As a small business owner, if you’ve developed a website and have tried to promote it, you are well aware that a static website, affectionately known as online brochureware, not only doesn’t do much to produce leads, interest or sales for your business, it will now actually damage your credibility. Without change and some take away value, you may be better served not having a homepage. Content is king–useful, attractive, dynamic content. Web video for you site is a fantastic way to provide dynamic content for your site and promote your business. You need to do it the right way so that people will watch it and relate to you once at your URL.
What is High-Quality Video Marketing?
There are many ways to look at quality when it comes to all things technological, and internet video is no different. Given the onset of HDTV, Blue Ray video, and assorted other pixel-per-inch increasing widgets at your local Staples and Best Buy, it’s easy to think of quality in terms of digital clarity as the primary focal point. It’s not. A videographer might tell you it’s about production value, to make sure you have a heavily-produced–read that expensive–piece of video with classy intros, background music, and maybe actors who can endorse your business like Robert Wagner peddling reverse mortgages. Sorry. Marginal value. Let me give you the version of web video quality that counts. Be interesting and provide value. Pixel-rated quality has some value, but the wonderful thing about modern technolgy is, your standard, garden variety webcam that comes with your laptop or that you can pick up at the local electronics retailer for $50 has unreal technical quality. I bet you stated as much out loud to your screen when you first tried it out. Almost all video you see on YouTube and, subsequently, replayed on TV (Tosh.0 on Comedy Central ring a bell) is shot with a handheld camera or webcam. There’s a downside to cranking up the pixel count, and that of course is speed. People will sign off a helluva lot faster, almost immediately, if your small business web video takes too long to load or continues to hiccup with stops and starts during the stream. If it’s good enough for Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook talking to the King of England, it should be good enough for you.
Best Promotional Web Video Strategies
Here are a few of the best ways to promote your small business website using web video:
Product, Service or Capabilities Demo
Whatever it is that makes your company unique and worth talking about, you can video it and with some simple editing to introduce it, post it on your site and distribute to your YouTube Video channel (if you don’t have one, get one, it’s free). Many times companies have tangible products that they can display in action. Think auto manufacturers websites showing videos of the new line. As a small business your doesn’t have to be that sophisticated, just show what your widget does and how it provides value to those who would buy it. Most small businesses out there are service businesses. If you have a dog grooming business, show the pooches getting cleaned up with their happy canine smiles. Cleaning business? Pan in on the crummy before shot of the ___, show the cleanup process, and finish it off with the much improved after view. Sometimes a business’ competitive advantage is a certain capability that makes them better than competitors in terms of speed, quality, or some other factor. This works really well when showcasing that new MRI machine that doc just bought, or the fully programmable laser cutter at the sheet metal house that shows how it can make parts faster, cleaner, and at better quality than metal shops without one.
This falls into the category of value-add or training for your web viewers. It can be an instructional video on using the topsy-turvy planters you sell at your greenhouse or simply how to do something better around the house. The main purpose of how-to is some way to make life easier or better for your readers, and for you it creates site stickiness, where prospects and customers will want to come back often.
New Product Launch
This can take the form of a product demo with a little extra. New product launches tend to be time sensitive, hyped and require sufficient explanation as to what the product does that sets it apart from prior versions or other current market offerings. Ideas are to show interviews with customers requesting, “I wish we could get…” statements that provided you with the original market pull to create the product or service, your CEO or top Exec enthusiastically explaining the launch (see next section), stats or data cleverly shown that show it’s the next big thing, and of course sufficient product demo components. These same things are all the things that might go into a new product launch press release, meaning that this video can serve as a video press release. There can be a lot of editing and cost involved if you bring in all of these ideas, but how much are you spending to develop your new product or service?
Executive Video Interview
Here’s one that is not often seen that provides you with a presentation of 3rd party credibility for your small business. It’s called the Executive Video Interview and its something that we’re offering as an affordable way to promote small business, both on your site and virally. We’re so jazzed up about this because of how simple this can be to do when you do it right. The return on investment is wildly out of proportion to the cost. Oh by the way, Executive Video Interviews work extremely well for top-level job seekers posted on your social media profiles, especially Facebook and LinkedIn. All you need as a small business owner is a Skype account and a webcam. That’s it! Your webcam quality is more than enought to make quality video. The real magic is in the interview process. Picture Larry King or Matt Lauer interviewing you as CEO of your business about your business as if it’s the national news, asking your probing questions that get at the value your business brings to the marketplace in an informative way. The video below takes you through some examples of how this can work.
We film your top executive, we film the inteviewer (me in most cases), and edit the finished product, providing eye catching change of perspective from either of those two viewpoints or side by side of both people in dialogue. Look, anybody with a webcam can record herself speaking into the lens in a monologue in an introductory video. Have you ever watched one? For those not trained in speaking before a camera, they can be dry, boring, and all too often comical as the speaker reads from cue cards. Is that the image you want for your business? Heck, I have one on my site and it needs improvement! The Executive Video Interview provides so much more value because you are being asked questions that drive great answers in a relaxed, authentic way that highlight the competitive advantage of your business while providing some take away value for your viewers. There are no cue cards, you can pause when answering and even trip over your words and it is all expected because people are viewing a dialogue. The best part is that because of our editing process, replete with muting and perspective changes, you don’t even have to view that (though in many cases I’ll suggest it adds to authenticity, and that is important). I use these Executive Video Interviews as video blog posts (VBlog)on this Smart Blog to accompany the written word and provide unique perspective to my viewers on things like eBusiness, Marketing, virtual offices, company turnarounds–the list is growing.
At the very least after reading this piece you’ve gained a new appreciation of ways, to use web video marketing methods to promote your small business on your website and beyond. Depending on your budget you can go nuts, but remember, quality is more dependent upon your creativity, innovation and value than it is the cost of the camera crew.