Adding Video Blogging to Your Marketing Mix
There’s little doubt that online video provides an effective marketing platform for businesses of all sizes. Small business owners unsure about how to take advantage of the promotional benefits of online video can start with short "video blog" clips that are easy and fun to produce with a minimal investment in time and equipment.
Online video continues to explode in popularity, and video blogging offers small businesses an effective way to reach customers and prospects with easily produced clips that put a human face on your company and its products or services.
Advantages of Video
Online video can offer a number of benefits for small business owners. For instance, sites such as YouTube, Facebook, Vimeo and others allow you to reach a vast online audience with videos you can post for free. Your videos allow you to demonstrate what your company does or highlight your people more expressively than you can with a text-based blog post or an online directory ad.
In addition, the keywords you use to describe your video can provide a number of search engine optimization benefits for your company’s website. Your video’s title and description will help viewers find it, and including your site URL in your video description (and in your video itself) will help drive traffic to your company site.
You can also embed the video on your site directly, which increases not only your direct traffic, but also your site’s rankings on search engine results pages.
Consider these important facts: Statistics show video boosts conversion from visitor to buyer by 30%; shoppers who view product videos are over 140% more likely to add to cart; video search results appear in about 70% of the top 100 listings; email video increases the click-through rate by over 96% -- all this while building trust with potential customers.
While most people thinking about online video get hung up worrying about the equipment, a more important consideration is preparing interesting content people will want to watch.
As with a regular blog, it’s important to avoid talking about yourself too much or trying to promote yourself directly. Instead, you can demonstrate your expertise by answering the kinds of questions customers frequently ask or demonstrating key features provided by your products.
You can also give viewers a "behind the scenes" look at your company that increases your connection with customers. For instance, if you operate a bakery, you can show viewers the kind of activity that takes place while they’re sleeping. Whatever your business provides, there’s a way to show viewers what you do or to introduce them to the people that do it.
Keeping It Simple
With small business video blogging, elaborate production values are far less important than getting started and uploading your videos. Many Windows and Mac laptops come with built-in webcams and video editing software that offer "good enough" quality to produce a video quickly and easily.
If you don’t have (or don’t want to use) video editing software, YouTube and other online video sites offer basic editing tools.
If you’d like the videos to look better, a handheld camcorder can provide standard or high-definition footage that will look sharp to online audiences.
Try to avoid reading a script as you’re shooting. Video blogs are most authentic when they have a fair amount of improvisation, so it’s more effective to sketch out a few bullet points and fire up the camera. You can always cut out the worst mistakes before you upload your finished clip.