Are you using video to market your business? If not, you’re going to be lost in a sea of search results and all the time, effort and money that you’ve put into your online marketing won’t be getting the return you were hoping for.
- All the traffic is going to video. By 2013, 90 percent of all web traffic will be video. To say that videos are an untapped marketing opportunity for small business would be a gross understatement. As you’re reading this article, take a moment to go over to Google and search on a keyword for your industry. If you don’t see videos at the top, then you have the opportunity to own that space.
- Google gives videos valuable real estate. Since Google purchased YouTube, they’ve given video’s some coveted top space in the search engines. This means that more of your ideal customers will find you if you use video.
What kind of camera should I use?
- Kodak Zi8: This is a great choice if quality of video is most important to you. Another favorite feature is that it uses a removable SD card and also has a USB port that swivels out. The removable SD card allows you a maximum of 32 GB of video.
- Flip: This was the first breakout brand of YouTube friendly cameras and it continues to be the favorite choice for people who care MORE about ease of use and upload to YouTube. It comes with 8GB of internal memory and also uses AA batteries, making it easy to use when you’re far away from a power source.
Which editing software should I use?’
The good news is that you don’t have to be an editing genius to produce relatively professional looking videos. There are several great online choices of software that are free that will get you started.
- JayCut is an online video editor that is almost like Windows Movie Maker. It does not offer enough juice for a professional who requires Adobe Premier Pro or Final Cut, but an amateur looking to quickly edit a video and post it on YouTube should find it works fine.
- SpotMixer allows you to create video slide shows with still pictures and turn them into an advertisement. They even have some templates made up that will get you a video commercial in under 10 minutes!
- Movie Masher is a free open source online video editor that has more punch than the JayCut or YouTube. It’s an open source application, meaning you can download it to your computer for free. You’ll be able to do much more technically challenging things, such as colorize and do fancy effects.
What kinds of videos are most effective?
There are really only about four basic categories of videos on the Web. And this is a great place to start.
- Promotional – These are the advertising videos we’re used to. They are basically ads you might see on TV – posted up on the Web. Their purpose is to promote or build the brand of a product or service.
- Selling – Think of an infomercial on the Web. What sets these videos apart is that their focus is on the call to action – to get the audience to visit a website or call your office.
- Demo – These videos do nothing more than show the audience how something works. The idea is to wow them.
- Training – Perhaps the most useful way to use video is to literally train or educate your audience on how to use your product or service.
There is one other attribute that all videos share, and that is sheer entertainment. What makes video so appealing is its viral value. The more engaging and entertaining your video is, the more people will want to pass it around to their friends and family. Few videos become successful because the intersection of creating a video that’s entertaining and viral and brand memorable is extremely challenging and unpredictable.
Promoting your videos
Your video will not attract prospects or customers if you don’t tell everyone that it’s there. The first thing to do is to upload your video to YouTube or Vimeo – an external video hosting site. This is critical because these sites are frequently indexed by Google. That means that when someone is searching on an industry keyword, your video will pop up at the top.
- SBTV.com: Create a profile on the SBTV.com community. You can easily upload your video to your profile and then post a link to your video on your website or in your marketing materials including social media sites.
- YouTube: Create a YouTube Channel and upload videos there.
- Vimeo: The one restriction Vimeo has in order to post for free is that you don’t sell. So no sales videos, infomercials or demos that actively sells or promote. Another differentiator is that Vimeo won’t feature other people’s videos with similar content. This means that your prospect will only be looking at your video and not have their attention stray to another.
- Blog: Always upload your video to YouTube and/or Vimeo and then grab the embed code and put it on your blog and website.
- iTunes: This is another way to post your video or audio. Millions of people are now viewing video on their mobile devices and iPads. Don’t forget to post your video on iTunes so that they can download them on their iPhones and iPads.
Using video to promote your company doesn’t have to be hard or complicated. In fact, with the tools I’ve laid out here, you can have a video online today, take hold of some prime Google search space and have your ideal customers finding you faster.
* * * * *
Ivana Taylor is CEO of Third Force, a strategic firm that helps small businesses get and keep their ideal customer. She’s the co-author of the book “Excel for Marketing Managers” and proprietor of DIYMarketers a site for in-house marketers. Her blog is Strategy Stew.