day e-course (it’s lesson 5, I believe). I’ll walk you through the process step by step!

A pro tip here is having a handful of transparent PNG versions of your logo on your phone. I usually have one dark and one light version. Then, you can quickly overlay in on various colored backgrounds in SparkPost and import that video or photo file into the video effects apps to add light leaks (like mine), background textures, and motion.

Even for quick video that you share directly from your phone to social media, there are branding options. For example, the app Pre-Edits allows you to quickly add a website and/or other text on top of your videos as you film them, so you can share them quickly without losing out on adding a call to action.

4) Step-By-Step Tutorial

Time: 5 minutes

What makes this particular type of video so great is that collage apps, like PicPlayPost, make it easy to put a handful of short video clips together into one video that tells a story from start to finish.

It’s also great for beginners who don’t want to have to connect multiple clips together on a single timeline just yet. All you need to do is choose the layout of your video collage and select your clips. You can choose whether to play them all at once, or in sequence, and you can even loop them a few times. The app also allows you to add music from your library (just make sure you’re using royalty free music you are actually allowed to use!).

Incompetech is great for free royalty-free music, but requires attribution. You can also buy a few soundtracks from AudioJungle or Pond5 to keep on your phone at all times and use as needed.

You’ll notice that my collage video also includes a custom intro and a call to action. You can use a separate app, like iMovie, to string your collage and custom intros/CTAs into one cohesive video.

5) Tiny Testimonials

Time: 6 minutes

I love tiny testimonials. For social sharing, I prefer them so much more than long testimonials. All you need to do is take out some of the best parts of that long testimonial and turn it into a tiny testimonial.

The style I like to use is putting one great quote first, then my custom intro, then the rest of the quote and then my call to action. Otherwise, at least for social media, having that custom intro first might encourage people to scroll past your post before they invest in watching it.

An important note: did you know that 85 percent of Facebook videos are watched without sound? Since most social platforms auto-play your videos (without audio) using captions at the bottom allows them to experience your video, follow your story, understand what you’re saying, without having to turn on the audio. One pro tip is to use the app Gravie to add text on top of your videos, like you see in my example here.

6) Timelapse E-Vite

Time: 7 minutes

It’s amazing how a timelapse can turn a simple video clip into something special. I use timelapse videos all the time for invitations—to webinars, to new courses I’ve launched, etc.—because you just need some props and an iPhone to make one.

I prefer Lapseit to capture my timelapses, since it lets you re-time them to specific durations. For example, if I shoot a timelapse within the iPhone camera app, I’m stuck with what I get. But, if I shoot it in LapseIt, I can reformat it to be however long I need it to be—10 seconds, 30 seconds, a minute, whatever!

Lapseit also allows you to add music from your library to make this type of video even easier.

7) Animated Explanation Videos

Time: 7 minutes

Not every business has an abundance of things to “show” their audience. Some of us work in more cerebral environments, and watching people think or type doesn’t make for a compelling video. Fear not!

Animated explainer videos are great for companies that want to share concepts and ideas, rather than visuals and experiences. They also work well for numbers or even videos accompanying blog posts, like my example here.

There are quite a few apps that allow you to create animated videos. Some use cartoons, some rely on icons, some use your own photos and visuals. Finding the right one depends on your brand identity.

I actually have a whole module on this in my latest course, LittleBig Video, to show you exactly how to make animated videos (as well as all the other videos I talk about—and a bunch more) on your phone really quickly and easily. You can learn more about the course here.

There are a ton more types of videos you can make in only a few minutes using just your iPhone, but that’s the end of my 7-minute video blog series. To learn more types of videos, or to follow step-by-step tutorials, check out LittleBig Video. I hope to see you there!

About the Author

Sarah Redohl is a new media journalist, focusing on mobile storytelling, 360 video and storytelling for good.

Her work has been featured in The Washington Post, the Travel Channel and National Public Radio, among others, and she has presented on TedX stages, MoJoCon, the What If... Conference series and more. Redohl has won regional and national awards for her visual storytelling, and is recognized as one of Folio: Magazine's 15 Under 30 young professionals driving media's next-gen innovation.

She's passionate about bringing storytelling tools to small businesses and nonprofits, and is part of a journalism collaborative that aims to bring the power of storytelling to nonprofit agencies in developing countries where stories might otherwise go untold. 

Connect with Sarah on TwitterInstagramPinterest and LinkedIn.


The Ultimate Guide to GIFs

Choosy marketers choose GIFs

It’s funny that a few years ago, people thought GIFs were a thing of the past. Today, you can’t scroll through any social feed without seeing one. Twitter is dripping with them, and Facebook is starting to let brands test 'em out.

Hell, even the House Judiciary Committee is using them in this listicle on immigration policies.

GIF repositories, like Giphy, make it easy for everyone to tweet them, attach them to emails and embed in presentations. It’s like the GIF never went out of style.

Essentially a GIF is just a short video that loops over and over and over. That said, I have a lot of people ask me why they shouldn’t just use videos instead. But, there are some benefits to using GIFs.


5 Reasons To Use GIFs in your Marketing Strategy

WHY you should be using GIFs in your social media marketing

Source: Inside Amy Schumer (Giphy)

Source: Inside Amy Schumer (Giphy)

Easy to Consume

First of all, GIFS can be consumed really, really quickly. They get the job done in seconds. Or, as Mike Isaac of the New York Times said, “GIFs have become a mainstream form of digital expression, a way to relay complex feelings and thoughts in ways beyond words and even photographs...” Well said.

They’re also great for social platforms that offer autoplay without sound (like, everyone), because GIFs don’t need (or even have) audio. They don’t need it to make a point.

Plus, unlike a photo, the motion within the GIF offers a natural way to focus viewers’ attention on your product or point.


Source: Reddit (Giphy)

Source: Reddit (Giphy)

Personality Packed

GIFs make it insanely easy to show off your sense of humor.

For example, anyone who sees the GIFs I use on Twitter will know that I’m a big fan of HIMYM, Harry Potter and classic teen movies.

For people who might have a harder time being authentic on social media, GIFs are a great way to show off your fun side.


Source: CultureNLifestyle.com (Giphy)

Source: CultureNLifestyle.com (Giphy)

Absolutely MESMERIZING!

Maybe it’s just me, but there are some GIFs I could watch for hours.

There's just something about the flow of the format that makes it possible to watch forever...Like this one of Vincent Van Gogh!

See what I mean?


Source: Reddit (Giphy)

Source: Reddit (Giphy)

Image File Format

Although I described GIFs earlier as a short looping video, technically speaking they’re just a series of still image frames coded into one single image file. That means they can be posted places where videos can’t. For example, before Pinterest allowed videos, you could still add GIFs.

One place GIF files still offer substantial benefits is via email, like in your newsletters and e-blasts. Adding videos to your emails makes it more likely they’ll get filtered out as spam for their size. In fact, most mail services, like Mailchimp, recommend just posting a thumbnail linking to your video.

Here’s a compelling argument from Wistia about why you should just link to the video.

But, maybe you want to capture attention with some motion in your newsletter? A thumbnail of a video isn’t going to do that. But a GIF can.


Source: Reddit (Giphy)

Source: Reddit (Giphy)

Easy to Use/Make

GIFs are also really, really easy to make. You can search GIF repositories, like Giphy Buffer Mood Board, Tumblr or Imgur, to use GIFs made by others. Though, I would recommend reading this post on Forbes on the legal use of animated GIFs.

Although there haven’t been any U.S. cases definitely stating whether creating a GIF from copyrighted material is or isn’t copyright infringement, it’s super easy to make your own GIFs.

Now that you know why GIFs are so amazing, let’s talk about making your own GIFs!


How do you say GIF?

There has been sofreakingmuch debate about how to say the word “GIF.” As someone who has to say it in front of large audiences over and over again, I’m sort of tired of seeing half my audience snicker because they think I’m saying it wrong. So, let’s put this to bed once and for all.

According to Steve Wilhite (the inventor of the GIF format), he named his new file type GIF with the JIF peanut butter brand slogan in mind. That is, with a soft G. His coworkers at CompuServe in the 1980s would often say, “Choosy developers choose GIFs.”

GIF. Say it with me…GIF.

6 Ways To Use GIFs in your Marketing Strategy

WHEN you should be using GIFs in your social media marketing strategy

Okay, so now you know why you should be using GIFs. Now you’re probably asking yourself when you should be using them. As Ash Read wrote in this post on the Buffer blog, “Anywhere there’s a message, there’s a chance for a GIF.”

Here are a few ideas to get you started…


1) Repurpose existing content into GIFs.

This option is insanely easy. There are tons of tools that can turn the videos you’ve posted to Instagram, Vine and YouTube, as well as raw video files, into GIFs. Gifs.com is one example, and Giphy offers an entire GIF-making suite of tools.

You can use Giphy’s GIF Maker tool to paste the URL of your YouTube videos and select the part of the clip to turn into a GIF. Then, your GIF is hosted on Giphy and can be easily shared to all your social platforms.

You can also use Giphy Slideshow to turn a series of still images into a GIF, and Giphy’s GIF Editor tool allows you to add stickers, filters and captions.


2) Use as a website background.

Because GIFs can be really subtle and are smaller files than videos, they can be used as a slight motion background to your website to add visual interest.


3) Amplify your customer responses.

Have you ever read a text and assumed the sender’s tone? I am so, so guilty of this nasty habit. Okay can simply mean “Okay, sounds good,” or it can mean, “Okay, asshole.” It’s all in the tone. And we miss that via text, email and on social media.

Adding a GIF to replies to customer questions and comments are a great way to show they’re heard and provide a bit of emotional context to your response, as well as show your personality and sense of humor.


4) Use GIFs in text tutorials.

You know the old adage, “Tell me, I’ll forget. Show me, I’ll remember. Involve me, I’ll understand”? It is so true! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve found detailed text tutorials that I had to supplement with less awesome tutorials on YouTube. Wouldn’t it be great if I could find both in one place? On your website, maybe?

I understand that not all brands have approached video yet. Even though I disagree with the idea that video is hard, time consuming, expensive, etc., it’s an unfortunate reality.

Even if you are really, super duper against video (why?), you can at least improve the text-based tutorials on your blog with GIFs.

CloudApp and RecordIt both allow you to easily record a portion of your screen and save the file as a GIF to later post to your blog. This is great for adding value to your blog’s tutorials, like we talked about earlier.

Since I record my own video tutorials, I’m no expert at this, but I really recommend you read the section of this blog post outlining tools to turn screencast videos into GIFs.


5) Illustrate a point.

One of my favorite ways people use GIFs is sort of like a visual, “Amen, sister” on blog posts. It’s like a quick visual that helps people understand where you’re coming from.


How to make a tabletop tripod out of cardboard

How to make a tabletop tripod out of cardboard

6) Show how to do something.

GIFs can also be a great way to show your audience how to do simple tasks. Here’s an example showing how to build a makeshift cardboard tripod for your iPhone.


7 TOOLS To Create GIFs for Social Media

HOW to make your own GIFs for your marketing strategy

In addition to Giphy, CloudApp and RecordIt, here are four more tools to create your own GIFs.

1) GifX

GifX is a versatile app that allows you to add motion overlays to any photo or video on your camera roll. If you buy the pro pack for $4, you’ll be able to export photos and videos as high-res GIFs without a watermark, and it unlocks all the designs available in the app.

2) Burstio

Burstio is an app that allows you to turn burst photos into GIFs. It also allows you to reverse them, retime them, and add a boomerang effect.

3) LiveGif or Lively

Both apps turn your live photos into gifs. LiveGif is $1.99, and Lively is free, but $2.99 to remove the watermark. I usually shoot either video or photo, but if you DO shoot a lot of live photos, this is a great tool for you.

4) GifBoom

GifBoom allows you to add text to videos, photos and gifs already on your phone, and save them as gifs. You can also add multiple photos into one gif using this app. However, you can’t change the font or color of the text.

By now you know exactly why you should be using more GIFs, when you can use them and how to create your own. If you’d like to see a tutorial of the apps I mention, as well as a bonus app (my personal favorite!!!), sign up to get the free video tutorial below.

Face it. GIFs are here to stay. And they are awesome



ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Hey, I'm Sarah!

I love teaching small businesses and solopreneurs to create better content and incorporate cool tech and tools into their content marketing machine so they can get better results in less time. After all, isn't that what content marketing is for?

Connect with me on TwitterInstagramPinterest andLinkedIn.


20+ Mobile Storytelling Apps, Tools + Tips From Top Experts

We're constantly sharing our own top apps, tips and tools, but with the international mobile journalism conference (MoJoCon) just around the corner, we’re sharing top apps, tools and tips from 11 of our favorite mobile journalists. Here are the best!


Andy-01.png

Andy Butler

@mobiography

Favorite App

"Snapseed is my go-to photo editing app,” Andy said. His favorite features include tune image, tonal contrast for improved clarity and the vintage filter.

Top Tip

“Editing is to enhance a photo, not hide flaws in a bad one.”


Bernhard Lill

@dermedientyp

Favorite Apps

JamSnap for iOS and Foundbite for Android. Both JamSnap and Foundbite allow you to add sounds to still photos to capture and share a moment.


Björn Staschen

@BjoernSta

Favorite Apps

Björn recommends either FilmicPro or CinemaFV5 for shooting videos, and either Pinnacle, PowerDirector or KineMaster for editing. He also likes Hyperlapse for timelapse videos.


Judd Slivka

@juddslivka

Favorite App

ChartMakerPro allows you to input data to generate pie charts, line graphs, scatter plots and more to print, save to camera roll and share.

Top Tips

Be sure to hold your phone horizontally when you’re shooting videos—and put your phone in airplane mode to avoid interruptions.


Marc Blank-Settle

@MarcSettle

Favorite Apps

FilmicPro to shoot video, Ferrite to collect and edit audio, and ProCamera8 to take photos.

Top Tools

Marc recommends buying an external mic. “iRig and Røde make decent mics,” he said, but “it all depends what sound you want to capture and how much you want to spend!” He also recommends buying something to stabilize your device, like a tripod or monopod.

Top Tip

Practice!

Neal Augenstein

@AugensteinWTOP

Favorite Apps

For audio editing, Neal recommends Ferrite, a multitrack recorder that displays tracks very similarly to Adobe Audition. He also suggests Clips for video editing.

Top Tools

Neal’s most important accessory is a $3 windscreen for your microphone.


Nick Garnett

@nicholasgarnett

Favorite Apps

Ferrite for recording and editing audio, and either Pinnacle or iMovie for video editing.

Top Tips

“Sort out your sound,” Nick said. “Get a cheap personal mic and use a second (old) iPhone to record it on,” so your source can put the second phone in their pocket during the interview. Then, sync the high-quality audio with the video. That’s the $40 solution, Nick said, but another option is to get the Røde VideoMic Me, a mini shotgun mic.


Philip Bromwell

@philipbromwell

Favorite Apps

FilmicPro for filming video, Camera+ for taking photos, iMovie for editing videos and Adobe Voice for social video. Adobe Voice allows you to make simple animated videos with narration and music.

He also likes PicPlayPost for combining videos and stills into a collage, Diptic for adding text to photo collages, Gravie for adding text and graphics to video and Replay for unique video filters and effects.

Although Philip recommends a lot of apps, he said all apps should be used to polish your work—doing simple things (like taking good photos and videos from the start) is also key.

Top Tips

Having a good smartphone and a good eye are key. Philip also recommends taking a lot of photos, getting plenty of video close ups and a variety of shots, and be willing to practice. “[Another newbie mistake is] forgetting that social video has to work on social,” Philip said.


Sandra Sperber

@sperbers

Favorite Apps

FilmicPro for shooting video, iMovie for editing video, Video Compressor to save space on your device and WeTransfer to share up to 10 GB of photos and videos to friends’ emails (no sign-up required). “iMovie is a good tool for basic editing,” Sandra said. “It lacks a few functions, like audio transmissions but it’s great for a quick rough cut.”

Top Tips

Sandra’s top tip is to keep it simple. “For beginners, the variety of apps and gadgets can be confusing. Don’t spend too much time on picking your tools,” Sandra said. She suggests experimenting with your phone’s basic camera app, and then add a selfie stick or tripod and a mic, even if it’s just your iPhone headset. “You’ll be surprised what’s possible with a simple set up, and then dig deeper into the App Store.”


SmartFilming

@smartfilming

Favorite Apps

FilmicPro for filming videos, but if your Android device won’t run Filmic, try Cinema FV-5. He also recommends iMovie for iPad, because of the ability to “expand audio” to help with audio transitions. For video editing, he recommends KineMaster (for Android). “It’s even more powerful than iMovie, but just as easy to use.” He also uses FeemWifi for file transfers and Storymaker as a learning tool.

Top Tip

“Don’t let anybody tell you that you need an iPhone. Android and Windows phones work as well.”


Wytse Vellinga

@wytseVellinga

Favorite Apps

Wytse uses Ferrite for audio recording and editing. He’s also a fan of Storehouse for video and photo collages, albums and stories.  In addition to FilmicPro, Wytse also uses MoviePro for filming videos and Proshot for taking photos. “Proshot has everything a professional photographer could ask for in the controls department.” Wytse also likes VideoScribe, a whiteboard video animation app, for explaining complicated procedures and numbers.

Top Tips

“Analyze Hollywood movies and fiction TV shows,” Wytse said. “The editing techniques are basically the same as in a good TV report.” He also recommends shooting a lot of material, and thinking in sequences. “And make a storyboard in your head. It makes editing a lot more fun.”



Sarah-circle-01.png

About The Author

Hey, I'm Sarah!

I love teaching small businesses and solopreneurs to create better content and incorporate cool tech and tools into their content marketing machine so they can get better results (more traffic, more customers, more money) in less time. After all, isn't that what content marketing is for?

Connect with me on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn.


3 Videos You Can Make (Without Being On Camera)

videosnotoncamera.jpg

Some people really hate the idea of being on camera. For people who don't crave the limelight, appearing on video can feel more like a prison spotlight.

Believe me, I hear you! I, too, don’t enjoy being on camera very much. Despite that, I’ll grin and bear it, hopping on Periscope (@SarahRedohl) most weeks for mini webinars and being a “face” for StoryLab when I need to be.

But for a lot of video newbies, the idea of appearing on camera is enough to make them never try video at all. And I think this is the wrong way to approach things.

Yes, it’s super easy to shoot a Twitter video reply, hop on Periscope or shoot a “talking head” expert video. But there are other ways to create video content without the need to put your face in it. Here are a few options.

'Hand-imated' videos

I don’t literally hand puppet videos, necessarily. I just mean a video in which your hands are the only cast members. These are just as easy—if not easier—as hoping on Periscope! All you need to do is have a concept. One brand that uses these types of videos a lot is Google.

Want to go behind the scenes at Google? Follow the adventures of #NatandLo → youtube.com/natandlo

Posted by Google on Thursday, July 23, 2015

Paper cut-out videos

They print out images (that of course they have the rights to use) and basically use them to illustrate a story, like this one above.

Other times, they’ll just write out a story on a white board or a piece of paper:

White board videos

To shoot a video like this, all you need is to write out your storyboard and decide the best way to tell the story. Prepare your materials, set up your camera facing directly down on your “stage” and record your story and voiceover on your Smartphone. Of course I suggest using a microphone if you have one available (even if its just the mic on your earbuds).

Since you want to keep your videos short anyway (about a minute or so), it will be really easy for you to repeat your video a handful of times and choose the best take.

The act of just doing the video a few times and choosing the best option will save you loads of time trying to edit everything together from bits and pieces of video clips.

Estimated time, from story concept to clicking ‘Share’: 30 minutes

Animated videos

These videos require NO filming. None. You can create one with nothing more than a story to tell.

There are also all sorts of resources that make production super easy for people who’ve never created an animated video before in their lives.

GoAnimate

(Or PowToon, Moovly, or Animaker)

Probably the most well known video animation option is GoAnimate. Using the service is exceptionally easy.

You can add text, icons and charts to illustrate your point without ever picking up a camera and clicking ‘record.’ The GoAnimate library comes with a handful of pre-built templates, customization options, and thousands of icons, so you can really make each video your own.

They offer a 14-day free trial to the service to see if it works for the types of videos you want to create. After the two-week trial, GoAnimate costs $39 per month, but if that’s too steep for you, there are a ton of other options.

PowToon is a free option, but there’s also cheaper options like Animaker and Moovly. I’ve used GoAnimate and PowToon, and while I like GoAnimate’s interface better, I do think $39 for the benefit of a prettier interface is a little much.

The best option? Create one animated video in each before you decide which star to hitch your wagon to. If, after it all, you don’t choose a favorite, you’ll still end up with four animated videos to start sharing!

Adobe Voice

This is a super sweet app you can use to create animated videos on the go. Although the amount of information you can put on one video slide is limited, the interface is so easy to use it’s perfect for beginners. It’s so easy most people may not even need to write a storyboard before getting started on production.

Simply choose the type of story you want to tell and narrate your story sentence by sentence, choosing one or two of hundreds of available icons (or your own original photography from your phone) to illustrate your points.

In just a few short minutes, you’ll be able to explain abstract ideas quickly and directly, using just your phone (and hopefully a microphone if you're narrating)!

Estimated time, from story concept to clicking ‘Share’: 20 minutes

Photo slideshows

Another option to add some motion to your social feeds without appearing on camera is to turn your photos into a photo slideshow. This is a great media type to show off an event or other photos that may not necessarily tell a story on their own.

Often, you may not even need to narrate the slideshow; you might just be able to add some music and you’re done!

With more than 100 photo slideshow apps, you’re sure to find one that has themes you like and a simple workflow.

Flipagram

I’ve used Flipagram, Animoto and PicFlow, but Flipagram is probably my favorite for the control the app gives you over changing layouts, timing, music and narration (and it’s free).

Estimated time, from story concept to clicking ‘Share’: 10 minutes

3videotypes.jpg

Even if you hate being on camera, hopefully these three ideas will give you enough of a push to get started with video. If you do, I think the benefits you’ll see will make you see how worth it video can be!

 
sarahredohl.jpg

About The Author

Hey, I'm Sarah!

I love teaching online business bosses to create better content and incorporate cool tech and tools into their content marketing machine so they can get better results (more traffic, more customers, more money) in less time. After all, isn't that what content marketing is for?

Connect with me on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn.

 

The 7 Files I Always Keep On My Phone (For Content Marketing on the Go)

filesonyourphone.jpg

When you’re a solopreneur, you often get to see every detail of your business—from the innovation process, to selling your services or products, to watching your customers succeed. Every step of the way is a story.

I work with a lot of large companies that are implementing a more agile content marketing strategy—one that’s based more on the moment than ever before. For once in marketing, the big guys are trying to do what the little guys like us could do all along—be there for all the small details so they can share them to show their humanity AND their expertise online.

If you’ve been around the blog for awhile, you know that I love to turn every thing we do into an opportunity to create cool content, from videos to fun gifs to memes—and I love to do it all (or as much as I can) using just my iPhone.

But to do that, there are some consistent branding tools I like to have on my phone at all times so I can quickly check that everything I do fits my brand’s colors, fonts, message and goals. Here are the seven files I keep on my iPhone at all times to produce cool content really quickly on the go.

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My Logo

This sounds like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many solopreneurs don’t keep a copy of their logo readily available. And I know the frustration of not having one when I need it. Try having to cobble together a video intro with a 72 pixels-per-inch screenshot of your logo! Don’t be that person.

Instead, I like to keep a handful of high quality logos on my phone always.

  • One transparent PNG version in my signature dark gray
  • One transparent PNG version in white
  • One gray version on a white 16:9 background
  • One white version on a dark 16:9 background
  • One transparent PNG version of my brand icon (the colorful circle)

With these five versions of my logo, I’m ready for anything that comes my way. I can quickly add my icon to blog images, I can watermark my original photography, or I can add branded introductions to the videos I produce on my phone. Not to mention, if someone needs my logo in a pinch, I can air drop it to them in just a few seconds.

Calls To Action

I produce a lot of videos between meetings, on airplanes, or generally in inconvenient places.

For example, whenever I do a training session that requires travel, I find that the plane ride home is a great time to produce a testimonial video about the training. Depending on how far I’ve traveled, I can usually produce the testimonial video and handful of direct-to-social promotional videos.

No matter what video I’m producing, I always like to add a call to action at the end.

Videos have an exceptionally high conversion rate, compared to any other medium. For example, landing pages with video have up to 800 percent higher conversions than the same page without video. And people who watch videos are 85 percent more likely to buy, 144 percent more likely to add it to their card, and 52 percent more confident in their product purchase.

Landing pages with video have up to 800 percent higher conversions than the same page without video.

Once someone has invested their time into your video, they’re primed for the next step. Make the ask! What do you want them to do? Follow you on social media? Sign up for your newsletter? Make a purchase?

The most common calls to action I use are:

  • Share the video on social media
  • Follow us on social media
  • Join the newsletter
  • Buy a course
  • Book a training
  • Book me as a speaker

As my aunt always said, “Don’t Ask, Don’t Get.”

Brand Style Guide

Trying to guess your brand colors never works out. So, I always try to keep the things I expect to need close at hand, including my brand colors, fonts and patterns.

I also keep any style guides for sub-brands I’m working on, too. I always like to know what I’m going for so I can be sure everything on-brand.

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Royalty-Free Music

Although many video apps come with stock music for you to use, it’s important to note that most of it isn’t licensed for commercial (i.e., your business) use. To play it safe, I always keep stock music I’ve purchased on my phone to quickly add to my videos.

Music can quicken the pace of your videos, it can make people feel specific emotions. Use it to your advantage! Here are a few places I like to look for stock music:

  • Audiojungle
  • Incompetech
  • ccMixter
  • Beatpick

Evernote

You never know when inspiration will strike. Some of my best blog posts were written in just a few minutes when inspiration hits me. It’s always easier to write when you’re in the right mood.

Use Evernote to never miss out on those moments. Keep track of blog ideas, blog outlines, anecdotes and more. 

Asana

This is a new addition for me, but I am quickly beginning to wonder what I ever did without it. It’s easy to track your projects and to do lists for a variety of big picture goals.

So, you want to update your site? Tick off each item as you accomplish it, and keep track of upcoming deadlines and recurring projects. You won’t regret it, I promise.

Calendar

I used to be a pen-and-paper person, but I’ve seen the other side and I like it. If you’re still clutching to your paper planner like it’s 1995, at least start scheduling your annual events, like birthdays, doctors appointments, domain renewals and more.

You’ll quickly realize how keeping this info on your phone and at your fingertips can save you time and keep you organized.

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About The Author

Hey, I'm Sarah! I love teaching online business bosses to create better content and incorporate cool tech and tools into their content marketing machine so they can get better results (more traffic, more customers, more money) in less time. After all, isn't that what content marketing is for? Connect with me on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn.