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Video - The Next Wave Of Small Business Marketing

Jun 8, 2008
One of the strongest trends for small business is the need to build connections with your clients -giving them an insight into who you are and what you do. You need to do that through words, stories or parables and testimonials. Written words can only go so far.

The trend I am seeing coming from the US in marketing is the addition of video to things like websites, promotional DVDs and blogs. Think of the explosion of You Tube. More people watch You Tube across the world each day than people watch TV.

The cutting edge of the trend is live self-broadcast TV streamed from your website. Think of it like your own ongoing TV program. One of the gurus in this is a guy who talks about wine - Gary Vaynerchuck. A guy who is passionate about wine talks about it in laypersons terms complete with plastic character toys. It is out there, loud, real and he out-rates many of the top US TV shows.

People want to see you, engage with you, look you in the eye and check you out as a person. They want to see if you really are sincere about your product or service. They don't want a highly polished TV presenter. They want to see and connect with the real person, warts and all. If you are too polished they click away as they can't connect with you.

With a website you only have a few seconds to grab someone's attention. With the addition of video their average length of stay on your site increases. Length of time someone stays increases the likelihood of them signing up for your newsletter, reading your words or buying your product. So, going by trends, the addition of video to your site or your blog is something worth considering.

If you are going to add in video (and we still call it video even though it is something else) to your website or your marketing mix, what should you do and how should you do it?

The technology

Let's start with some basics. The technology you use does not have to be complex or expensive.

It is possible to add video to your homepage for $12US. Use your web camera to record the film of what you want to say. Then use Microsoft Movie Maker (free with windows XP) to edit the film. One cool tool is Video Web Wizard to convert the film to a flash file and to put the little TV screen around the film. Finally add your flash file into your website.

The words

What you say on your video is important. You need to treat it just like any other piece of copywriting. Consider your audience and what they are interested in hearing about. You need to have a logical flow through your words and you need to have a strong call to action in conclusion.

You also need to keep it simple, and not too long. Use a copywriter to help you refine your words if you are not confident in what you are going to say to present your business in its best light.

Adding video to your home page should not replace your general words and text. Remember the search engines can't index a video so you still need your keyword rich text beneath your video to help search engines find you.

General stuff

While the people want to connect with you, you want to make sure the location you are filming in is attractive, not too distracting in the background and has sufficient light (you don't want to look like you are in a nightclub).

You also want your basic appearance to be neat and tidy. Remember to smile, to look down the lens of the camera (and not to the side or away as that can make you look shifty). Remember to blink - some people get the fixed in the headlights stare look and forget to blink.

Don't expect to get it right the first take.

Rehearse your words until you are confident with them, and then expect a few goes to get your video to the point you are happy with it.

Finally it is OK to change things around. The technology is now so simple you can change it as often as you are comfortable with doing it - daily if you like.

So dip your toes into the waters of video marketing. Like everything you need to test and measure your results to make sure it is working for you.
About the Author
Ingrid Cliff is a Freelance Copywriter with her Brisbane Copywriting Business (Heart Harmony). Ingrid writes a free weekly small business newsletter packed full of articles and tips and Small Business Ideas blog for small businesses. www.heartharmony.com.au
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