Advantages of Using Videos in Your Small Business

Promotional – Promotional videos grab and hold the consumer’s attention. They can promote your brand in a compelling advertising campaign or as an online teaser that creates curiosity or ensures that the next interactions are with interested customers.

Instructional – The description “Some Assembly Required”, together with an exploded parts view and a list of terse instructions may make assembling your products seem like more of a hassle than they’re worth. Unfortunately, even a well written instruction sheet can have the average consumer scratching his head in frustration. Offering an instructional how-to video for any potentially complicated procedure can mean the difference between a satisfied customer and one who turns out to be a customer service nightmare. If you have a website, you can post instructional videos easily and make them available to all comers. They don’t have to be cinematic masterpieces. Clear, short, and to the point works every time. Just be sure to title your videos intuitively.

Internal – Envision a new employee’s first day at your business. What’s he more likely to grasp quickly, a procedure booklet or a video of specific tasks? Even if you think having a current employee show the new guy the ropes is a good idea, consider the potential loss of productivity. Have that seasoned employee make a video outlining the tasks for a particular job, and a high-turnover position won’t be as much of a drain on your already stretched resources.

Tips for Creating Videos

Content is king. Although you may be able to get away with a few rambling paragraphs on your website or in your promotional brochure (maybe), creating a video without a specific plan is a bad idea. Know what you want to say, and make the material arresting by providing specific examples.

Creating a video on demand may not work. Asking Joe in shipping to explain his job one morning is likely to yield less than stellar results. Even seasoned pros have trouble getting the job done in one take, and asking workers to perform ad hoc can be stressful. Planning for a turn in front of the camera with a little advance notice is a good idea.

Don’t assume foreknowledge. Each video should be a stand-alone message that doesn’t require the viewer to watch other videos first, unless its clearly identified as a series. And even then, each video in the series should cover one topic so it can stand alone.

Keep it short.  If your message is longer than 2 or 3 minutes, consider editing it to make it shorter, or break it up into separate videos. And put your most important point at the beginning, if possible. You’re competing for attention with a million other interesting things your visitor might want to see online.

Make a text version. Providing a written script of your video is a great way to tag it for the online search engines. An accompanying script is also a good choice if the video contains instruction that the viewer may want to review later without having to watch the video all over again. Captioning is also an effective tool for helping the viewer sum up the message.

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