Make Videos like a Big Brand – on a Small Brand Budget

DEK: If you think video is an impossible goal for your brand, you’re wrong. Here’s why.

I was walking down Park Avenue in New York, just a few blocks from Grand Central Terminal, when I saw a gaggle of teen girls sprinting toward an even larger gaggle of teen girls.

I figured somewhere in the center of that gaggle, gasping for air and clawing for an escape was someone like Justin Bieber, Nick Jonas or Zayn Malik. I hung on the fringes and asked one of the few girls who weren’t sobbing with joy who they were all clamoring to see.

“OMG. It’s Shawn Mendes,” she said. “He is HUGE on Vine.”

This is what I love about social media, the fact that anyone—even a 16-year-old singing cover songs—can become HUGE. In this way, social media has become a great equalizer. It espouses the idea that if you work hard and put in the time, you can make it to the big leagues. You (or your brand) could become HUGE.

After social platforms democratized the sharing side of publishing, brands began looking for makers and marketers who could create high-quality content. Everyone started a blog, claimed their handles, and became their own news and information network.

Although there are tons of tools available to make it easier to produce quality content, from free design tools like Canva to blog idea generators like the one on HubSpot, some types of content still seem unattainable and confusing.

Even though more than half of our time spent online is spent watching videos, only one in 10 small brands is producing its own original video (That jumps to one in four for large brands).


Knowing that videos are shared 1200 percent more than text and that visitors stay on sites with video 88 percent longer, not producing original video content is a huge lost opportunity for growth.

The most common excuses I hear are:

  1. Video is expensive.
  2. It must be perfect to be effective.
  3. Producing your own videos is super time-consuming.

I wrote an entire post debunking these myths, but there’s one excuse I’ve been hearing more and more often as I work with larger brands: I don’t want to be on camera.

Although there are tons of benefits to being on camera, from increased trust from your audience to improved brand recognition, there are tons of brands that are producing original video quickly and cheaply without ever showing a face on camera.


One of my own favorites is Google.

Their videos are so simple yet so effective. And oh-so-possible for even the smallest brands to reproduce.

Join me April 6 to learn how to produce videos like Google, from animated videos to whiteboard videos, using your smartphone and a handful of handy apps.

Stop making excuses and start making videos.

In the meantime, master the basics of shooting video on your smartphone with this free cheat sheet.

About The Author
Sarah Redohl is the chief creative strategist of StoryLab, based in Columbia, Missouri. StoryLab aims to bring the power of digital storytelling to everyone through the use of smartphones and tablets through custom training sessions and online courses.

Past clients include the American Society of Business Press Editors, and professionals from Oracle and The Economist, among others. StoryLab also participates in a journalism collaboration that aims to bring the power of storytelling to nonprofit agencies in developing countries where stories might otherwise go untold.

Since 2013, Redohl has taught multimedia and mobile journalism at her alma mater, the Missouri School of Journalism. Previously, she has worked on projects for the Travel ChannelNPR and the U.S. Department of State, among others. Redohl has won both regional and national awards for her visual storytelling, and has been recognized as one of Folio Magazine’s 15 Under 30 young professionals driving media’s next-gen innovation.