Archery Shop Content Creation: Making Great How-To Videos

Extend the marketing reach of your archery shop with the power of influential how-to videos.

Archery Shop Content Creation: Making Great How-To Videos

How-to videos are a great tool to reach potential consumers via social media and other avenues.

It’s no secret that today’s consumers spend a lot of time online. An increasing number of consumers are turning to video to digest content. Last year, Zenith Media estimated that globally, people watched an average of 84 minutes of online video per day, up from an estimated average of 67 minutes in 2018. Since 2013, video consumption has grown 32 percent per year on average, according to Zenith. YouTube is the second most visited website in the world, coming in behind only Google. A Cisco Visual Networking Index white paper reports that videos will account for 82 percent of all internet traffic by 2022.

Businesses have taken note. A 2018 Wyzowl survey found that 81 percent of companies use video as a marketing tool.

If you’re not taking advantage of this medium to strengthen your brand, promote your business and educate your customers, you may be missing out. According to, 50 percent of consumers search for video content about a product or service before visiting a store. Creating high-quality product demos and in-store promotional videos can drive people through your doors.

If you are willing to spend the time and effort, you could create your own YouTube channel and grow it into a revenue-generating asset. Even if you want to post video content about your business on your social media platforms or website, your content needs to be professional and appealing if you want people to watch it.


Your Video Content

What you want your message to be and do will determine the theme of your video content. For archery retailers, videos in which you review or demonstrate various products you carry can be highly effective. You could also create videos with shooting tips, or that cover various aspects of bow maintenance. These how-to videos can — and usually should — be fairly short; the most effective videos tend to be under one minute.

Besides educational videos, you could also create some promotional content where you showcase what your shop has to offer. If you run a sale or a special, you might consider posting a video covering that on your social media channels. And if you’re interested, you could help your customers get to know you better by creating videos that show off your personality, or the personalities of your employees. These can be hard to pull off, but they are a great way to further your relationships with your customers and build brand loyalty.

If you have or decide to create a YouTube channel, consider creating one or more series of videos that you organize into a playlist. A series will encourage viewers to watch multiple videos in one session, improving your standings with the YouTube algorithm.


Planning Your Video

It seems simple enough, right? Just hit record on your smartphone’s camera and start filming. But the truth is, more goes into making high-quality videos than meets the eye.

Much of the work of producing a great video happens before you ever pick up a camera. In the pre-production stage, you need to pick the topic of your video, deciding on a setting and write a script. Essentially, this stage covers everything that needs to happen before you can push “record.”

The pre-production stage is critical to video creation. The more time and attention to detail you bring to this stage, the less time you’ll need to spend editing your video to produce a topnotch product.

Let’s say you decide to make a video demonstrating a new arrow rest you’ve added to your inventory. Are you comfortable speaking off the cuff about the arrow rest, or would you feel better if you had a script? With a script, you will likely have fewer pauses and verbal slip ups, but most people will need practice to achieve a natural speaking voice while reading from a script. If you don’t have a script, you may need to do more editing later, but you’ll probably sound more natural.

If you do decide to write a script, you’ll likely want to use a teleprompter, avoiding the need to memorize it. You don’t need to spend a fortune on a professional teleprompter; there are apps for your phone or tablet that will allow you to read your pre-written text right from the screen. You’ll want to use a phone mount that holds your phone at eye level somewhere offscreen rather than holding your phone in your hand and looking down to read.

Whether you choose to ad lib or write everything out, make sure to include a call to action in your video. That may be subscribing to your channel, liking your Facebook page, coming down to the shop to see a new product, or signing up for your archery shop’s newsletter.

When you film, you want to speak faster to appeal to young audiences or more slowly to appeal to older viewers. When in doubt, don’t go too fast.

Once you know what you’re going to say, think about your appearance. If you’re doing educational videos, you’ll want to be professionally dressed, such as in your shop’s logo attire. Personality videos can be more informal, but always remember that you want to establish yourself as an archery expert. Your apparel should reflect that.

One area in which a lot of archery shops struggle is with the background. Archery shops are generally terrible places to get great videos and photographs. The lighting is usually not great, and there’s often clutter in the background. Take the time to very intentionally select the background for your video.

Believe it or not, you don’t want a bare background, such as a plain wall. Look at how much detail set designers put into the backgrounds of your favorite TV shows and movies. A well-designed background will make your video more appealing and can subtly communicate qualities you want your viewers to know about you.

Make sure that the background you choose is clean and well-organized. Whenever possible, eliminate distractions, such as customers or other staff members moving around behind you. Think about little ways to show people what sets your shop apart from your competition. If you’ve won awards, for example, you could hang those behind you on a wall. As people watch your videos, their subconscious will take in those achievements and help develop their impression of your shop.

Light and shadow are incredibly important for creating high-quality video clips. While natural light is best, you should generally avoid direct sunlight because it creates harsh lighting conditions. If you’re planning on producing a lot of video content, then it might be worth it to invest in some lighting equipment. Amazon has basic lighting packages available for less than $100.


Design Considerations

Next, focus on how your video will look on the screen. Photographers use the rule of thirds to create more compelling compositions, and you should consider this basic practice, too. The premise: A grid with two vertical lines and two horizontal lines creating nine boxes. Putting your subject along those lines or where they intersect can help make your composition stronger. recommends putting people off to one side of the frame instead of directly in the center. It also suggests putting your subject’s eyes at an intersection of the grid.

When placing the camera, you should also consider its relation to the subject’s eyeline. If speaking directly to your viewers, position the camera to create a positive impact for viewers. Putting the camera slightly below the subject’s eyeline will result in a subject that is looking down at viewers, creating the impression of an authority figure and distancing the viewers. Putting the camera at the subject’s eyeline creates a more relaxed, conversational impression.

Necessary Equipment

It’s likely that you already have most of the equipment right in your pocket. That’s right — your smartphone can do a serviceable job of recording video. Today’s smartphone cameras are pretty good in terms of video quality, and if you only want to make the occasional video, you can probably get away with just using your phone.

Unfortunately, the audio quality is nowhere near that of a good microphone. Additionally, smartphone videos can be shaky if you try to hold the phone yourself the whole time. One company I work with does many Facebook Live videos with the help of a small tripod, which works well for them.

If you’d like to get a better camera, you could get a web cam, which is convenient in that it takes video directly to your computer where you can easily edit it. The Logitech C920 HD Pro is an affordable ($79.99) and popular option. Unlike your smartphone, however, a web cam is pretty much immobile, so you would have a difficult time making videos at the annual ATA Trade Show or outside.

If you’re going to make a lot of videos, you may want to invest in a professional DSLR. These are pricy, but you will get the best quality. The Canon Rebel is a solid entry-level camera that many recommend; you can find it for around $400. Set up on a tripod, a DSLR will provide you with exceptional, steady footage, but you also have the option to take it with you and get video on the go.

No matter what camera you use, definitely consider an external microphone. The quality of your sound plays a big part in whether people will watch your video. A good USB microphone like the Logitech ClearChat H390 is affordable and can help make your videos far more professional.

Finally, once you have your raw material, you’ll need to edit it into your finished product. Video editing software, like that available from Adobe, can help you turn 20 minutes of footage into a sleek and attractive 60-second video.

Some videos, such as bow reviews and reveals, are worthy of a longer video. In the 4-minute video below, check out how Straight 6 Archery detailed the Prime Logic CT3. Since it was posted in mid-December 2018, the video has been viewed nearly 13,000 times.

Photos by John Hafner


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