When I started my online business in 2008, using video was new and experimental. Fast forward to today and video is everywhere—even those with no real business are cashing in on fame and fortune thanks to YouTube.
Although everyone seems to be tuning into the importance of video, it’s still a daunting thought for many business owners who aren’t quite sure where to add video to their online brand. Here are 11 ways to make use of video.
1. Promote your newsletter
The biggest way to drive sales to your business is through a mailing list or a newsletter. But getting people onto your mailing list is not always easy. As inboxes get crowded, users are wary about giving out their e-mail.
Video is a great way to entice people onto your newsletter because you’ll be breaking away from what everyone else is doing and connecting in a very real and engaging way.
Real business example: John McIntyre recently created a personal development site called Make Life Go Bang that features a video of him sharing 50 reasons to sign up for his newsletter. This interesting method helps people quickly connect with his mission and personality.
2. Better engagement on your blog
More and more people are using video in blog posts to present their products and services in a more visually appealing way. Video can often be more engaging and entertaining than a printed article.
Real business example: David Siteman Garland from The Rise to the Top and Andrew Warner from Mixergy are two of my favorite video bloggers because their passion shines through in every video they produce.
3. Create a dedicated video page
While using video in your blog posts or to entice newsletter subscribers is a great start, you can take things further by displaying all of your videos with one dedicated page on your website. This will lower your bounce rate with new visitors and help people filter through your interesting content better.
Real business example: Entrepreneur Pat Flynn has a great dedicated video page on his blog Smart Passive Income that works with the Wordpress plugin TubePress to bring all of his recent Youtube videos right onto his website. It’s an easy way to keep his visitors engaged.
4. Add video to your about page
To help connect with new visitors, why not create a video that demonstrates your personality and company vision to share on your about page? It will be a welcome change from static images found on most other about pages and will give people a real glimpse into who you are in a very short time.
Real business example: Michelle Ward, the When I Grow Up Coach, uses video on her About page in this way. As a business owner, you want to ensure you attract the right customers and by sharing a snippet of your personality—or your company’s mission—you can do that.
5. Sell more on your sales pages
If you’re serious about selling a service online, video can help attract and convert potential customers on your sales pages. By giving visitors the chance to learn more about what you’re selling and your motivation behind it, you’ll see a higher interest rate, more people willing to share your message and more customers at the end of the day.
Real business example: Tara Gentile, creative business coach, uses video often on her sales pages to entice potential buyers to get to her know better and decide if the product is the right fit for them. Of the benefits, she says, “Three minutes in front the video camera says more than I can ever hope to with written words. Video makes the intangible, tangible. And that, inevitably, converts more sales.”
6. Excite on your product pages
We live in a world in which stunning photography is the norm—even amateurs with cell phone cams can produce images the equal of those shot by professional photographers. That means having wonderful photos of your products isn’t going as far as it used to.
Use video on your product pages to show people exactly how your items work, their key features, benefits and also to give people a closer look into what life would be like by owning them.
Real business example: Catherine Choi of So Young Mother uses video to feature her diaper bags, lunch boxes and cooler bags. Whenever I visit her website, I always take a moment to view one of her videos because her video marketing is so engaging.
7. Master the YouTube stream
YouTube recently announced their videos get over 3 billion views a day, and all those eyeballs need to go somewhere—so why not toward you? You can easily embed YouTube videos on your website and take advantage of the crazy volume of traffic YouTube gets daily, exposing new audiences to your message and increasing your brand awareness over time.
Real business example: Mashable wrote a great post about 5 brands killing it on YouTube, but one that stood out to me most was Home Depot. Sharing their expertise with YouTube watchers means people will continue to think of them anytime they want to change their kitchen cabinets or replace their tiled floors.
8. Stream live for more interaction with fans and customers
By making yourself fully available for questions and live chats, you’ll win people over continually because you’ll become known as someone who cares deeply about your customer’s needs and wants.
Real business example: Even though Gary Vaynerchuk has built a multi-million dollar business stemming from Wine Library TV, he still jumps on ustream to chat with fans and followers. This good will encourages people to get to know him better and increases his likeability and brand.
9. Brighten up your digital products
If you sell virtual products, such as business tools and training, video is the perfect medium to use to better connect with your customers and explain things that sometimes text just cannot.
Real business example: While I’ve tried a lot of virtual products that include video, Danielle Laporte’s The Spark Kit includes an incredible amount of beautifully made videos—frequently interviews with experts and some of her flying solo—that share insightful tips and inspiring nuggets.
10. Add some magic to your support area
Many companies use video in their technical and customer support areas because it cuts back on customer e-mails and phone calls. Whether you sell something physical, virtual or service based, you can use video to answer frequently asked questions, demonstrate how to use specific features of your products and much more.
Real business example: My invoicing and time tracking system of choice, Harvest, does a great job showcasing tons of different help queries in their support area with video. I’ve found that by taking a moment to filter through their pages, I have less need to e-mail with questions, which is quicker for me—and cheaper for Harvest.
11. Cut down on training time for new employees
By creating training videos—easily done with screencasting software—you can clarify all aspects of the work you need done very simply for them. In addition, you can reuse videos any time a new employee is brought on board, freeing you up to work on more important matters.
Real business example: I use Screenflow on Mac to record my training videos which eliminates confusion over little details and ensure my people are quickly up to speed when they sign on to work with me.
Justine Grey is a Web entrepreneur who writes Work Life Joy for frazzled business builders who long to work vibrantly and live beautifully. You can find her on Twitter at @JustineGrey chatting about life, work and her pop culture obsession.