There was a time when video was an afterthought for many of us. Then things changed. Currently Google, which owns YouTube, brings in 1.1 billion unique monthly visitors; YouTube brings in approximately 1 billion. However, despite these staggering numbers, only a small amount of US based small businesses use YouTube; only 9% according to an article published in Entrepreneur magazine in August of 2015.
Making the video
It used to be that you needed to go into a studio and have a backdrop, or a special sound room in your house. Well not anymore; consumers are much more focused on content than they are on “pretty.” If you have a solid budget for your video production — great, but if you don’t, consider using the tools you have on hand such as your iPhone or Android phone.
Still shots, photographs and images can be more powerful than video for some products. If you decide to use still photographs that you didn’t take yourself, make sure you buy royalty-free images like those found at Shutterstock, DollarPhotoClub.com and iStock.com. Also, be sure to buy the right size. An Internet video is typically 320 x 240 pixels, but you might consider buying yours larger so you do not lose resolution when you compress your files. Your images should be around 800 x 600 pixels for use in online videos.
The other component to consider is voice. If you’re doing images you may want to do a voiceover. If you opt to include voiceover you’ll need a professional way to record it, and be cautious of the voice, because someone who isn’t used to doing voiceover work could really negatively affect the engagement factor of the video. Unlike with video recording, which can easily be done from your phone, if you don’t have a “voice for radio” per se you’ll want to be mindful that it could turn off your potential viewers.
Lastly, you’ll need music. While it may be tempting to use your favorite song, this will likely get you into trouble. There are many sites that offer royalty-free music—you may have to credit the artist, but this certainly beats paying royalties or finding a cease and desist letter in your mailbox. If in doubt, ask for permission—not everything is royalty free.
Short is the new long and this is especially true when it comes to video. Keep your video under a minute if you can but definitely no longer than two minutes. Studies have shown that at the two minute mark viewers tend to lose interest as attention span dwindles. Also, attention spans are short online, and regardless of the length of your video users will typically only watch the first 10 seconds of it before they decide to continue watching or move on. So you’ve got to make those first 10 seconds really count. Don’t wait until the end to push the viewer’s hot buttons, push them early and often.
Testimonials on video
If you’re getting good customer feedback from your product, service or book, why not capture this enthusiasm on video? With smaller cameras, phones and digital delivery, creating video testimonials is easier than ever. It’s easy to create a video page on YouTube, and you can use it to upload your videos.
Videos types for promoting your product, service or book
- Trailer: Think movie trailer! It’s great for promoting books, but can also work for products and services, too. A video trailer is a short, professionally produced video that highlights the main points and provides just enough of a hook to create a desire to get the whole story. I’ve actually done a few of these using the Microsoft movie creator (similar to Apple’s iMovie).
- Relationship Videos. Relationship videos are content-rich in nature. Examples of relationship videos include video newsletters and video blogs where you, as the expert, deliver your content in video format. Internet users are becoming increasingly accustomed to reading e-newsletters and blogs—you can take this one step further by constructing videos.
- How-To Videos. How-to videos are tutorials for your product or service. Showing customers how to solve a problem is much more effective than forcing them to read the solution in print. Creating these types of online videos often cuts down on service calls and refund rates. You can determine the content based on your customers’ needs. Using a how-to video to cover various help topics or FAQs is a beneficial idea.
Incorporating video can be a fantastic enhancement to any business and, if done right, can really help to drive more traffic and sales to your product or service!
By Penny C. Sansevieri, Adjunct Instructor NYU & CEO of Author Marketing Experts, Inc.
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