So, you’ve had enough of pitching your product or service, and now you want to start marketing your business on social media to grow your business. Social media marketing can assist you in growing your business substantially. However, if you are not aware of the right tools & equipment that will make the process much easier for you, then social media marketing won’t be as profitable as it should be. Not to worry, this post will help you.
Social media marketing equipment
1. A smartphone
As you can judge from the survey results published above, it doesn’t need to cost an arm and a leg to start using video.
You probably have the essentials in your back pocket, as Janice Wald of Mostly Blogging explains: “The cameras on smartphones today are just as good as expensive equipment.”
Cass Polzin says the team at Accel use their smartphones to record video, too: “Our team shoots using our phones. This allows us to create and share videos quickly.”
“Sometimes we’ll use a tripod too, but it’s just as easy to hold your phone – selfie mode – or prop it up. Make sure you’re facing some natural light and you’ll be all set,” Polzin continues.
2. A DSLR camera
Smartphone cameras are impressive.
But sometimes, video content recorded on a smartphone just doesn’t meet your high-quality standards.
For that reason, Andrew McLoughlin of Colibri Digital Marketing recommends investing in a DSLR.
McLoughlin’s preference? “The Canon T7i” because “it’s a great entry-level DSLR with all the bells and whistles you’d expect from cameras at double the price point.”
“Depending on your needs, you may find yourself upgrading after a year or so, but this is a fantastic bit of kit that will give you a grounding in the basic process of creating quality video content,” McLoughlin explains.
The 20‘s Michael Copeland also recommends a DSLR as the starting point for your video kit–only this time, the Canon 80d because “it allows you to automatically track focus on a moving subject, giving you one less thing to think about when filming.”
However, Copeland thinks the DSLR you choose “can be any number of models, depending on your budget.” Each camera in Canon’s range “can shoot 23.97 frames per second which is the same rate as films, so it gives your videos a professional look.”
3. An external microphone
Your camera probably has a built-in microphone. Why not use that for recording video?
As Groove Commerce‘s Drew Blais explains, “using a quality wireless lavalier microphone system improves both the ease of filming and the quality of your output.”
That’s why Kraig Martin of Storage Vault advises to “never rely on the built-in microphones on the camera or imagine that the editing process will be able to fix bad audio. Often, it can’t. Instead, start yourself off on the right foot by getting the right equipment to begin with.”
Having a computer to help with your video editing is very useful as there’s only so much your smartphone can do, especially when it comes to 4k, 6k, 8k kinds of videos.
When choosing a computer to aid your video editing, look at its processing power, storage space, and screen size.
5. Portable lightboxes
When you’re watching a video on your device, you want to be able to see what’s happening (and not up to your brightness to 100%.)
Michael Wood of Helium Video explains how bad lighting is “one thing that will make your video look amateur over everything else”–hence why Wood recommends “get yourself a big soft light source like the Aputure C300d Light.”
“The soft light that comes off this LED light will make anyone look great no matter what you’re filming on,” Wood summarizes.
However, “the biggest thing that’s made filming for business videos easier is bringing less gear and making your kit highly mobile and flexible,” says Michael Cardwell, CEO of Digital Brew.
The team at Digital Brew use battery-powered LED light panels when filming business videos to make it easier when changing their filming set-ups: “We don’t have to run a cable all of the time or constantly be trying to find power sources for them, this has made our job much easier.”
Ryan Vet agrees and uses Samtian LED lights for the same reason: “The fact they are portable can be powered by battery or plugged in, have multiple colour filters, and are dimmable can spice up a video no matter where you shoot.”
Coming in at less than $100 bucks, it’s a bargain piece of equipment to create a professional business video.
6. A sturdy tripod
“The easiest way to distract from your video and come across as an amateur to your audience is to have shaky footage,” writes Sam Olmstead from Online Optimism.
That’s why Olmstead recommends a “great tripod or stabilization device”–because “even those with the most steady hands will have a hard time keeping completely still.”
But Olmstead advises checking if the head of your tripod is “resistant to movement. This steady resistance allows you to execute controlled movements when your shoot requires you to tilt or pan across.”
If you’re using your smartphone to record videos, don’t assume a tripod won’t do any favours for you.
Cristina Ramsey of Point in Time Studios recommends “a quality tripod for your phone” because “having a steady video dramatically increases the video’s production value.”
7. A storyboard
Continuing the small budget theme, Maurice Hissink of Music-Mindset thinks the most important video tool is a pen and paper: “If anything is more important than video quality, sound quality or editing skills, it is the main story that you want to share in your video.”
Storyboards are the perfect way to do this–something Hissink says should be “as relevant as possible and shared in YOUR own voice/style.”
Here’s a storyboard template from Vidyard to get you started:
Hissink concludes: “That will be by far the most important tool.”
Other tools you will need are:
- Ring Light
- Laptop Microphone
- Phone Microphone
- Laptop Stand
- Wireless Keyboard
- Anti-Glare Screen
- Social Media Books
- Social media marketing tools
Social media marketing tools are very important in this discussion. You need these tools to schedule posts, manage your accounts, deal with the analytics, monitoring and listening aspects.
Social media marketing tools
Buffer started as a scheduling tool for Twitter. Today, it supports all the major social media platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Google + (for the one person who still uses it.) Let’s take a look.
You can do some pretty neat things with Buffer:
- Use the chrome extension to add articles and content from the web to your Buffer queue or share content on the go.
- Automatically shortens links you share. If you’re Bitly user, you can connect your accounts.
- Upload custom photos and videos (or use ones pulled from the article you shared).
- Access complex analytics to track your content’s performance.
- Create a posting schedule so your content gets spread out throughout the day.
- Reply to posts from inside Buffer.
- Add team members.
A social media dashboard like Buffer helps you fill your social media feed with relevant and exciting content without spending half your life logged in to Facebook and Twitter.
Social media advertising is complex and can feel like you’re taking a shot in the dark. That’s where AdEspresso, the master of the A/B test, comes in.
A tool that allows real-time analysis of Facebook, Instagram, and Google ads, AdEspresso takes the guesswork out of how your ads are resonating with your audiences following your campaign name and targeting details.
You can create and manage ads for all three platforms in one place and then see what’s working (and what’s not) while your campaign is live. You systematically test different images, headlines, ad copy, and so on, until you find the perfect combination.
Ad creation and optimization are quick and easy, with a customizable dashboard that allows you to view the most important metrics in a single place. You’ll end up with always-on campaigns that will monitor your Facebook Pages and immediately promote new posts, and use smart filters to define what’s going to be promoted and for how long.
And rather than manually syncing your Lead Ads into your CRM or email marketing, you can keep your leads, contacts, and audiences synched with your Facebook Ad Account.
If you want to take the guesswork out of a complicated system and streamline your efforts, give AdEspresso ago this year.
Prices: Free plan, $29, $129, $599 per month, and enterprise pricing (with a 30-day free trial)
In the chaotic world of social media, Hootsuite handles multiple social media accounts, bringing them under one login into a single dashboard, and you can sign up free of charge.
One of the most popular social media management tools around, Hootsuite allows for collaboration across team members and an approval process. Alongside the major benefit of seeing all your comments and mentions in one place, you can also assign tasks, plot a social media calendar, and schedule updates.
Through Hootsuite Podium you can check out free online social media courses to develop better social media management skills and learn the fundamentals of social media marketing.
Beyond that, for the more experienced digital marketer, its tools integrate with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, and YouTube, giving you an in-depth breakdown of your analytics and allowing you to interact with prospective customers.
You can even integrate other community-based platforms including Reddit, Tumblr, and Storify, which helps gather even more feedback and customer data.
There’s a good reason for their success: it’s an all-in-one platform that allows you to curate and schedule content, measure your social ROI, run social media ads, and more.
Unique value: Being such a comprehensive platform, there are several things that people love about Hootsuite: being able to monitor multiple accounts and keywords, connect with over 35 social networks, and bulk-schedule social media posts.
Already got Buffer? To simplify your work even further, i.e., to eliminate the part where you are the one looking for valuable content to share, start using Quuu. This is a social media marketing tool that curates content for you: it takes hand-picked, always relevant content, and adds it to the Buffer queue. This eliminates any trouble of curating and sharing any content other than the stuff you most want to share (i.e., your blog posts and promotional content).
Price: plans start at $15/mo
Awario is a social media listening tool made for solopreneurs and small businesses. It doesn’t require a large budget, yet it covers all major social media listening features: finds mentions of your brand or any other keyword on all major social media platforms, including influential forums like Reddit; breaks mentions down into positive, negative, and neutral ones; shows you a list of influencers, and offers reports with all the stats on the authors that mention your brand.
Price: starts at $29/mo
Do you want to succeed in social media marketing? You will. Social media is a huge part of the marketing strategy nowadays and it’s growing bigger by the day. This means you have to be on the ball and take advantage of changes as they happen.