The decision to add video to the marketing plan for your small business doesn’t have to be intimidating, as we outlined in Five Ways to Utilize YouTube
. It’s a great opportunity to help customers get a closer, more personal view of you and your business and it can position you as an authority in your industry.
We’ve looked at the overall value of using video — now let’s look at a few ideas for what your videos can be about:
1. How-to videos
Demonstrate how to use your product. If your product is complex to use, you can create one- or two-minute videos for each step of the process. If it’s simple, a single video taking customers through all of the steps will do. During the demonstration, point out the benefits of using your product. Remember to create a new video each time you update a product or introduce a new one.
2. Testimonials from customers
People are likely to believe what other customers say, so don’t hesitate to ask your best customers if they’d be willing to have a short testimonial recorded. Testimonials in print or on your web site are always valuable, but there’s nothing like the credibility of seeing and hearing positive views of your business from a “live” person. No scripts are needed — you want authentic stories to be told.
Feature your business’s participation in events, whether you’re the host or are taking part in an event sponsored by another organization. If it’s your event, you can record some aspects of the planning that went into it and quick interviews with attendees. If your company is just participating, show your employees’ involvement and have them answer a few questions about what they’re doing and why they’re there. Community-based (rather than industry-related) events in particular help customers see your small business in a positive light.
4. Employee interviews
Let customers get to know your company better with short videos about the people who create your product or provide your service. Not only does this put a face on your business’s name, it also helps customers feel more comfortable with you. This is an especially smart tactic if your customers are local, because they may choose to do business with people they feel they know instead of a company that’s just another search result online. Ask your featured employees a few questions, show them doing their work and include a bit about them from a personal angle, such as what they like to do in their time away from work.
5. Helpful tips
Rather than being strictly instructional like the how-to videos, these are about sharing knowledge and positioning yourself as an expert. Show viewers how your knowledge fits into a bigger picture — if you’re in the plumbing business, for example, offer tips on how customers can reduce their water consumption (with or without your services), or how to plan for their plumbing needs if they’re about to build or remodel.
A quick tour of your business can pay off in several ways: Potential customers get a preview that can help them make up their minds about coming in; you can show off your brand-new product line as customers would see it in your store; you can feature additional services that customers may not know you offer; and you can help customers get to know you.
No matter what your video is about, also consider these tactics:
- Use both still images and video together for variety.
- Include some kind of call to action, whether it’s an invitation to take advantage of a special offer or just get in touch.
- Promote your videos via all of your marketing channels: your web site, Facebook and/or Twitter and email.
Capture and share — simplify your approach to video marketing
Few small business owners are likely to have the tens of thousands of dollars it can cost to have outside vendors produce video for them. The good news is that you don’t need a big budget to see results from your video marketing efforts. Plus, with the explosion of videos online, viewers don’t watch them for their slick, high-quality production — they watch for the content.
To get started producing your own videos, take a cue from most of the video content creators on the web and keep things simple by capturing video with the equipment that’s already available to you. You may have a video camera or digital camera with video capabilities that can be hooked up to your computer, but you may not have to look any farther than your smartphone for a video camera that will do the job nicely.
Editing and sharing can be simple, too. There are apps for phones and computers that make it fast and easy, and some of the newest phones have sharing capabilities built right in.
Make sure to check out new and unusual video platforms online, too, such as Vine (http://vine.co/
), a mobile service designed for users to record and share videos in six-second looping videos. Vine doesn’t fit into the normal video mold, but it’s one more way to get creative with your content and even have some fun.
Keep it brief and fresh
Short of taking an online class or watching a movie, viewers’ attention span for watching online video is very short. In most cases, two minutes is long enough to get your point across while not asking for a significant commitment from viewers. If you have a topic that you believe is worthy of a longer story, break it into smaller sections and promote it as a series.
Just as you want to keep the content on your other marketing channels up to date, make it a point to regularly create new video content. It doesn’t have to require a lot of your time, and it can pay off in connections to new customers and stronger ties with existing customers.
Yellow Pages United is an independent online national directory publisher. Yellow Pages United is not affiliated with any other Yellow Pages company that might be mentioned in this article and is not affiliated with AT&T or your local directory publisher.