The beginner's guide to video for accountants

Why you need it and how to make it work for you

Absolute beginners – get back to basics with our new guide to video for accountants

PracticeWeb has launched a new series of short, easy-to-understand guides covering the basics of digital marketing, one aspect at a time, because we’ve been listening to the accountants we work with.

Video is a powerful communications medium and one that’s easier than ever for accountants to explore. The potential benefits are huge – and, as with so many things, the more you do it, the easier it gets.

In our beginner’s guide to video we look at:
  • The benefits of video – why you should care
  • The rise of internet video – a little backstory
  • Different styles of video – it’s not all talking heads
  • How to make a DIY video today – practical advice
  • How to make a text video – for the camera shy
  • Sharing your video – YouTube, Vimeo and so on
  • Squeezing out extra value – how to use your video
  • Tips and tricks
  • Software advice and further reading.

We’ve written this guide with a complete novice in mind, assuming the reader knows nothing about video.

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Sample: The beginner’s guide to video for accountants

Introduction

Video is a powerful communications medium and one that’s easier than ever for accountants to explore.

After all, the smartphone in your pocket probably contains an HD camera and editing software that would have seemed top of the range 20 years ago.

The bit that’s difficult is knowing what to film and, let’s be honest, having the nerve to subject yourself to the experience.

Suggest to most people that they record video for their accounting firm’s blog or social media channels and they’ll cringe at the thought. Some find it embarrassing while for others, it’s downright scary.

Those instincts are well worth conquering, though, because the potential benefits are huge – and, as with so many things, the more you do it, the easier it gets.

This beginner’s guide to video looks at why your need video and how to make it work for you.

Ray newman

Head of content, PracticeWeb

Five things video can do for you

“When asked how they’d most like to learn about a product or service, two-thirds of people (66%) said they’d prefer to watch a short video.” 

The State of Video Marketing 2020, Wyzoo.

1. Convey brand and personality

When it comes to making connections, arguably the next best thing to face-to-face is video. It gives people a chance to see your face, hear your voice and get an idea of what it might be like to work with your firm. It brings your brand to life.

2. Connect with more and different people

The more ways there are to access your message, the better. Some like to read, others prefer to watch and listen. If you rely solely on written content, you miss an opportunity to speak to people who prefer to take information onboard through the audio-visual route.

3. Signal you’re a modern firm

It’s a superficial thing, really, but these days, websites that present the user with only a wall of text come across as old fashioned. The same goes for your social media feeds. Video is a simple way to show that you’re making an effort to engage with the 21st century.

4. Save time and effort

For some people, making a video is easier than writing a blog post. If you’re more confident expressing yourself verbally than on the page, making a video can be a five minute job, whereas writing a thousand words might be a painful day-long experience.

5. Help you stand out and grab attention

The human eye is drawn to movement and video has the power to arrest people’s attention in a way no other medium can. When they’re scrolling the LinkedIn feed or skimming a website page, a colourful moving image is likely to make them pause and engage.

 

Types of video

Accountants use an endless variety of types of video in their marketing, from musical loops on TikTok to full-produced advertisements.

Here’s a rundown of some of the popular options.

Informal

Look at LinkedIn and you’ll see plenty of this: filmed on a smartphone, perhaps in a car, gym or office space, with an accountant talking directly to the user without a script or any fancy presentation. These benefit from being immediate, personal and authentic.

On the downside, they can seem unprofessional and, at worst, poor production can make them hard to watch and listen to.

Tutorial

Using apps such as Loom you can record a video in which you show both your face and your screen so you can talk users through tasks in Excel, Xero or any other package. These have the benefit of being practical and easy to produce – as long as you have the software, a microphone and webcam on your PC, you can do this from your desk. They’re a good way to demonstrate expertise.

Animated

From bespoke animations created from scratch by designers to off-the-peg videos produced using character animation software, this approach tends to appeal to people who are camera shy and who like the idea of briefing the producers and then stepping away from the process altogether. Done badly, however, animation can look cheap and nasty, and undercut your professionalism.

News bulletin

There are various applications that make it fast and easy to output videos like those you see on the BBC News website – photos or videos overlaid with facts and figures in text, perhaps with an ambient bed of music. They require some writing, but not much – a little text goes a long way on screen – and are another appealing option for those not keen on appearing on camera themselves.

Studio

A higher-end and relatively expensive option is to spend a day in the studio recording multiple ‘explainers’ and ‘to camera’ pieces. An experienced director will get the best out of non-professionals and the finished product will be slick and credible.

On the other hand, these can also seem a bit stiff and there’s not much flexibility: you’ll need to book a slot and plan carefully.

Full production

The Rolls-Royce of corporate video is getting a videographer to produce a promotional film with multiple camera setups and sophisticated editing.

For most accountancy firms, this will be overkill, although it might be a good way to introduce a new firm to the market and will make a splash on your website homepage. A production like this sends strong signals of quality and confidence.

 

What’s inside our beginner’s guide?

  • The benefits of video – why you should care
  • The rise of internet video – a little backstory
  • Different styles of video – it’s not all talking heads
  • How to make a DIY video today – practical advice
  • How to make a text video – for the camera shy
  • Sharing your video – YouTube, Vimeo and so on
  • Squeezing out extra value – how to use your video
  • Tips and tricks
  • Software advice and further reading.

 

Make video part of your content strategy

If you want to review your approach to digital marketing and move beyond off-the-peg blogging, let PracticeWeb support you in developing comprehensive brand and content strategies.

In-depth workshops with our marketing experts will helpyou work out what makes your firm different, who you want to connect with and what you want to say.

If you want to review your approach to digital marketing and move beyond off-the-peg blogging, let PracticeWeb support you in developing comprehensive brand and content strategies.

In-depth workshops with our marketing experts will help you work out what makes your firm different, who you want to connect with and what you want to say.

Contact us today if you’d like us to help you start building video into your accountancy firm’s digital marketing programme.

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