5 Homemade Marketing Videos that Outsmart Big Brand Budgets

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Does your brand need an explainer video? It’s clear that video marketing is a high-impact investment, with the potential to increase conversion rates dramatically.

But here’s the thing. Studio-quality videos are expensive to produce. As valuable as they are, they’re often a luxury for larger companies with established profit margins. Whether you’re hosting your company video on your brand’s homepage or promoting it on YouTube, there is a chance that performance will flop. Startup and small business marketers can’t afford to take that risk.

What you can do, however, is harness your most valuable business assets — your agility, street smarts, and tenacity. Video marketing is something that you can do at home. Here are 5 examples to inspire you:

1. Khush’s Story

Co-founders (and husband and wife team) Prerna Gupta and Parag Chordia founded Khush, one of the world’s first intelligent music apps. With modest funding and a failed startup under their belt, the two crafted their marketing strategy with one goal in mind — to build growth into their product vision.

Gupta and Chordia had more than an amazing product to drive growth, however. Their biggest asset was themselves. With a video marketing budget of zero, the two set up their home camera and filmed themselves using the app. Here is how she describes her experience on Clarity.fm:

“When we pre-pitched the product to friends and family, the phrase “reverse karaoke” piqued people’s interest. I would demo beta versions of the app with videos (see below), and people would smile and clap:

But, we didn’t have people jumping up and down with excitement to try it. When we launched the product, it quickly became clear why: most people were intrigued by the idea of “reverse karaoke” but felt too embarrassed by their own singing to give it a try.

So, on the next iteration of the product, we added vocal effects that work alongside the reverse karaoke technology to “make bad singers sound good,” and my CTO started demoing the app instead of me, with videos of himself singing badly like this:

The result of their video marketing strategy? Khush’s apps surged in popularity, attracting millions of dedicated users.  The company was acquired by music app leader Smule in 2011.

2. AppSumo’s Story

Noah Kagan, founder at AppSumo, has mastered the art of ‘keeping it real.’ His company, AppSumo, connects entrepreneurs with products, companies, and deals that they’re likely to love. As part of his company, Kagan has launched a course that teaches entrepreneurs how to launch their businesses.

 Noah Kagan AppSumo Video

The video is effective because it’s straightforward and personal.  You see the face behind AppSumo’s brand — a guy at his desk, at his computer. The value proposition is clear to Kagan’s desired audience — future-preneurs who are interested in launching businesses from their homes.

3. SumoMe’s Story

Kagan created a similar video for a new set of tools that he’s launching — SumoMe, an app that makes it easier to drive visibility to blog content. Again, the explainer video is simple — a step by step guide to getting started.

SumoMe Video

The inspiration from this example is simple — don’t let cost or time hold you back from writing a script and filming your video at home. This approach is down-to-earth and simple.

4. Blueprint Earth’s Story

Blueprint Earth is a Southern California based nonprofit that is looking to accomplish two goals: (1) replicate the earth’s environment and (2) connect disparate scientific communities through research.

The nonprofit’s founder, Jess Pelaez, recently launched a crowdfunding campaign to help connect with contributors and spread the word about the organization.

Watch this video — you’ll be surprised to see what you can create with a tripod, beautiful scenery, and an HD video camera:

5. 100’s Story

To promote her upcoming company — 100 — Karen X. Cheng produced a viral video that chronicles her experience of learning to dance in a year. Her message? The inspiring reality that you can truly learn to do anything in a year.

This video has carried Cheng — and 100 — far. After going viral on YouTube, it’s become 100’s ‘about page’ explainer and very first customer testimonial.

The success of this video wasn’t an accident. Cheng took a mastermind approach and planned a comprehensive PR strategy. She analyzed her market, reached out to stakeholders, and relentless analyzed performance.

Final Thoughts: Watch Your Call-to-Action

These videos have two points of feedback in common:

(1) They’re all extremely human, compelling, and awesome.

(2) They need a stronger call-to-action (CTA) to help audiences ‘ take the next step’ into becoming leads, customers, or brand advocates.

Good videos are emotionally driven, engaging, and instantly attention-grabbing. They’ll leave audiences at the edges of their seats, waiting to take the next step. Design a CTA that provides this much-needed guidance.

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