Just as employees pushed their consumer devices like iPads and iPhones into the business, they are now pushing their video viewing habits into the world of work.
For businesses, video can establish a closer relationship between customer and brand: vlogs and vodcasts create an intimate and relaxed medium to engage viewers. Video content has also evolved into a major force in social networking that is either directly profitable or creates market awareness, and this is impacting start-ups too, who have to compete with larger companies. Fortunately video, if done correctly, can be a great playing-field leveller.
If you are a small business, the chances are your marketing budget is limited, so it is vital that you make the most of your video content. Here are five tips for creating a compelling video.
1. Start with the content
It should be something that touches your desired audience. The video could, for example, answer a specific business problem. Or it could be about something unusual, a “water cooler” story – something a viewer will remember and tell others about. Try to stick to two or three key messages in the video and incorporate them into an interesting story or narrative. It is also useful to include a call to action at the end of the video. Do you want the viewer to look at your website, pick up the phone, purchase online…? Whatever your desired outcome, it should be stated clearly, at the end of the video.
2. Make sure you use an enthusiastic, lively spokesperson who appears natural on screen
People are often scared to be on camera, even when it’s their own film, and they show their fear by appearing more reserved than normal. Encourage your spokesperson to relax. An enthusiastic and animated performance is much more engaging than a person who appears to be bored by his own words!
3. Use great visuals
A business video is no different from any other video in that you need interesting visuals to keep viewers engaged. That might mean getting your spokesperson out of his usual environment onto a golf course, into a restaurant, walking through his call centre talking to staff – anything that looks more interesting than sitting behind a desk in his office! If great visuals are not possible, try creating fantastic graphics instead. Your video reflects your business, and well produced, state-of-the-art graphics are going to create a better impression than a hastily slapped-on title or two.
4. Keep it short
Less really is more when it comes to video. Research shows viewers start to lose interest after just one minute. If you want your video to be shown anywhere other than your company website, make sure it is less than three minutes long. We speak at a speed of about three words a second so you can actually communicate a lot of information in that time. To keep viewers’ interest, try to introduce some sort of device around the minute mark – be it a change in visuals, or music, or an editing effect.
5. Make sure you share your video
As well as the obvious places like LinkedIn, twitter and Facebook, try sharing it with bloggers, online publications and forums. Non-branded or very-lightly branded content is best for this as ‘commercial’ videos are generally classed as advertising and therefore come with the associated costs.
With the ever-increasing pervasiveness of social media, business videos are set to become an even more powerful marketing tool. Creating engaging, shareable video content is a great way to springboard your business into competing with much larger organisations.
Keren Haynes is co-founder and CEO of Shout! Communications, one of London’s leading video production and broadcast PR agencies.
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