Newborn photography thrives on word of mouth. That’s because there’s a great deal of trust involved; parents don’t want to document such an important (and vulnerable) time in their babies’ lives with just anyone. Think word of mouth won’t get you far enough? Acclaimed newborn photographer Kelly Brown might beg to differ; she doesn’t need to advertise directly, because her business is booming on the basis of referrals alone.
One of the ways Kelly manages to get those trusted referrals is by creating highly shareable birth announcement slideshows, combining her newborn images with details about the baby’s birth. Parents adore the birth announcements, and are so proud to share them with friends and family, giving Kelly dozens of potential referrals with each video.
Take, for example, this birth announcement video, which got more than 7,000 views on Facebook.
Song: “The Story Unfolds” by Dan Phillipson
Want to know how Kelly makes such a compelling video? Here are her tips for creating shareworthy video birth announcements:
- Shoot with your video in mind. “I take 5-6 close-up detail images during a session, purposely for the slideshow.” These images add visual diversity in the birth announcement, which keeps viewers engaged.
- Convert images to black and white. Kelly finds doing so allows her to do quicker edits. Alternatively, you can try Animoto’s Monochrome style, which converts images and video clips to black and white for you.
- Choose a simple video style. That way, Kelly points out, “all of the focus is on the baby, not the background or text.” Animoto video styles like Grace (which Kelly co-designed with Animoto), Documentary or Timeless are all great choices for an understated video that puts the focus on your images.
- Keep it short. Kelly’s birth announcements are usually around 30 seconds, but definitely no longer than a minute. Shorter videos keep viewers’s interest longer. That increases the likelihood your video will get watched to the end, and ultimately shared.
- Use soft instrumental music. If you do choose a song with lyrics, make sure they fit your video. Lyrics that don’t match your images can distract your viewers. Check out some of Kelly’s favorite songs for inspiration.
- Share with your clients. According to Kelly, “I like to upload my slideshows to Vimeo from Animoto and share them privately with my clients so that they have the option to download the slideshow to keep.” But, you can also post your video to Facebook if the parents agree to it, or share the video through a cloud-based file sharer like Dropbox.
- Include your contact info. Make sure your website and logo are the last things viewers see in your video, so they connect your name to the images.
Birth announcement videos are a quick and easy way to reach new clients and impress existing ones. The next time you have a newborn session, try creating one of your own. Then share with us on Facebook or in the comments below — we’d love to see your work!