Quick! Find someone who’s never heard of YouTube. Tough, huh? It’s hard to find anyone who hasn’t watched a video online. Have you published your first video yet? Video is one of the next great waves because the tools have gotten simpler for regular people like you and me. No longer do you need a studio with special lighting and all sorts of fancy gizmos and software tools. You can whip up a good video in 30 minutes or less.
Recent news about online video gives us a glimpse into what we can expect in the future.
1. Comcast cable announced recently that by the end of the year its cable subscribers will have online video access to all of its programming – and it will be free for now, requiring only an existing user ID and password.
2. PBS made a similar announcement recently. They’re giving away shows online at their new video portal by offering 130 episodes of nearly 20 programs and expect thousands of hours of programming to be available by summer.
3. The Neilsen Company released a report recently that video has contributed to online engagement.
Okay, so maybe your goal isn’t to have your own online video portal, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be a part of this wave. But figuring out where to begin can be a challenge. Just do a simple search on “online video” and you’ll get almost 40 million results. That can be discouraging. Here are two easy ways for you to start.
1. Pick yourself up a Flip video camera. You can get one of these little gems for under $200. Even if you’ve never used a video camera before, you will be recording in minutes. Then sign up for a YouTube account if you don’t already have one. And you’re ready to go. Find a subject, record your video and upload it to YouTube. Yes it really is that easy!
2. Head on over to animoto.com. With animoto you don’t even need a video camera. All you need are a few pictures (either photos or graphics) to get started. Sign up for an account and follow the simple instructions. Animoto will mix your contribution together and create a professional looking video that you can imbed in a website or mail to friends. This whole process will take about 15 minutes and the best part is that it’s free. You can create as many 30 seconds or less videos as you want without paying a single dime. And if you want to create longer videos, their annual membership is only going to run you 30 bucks.
So there you have it! Two simple and inexpensive ways to join the online video craze. Add this tool to your tool box for marketing your business, educating your customers or just sharing information with friends.
Have you used online video? Tell me about your experience and share any cool tips in the comments below.
About the Author: Denise O’Berry is a small business expert who provides tools, tips and advice to help small business owners be successful. O’Berry is the author of “Small Business Cash Flow: Strategies for Making Your Business a Financial Success.” Her blog can be found at Just for Small Business.