Increasingly, companies are trying to find ways to create content that can engage and entertain audiences instead of just trying to sell them something or promote the company. In today’s environment of two way communication between brands and consumers, companies have become storytellers, and video is a great storytelling tool. However, many small businesses are still shying away from video marketing. Why?
For many small businesses, video is intimidating and often considered too expensive. While that may have been the case long ago, however, even on a modest small business, videos have become more budget friendly. You don’t need to invest a million dollars in video to create engaging, high-quality video that will help solidify your relationship with existing customers and bring in new prospects.
There are several reasons small businesses shy away from video marketing:
• You might not know how to get started or maybe you’re unsure what kind of video would engage your audience.
• You may not know how to create a powerful script that will educate, empower and entertain your ideal customer.
• You may not have the experience or equipment. (You don’t want to post shaky, poorly-lit iPhone video on the web and risk looking unprofessional.
• You might now know how to best market your videos, so they get seen by the widest possible audience.
To help you get started, we’ve put together a list of tips for creating a great small business video.
1) Pick a purpose and find the stories that focus on it
Not all business marketing videos serve the same purpose and they shouldn’t be the same. Some videos want to sell or promote a product, others may be more about raising brand awareness of your company as a whole. Think about what your company has to offer and how you can offer it in video.
Product overviews can help prospective customers learn more about a product and make more informed purchasing decisions. “How To” videos can show expertise in your field and provide a valuable lesson for the consumer. Customer testimonials can be a great way to show people your products and customer service, as well as display the value of your company or product.
2) Have a Game Plan
As most good business leaders know, at the heart of getting things done is a good, well-thought out plan. Making a successful video requires more than just recording a video on your iPhone, posting it to YouTube and hoping for the best! Don’t try to do it all alone. Video is a collaborative medium and requires a professional company.
Once you’ve decided the goal of the video, consider who the people are in the company who should provide input on the video? What outside resources will be needed? What is the budget? Timeline? These are just some of the initial questions you need to ask, but essentially having a plan means considering what needs to get done for the video, how it is going to get done and when it is going to get done.
3) What Story Will Connect, Engage, or Entertain Your Audience
When thinking about the stories that will support your video’s purpose, recognize that not all stories are equal. Some have more emotional pull than others, some are funnier, some are action packed. Videos take time and money and there is no reason to spend valuable resources on a bad video. As you plan your video, consider which stories you have to tell and which ones are the strongest. You might even get ideas from watching samples of custom business videos.
Once you’ve been able to determine what stories will connect with your audience, now it’s time to think about the script copy. Great copywriting is as much a science as is an art and it can literally make or break a video. It needs to be compelling enough to attract, engage and connect with viewers. Creative copywriting is a particular discipline and is best left up to the pros.
4) Production Value Matters!
You may have seen a homemade video of a competitor online and think, “hey, I can do that too.” – Homemade is for brownies, not video production and marketing! Just because a competitor put up a homemade video on YouTube doesn’t mean you should too!
If you want your small business video to have an impact, it shouldn’t look like someone shot it on their iPhone. You need to invest in it like any other marketing measure or company initiative. The best way to guarantee quality production level is to hire professionals who do everything from concept to post-production.
5) Marketing and Distributing Your Video to The World
Now that you’ve made your video and are ready to share it with the world you need to launch it effectively. Many filmmakers will say that a movie isn’t complete until it is seen by an audience. The same is true for your videos.
Today, there are several platforms available for small businesses to distribute their video to the world such as: Youtube, Facebook, Twitter, Vimeo, Vzzar, Daliymotion, Viddler and many others. You can also distribute your videos via email. And, depending on the type of video produced, you can even contact industry associations and publications that can share and distribute your video to eyeballs you might not otherwise have been able to get.
Distributing your small business video online means it can be watched by your ideal customer on their desktop computer, laptop, tablet or smartphone. Video is the perfect way to warm up leads because people get to know your face, hear your voice, and see your passion and expertise on display. In short, they get to know you and feel comfortable with you, before they’ve even met you.
Now that you have some basic tips, go ahead, start brainstorming and let us know what’s your big video idea?