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Online video guide for small businesses: Part 2

creating videoWhat should your videos be about?

So you’ve taken the plunge (a short one) and decided to go ahead and make you own videos for your small business. You’ve got the camera in hand, the laptop with video editing software installed and you’re ready to go. Suddenly your mind goes blank. Now that you can make them, what should your videos be about?

Every business is unique of course, but in terms of video there are three basic types you can make. I say “basic” because with a camera in your hand the options really are unlimited, but starting with one of these three will help you stay focused, so you can finish your creation without getting too carried away.

Remember, it’s all about people

Whatever your business is, you’re selling to other people. Even in B2B sales it’s the people that make the decision and in general, we all like to buy from people too. This is especially true today where you can visit a website, make a purchase and never really know who you bought from. Many of us don’t think about that until we have a problem with the purchase and then get frustrated because we can’t get a real person to answer our complaint.

So get out ahead of the curve and start your video with real people. For example, maybe you walk around the office, service centre, or factory with your video camera recording. Get employees to smile and wave as you walk by (no warning them ahead of time – then it wouldn’t be spontaneous and might come off feeling fake). Show them working, helping customers, or going the extra mile. Think about what it is you want customers to see about the people behind the company and take a video of that.

You could also ask happy customers for video testimonials. Ask them what they love about your business and record them saying it (always with permission of course). Some research indicates that video testimonials are the most effective form of video content with an 89% effectiveness rating.

A video with people comes across as very personal. It’s a perfect way to connect with people over the internet, wherever they are.

How do you…?

One of the most popular trends in video is “how to” content. We live in a wonderful age where if we want to know how to do something we simply Google “how to” and the something and get the instructions. Videos are great for how to type content because the majority of the population are visual learners. So while a how to article with step by step instructions is good, more people will understand and follow a video showing the same information.

So make a list of solutions your product or service offers, or use a list of questions customers usually ask. Then brainstorm a list of videos you can create to show customers, or future customers, how your product can be used to do the task.

In these kinds of videos it’s important to note that your product might not be the star of the video. It’s the instructions you give that provide the value to the viewer. But having seen how well your product answered their question, they may just check out your website to find out more.

Show, don’t tell

In an article or web page, you’re using words to describe your business, products or services. But one of the main benefits of video is that you can actually show something working, or someone doing something. So when deciding on what to use as a video topic think action, not words.

What can you show your product doing? Can you show people using the product or service? If the main benefit of your business is the great customer support you offer, then show your customer support at work. Don’t just use words to describe how good it is.

Of course, you can still have a voice over saying what you want to say, but always include video showing what it is you’re describing. After all, anyone can say or claim anything. Especially on the internet. But if you show a video of your product actually working, then the words you offer will hold more credibility to the viewer.

Any of these three types of videos would be a great place to start for your online video marketing efforts. Just pick one and create your video. You’ll see how it doesn’t have to be that hard and you’ll learn as you go.

In the next blog of this series I’ll go over how to take your video using just a smartphone, and share some great examples for inspiration. Then, in the final blog of the series you’ll find out how to make the most of that great video you’ve made.

Oliver Burt

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