Using Video for Your Business

Jan 3, 2012

Photo Courtesy of Brad Ulery

 

So you’re convinced that you need video on your small business website, but you’re not sure what the content should be. The best way to decide is to ask yourself, “What would be most informative and interesting to my customers and potential customers?”

Are you a building contractor? People might like to see testimonials and examples of your work. Why not shoot a tour of the house you just built and interview the owner?

Do you want to show off a product? Make a demonstration video. Are you operating a family business that has been around for 70 years? Make a short documentary-style video that tells your story in a way that makes people want to meet you. They will come in just to see where grandpa shot a hole in the wall in 1961.

A great way to get ideas for video is to watch what others are doing. Look at your competitors’ websites and do a few searches on YouTube. This will give you an idea of what works and what doesn’t.

The next step is deciding whether you should hire a professional or do it yourself. The right professional can make the whole process fun and easy and get the results you want. A good videographer will have the latest equipment and will be up to date on the ever-changing world of video technology. It also helps to have a professional on hand to critique your video performance. A friend or co-worker might say that you were wonderful when, in fact, a few more takes are necessary.

That’s not to say you shouldn’t consider producing a video yourself, especially if your content is strong. Good content can make up for amateur production value. For example, let’s say that you are waiting for a flight at an airport. One overhead TV monitor is showing a man giving a speech. The video is professionally produced, elaborate, and expensive. Another monitor is showing video of a tornado from a shaky flip phone camera held by a man lying in a ditch. You can barely make out the shape of the twister as it rips the roof off of a house. Which one do you watch?

How long should your video be? The parameters for television commercials don’t apply to online videos. You don’t have to neatly fill 30- or 60-second spots. Your video can be 17 seconds or 42 seconds. Let the content determine the length. When you run out of content, the video is done. If it feels too long, it is.

With the right content, video is an effective and efficient way to retain customers and attract new ones. 

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