How To Make Successful Restaurant Videos In 6 Steps

Hubspot has it that 87% of marketers today use videos for online content. Being a rather fresh concept in the F&B industry, many restaurant owners are looking to get started. Videos are perfect for creating stronger brand awareness of your restaurant, helping you to garner shares on social media. If you’ve been wanting to create your own video for your restaurant, but felt it was too daunting, great news! Here’s how you can do-it-yourself in just 6 simple steps.

#1: Start with Your Video Concept

When you want to cook, you need to decide on a cuisine before picking ingredients. Similarly, you need to start with a broad video concept before you work your way to the finer details.

Start by deciding the intended purpose and target audience of your video. For example, is it meant to be a promotional campaign for an upcoming event you’re hosting, or to advertise new additions to your menu? Have a rough framework on how you’d like the video to flow. Concepts you can consider to include are behind-the-scene footages, or testimonials of your staff and customers. A quick search on Youtube will also get you some inspiration.

Next, work on the finer details of your video. Think about the overall look and feel as well as the resources (i.e time, manpower, cost) that are needed to pull it off.  Are you intending to use animation; illustrations; stock photos or live videos? Do you intend to do a voiceover, or use background music? Don’t worry if your concept is still a blur, ironing out these details at an early stage will help to point you in the right direction! It’s completely normal if things still seem pretty abstract at this point. Knowing what you want to create and being aware  of what is required to get there will help to keep things efficient and focused for your next steps.

#2: Tell Your Story

Nailed the overall look and feel? It’s time to fill your video concept with a story. Here’s where your concept materialises into a concrete framework, also known as your storyboard. Striking a good balance of information, entertainment and brand authenticity is ideal. Here are some key points you can consider to beef up your storyboard:

  • Are there going to be words in your video?

Tip: Writing them down in point form will make the thought process easier. Get your friends to re-read them to further improve the flow and clarity.

  • How will the various corresponding scenes and transitions look?

Tip: To make this visualisation process simpler, Microsoft PowerPoint Slides is a good tool to use while brainstorming. Place pictures, concepts and anything you’d like in. This will make it easier for you to decide what’s best, or to seek for opinions.

  • What will your background soundtrack be? Or are you doing a voice over?

Tip: Have a few in your list and decide again after you’ve done up your video.

If you’re going with having a background soundtrack, keep a few of you favorites in a list. You can decide again when you’ve done up your video, to see which suits the end visuals best.

  • What will your call-to-action (CTA) at the end of the video be?

Tip: Keep your CTA short and purposeful. In addition, if you run an online ordering platform, make sure to direct your customers there too. This ensures the CTA garners you beyond “likes” on social media, but also increases awareness of your e-commerce platform.

When it comes to the length of your video, be sure to keep it succinct. According to Wistia.com, videos within 2 minutes hits the sweet spot for optimal viewer engagement. You may exceed this time frame depending on your storyline, but try to keep within 3.5 minutes. Any longer than that, your viewers are going to lose interest. Remember, less is more!

#3: Time to Film

For many restaurant owners, filming is a foreign territory. Today’s technology has made it much easier! Depending on your list in Step 1, you will need different types of resources. Here are 4 ways to get started:

1. Hire a professional team

The first, and easiest approach, is to hire a professional team. That way, you get input on your storyboard, and probably help in editing! However, this is a costly option, a definite no-go if you’re on a budget.

2. Film it on your smartphone

Alternatively, you could use your own phone as a camera. With the clarity of mobile phone cameras these days, the quality of your video won’t be compromised. If you’re going with this option, get a tripod stand so your videos are not shaky. There are many affordable ones you can find online. Also, be sure to take note of the lighting (to prevent unwanted shadows) and the framing of the videos. Take multiple shots from various angles so you have a few to play around with.

3. Sourcing for existing footage

The last method (and also our top choice), is to compile a series of videos you can use from online resources. Think free stock videos from Pexels, Videezy and Vimeo, or videos from Youtube! You can simply download Youtube videos by adding “kiss” in front of the video’s URL (just remember to credit them).

4. Using stock images

You may be going for a video that is cleverly stitched together from static images. Looking at videos by Business Insider or Buzzfeed could give you greater inspiration on how to bring across your story. If the pictures you have on hand are not sufficient to carry out your ideal storyline, a mix of relevant stock photos will do the trick. Simply do a quick Google search on “free stock images” and there you have it!

#4: Putting It All Together

After filming, the next step is to edit your video. At its best, this part could be a lot of fun, watching your video materialize. At its worse, it could get frustrating, as you may need to re-film or find new videos. Don’t be disheartened if that happens! Even professionals may face this problem, and it takes experience to get filming right the first time.

For beginners, iMovie is an easy-to-use and intuitive application for you to explore. And it’s totally free! Alternatively, Animoto and Magisto are also great, affordable online video editing sites with preset templates you can easily customise. These tools offer free trials ranging from 7 to 14 days. If you’re still unable to get the effect you’d like, Premium Pro would be a great option, although it’s a little more pricey.

With these easy-to-use tools for video editing, you can add the transition effects, music, and overlay texts! When you’re almost done, replay the video and see if you can spot any mistakes. If there are texts, are you able to read them at a comfortable pace? Make sure they appear on each scene long enough for viewers to read. Is your CTA at the end clear and effective? Rope in your friends and family to help you improve. Most importantly, remember to include a watermark of your restaurant’s logo! You wouldn’t want your customers to forget about your branding.

#5: Save and Compress

When finalising your video, think of a title that sums up your video well. Let the creative juices flow while brainstorming for titles! It could be formal, descriptive, or even fun, depending on your restaurant brand.

After saving your video, optimise it to the platform where your video will be shared. This cheat sheet by Mainstreethost also sums up the optimal settings for various social media platforms. For Facebook, setting your video size to a ‘square’ mode is best for mobile users. For Youtube, be sure keep it to a rectangular frame. Additionally, it would be best to compress the size of your video so it loads quickly. We found that ClipChamp was extremely useful at this stage.

#6: Go Live!

The most exciting bit is here, where alas, your video is ready for launch! You’ve put in a lot of effort to get to this stage, so don’t let it go to waste. 75% of viewers tend to visit a brand’s website after watching their video. Hence, ensuring your video gets a ton of views will help increase your brand awareness.

Start by posting your video on all your social media platforms. Incorporating a contest related to your video is also a great way to incentivise your viewers to share it. Also, remember to choose an attractive thumbnail to represent your video. According to Forrester Research, launching a video will increase the chances of your brand being found on Google’s search engine by 53 times! To further optimise your SEO ranking, include tags and descriptions on YouTube.

Creating your own video is not that difficult, isn’t it? We would love to see all your creations, so go on and share it with us at @oddlefnb on Facebook!

At Oddle, we are always inspired by technological advancements in F&B delivery. These 6 steps were tried and tested to bring you “Prams to Rockets”. We had so much doing it and if you enjoy it too, feel free to share the video!

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