Web-based videos used to be the domain of large corporations, and they used major resources to create every kind of videoâ€”from edu-tain to entertain visuals that are placed on YouTube and other major websites. Itâ€™s no wonder that small businesses jumped in and said, â€œHey, what about us?â€
And no wonder, web-based videos boasted a $2 billion dollar industry in 2007 and are expected to top 10 billion by the end of 2012.
Donâ€™t make the mistake of thinking that only 20-somethings watch online videosâ€”a healthy 40% of viewers are over the age of 25 and half are female. Web-based videos are promoted on websites, e-newsletters, on SMS devices and when theyâ€™re fun, catchy, or slickâ€”word gets out and theyâ€™re quickly shared.
How Can Small Businesses Create a Web-Based Video?
1. All you need is a digital camera, a computer, and a bit of ingenuity.
2. What do you want your audience to know? Start with who you are. Video your office, employees, and customersâ€”especially the satisfied ones. Promote a store opening, a product announcement, or a contest winner. Anything you can blog about, you can video.
4. Go to YouTube and type in some of your keywords and see what pops up. Check to view your competitors videos or other companies you have something in common withâ€”then make yours better. Study what they did right and build on it.
3. Hire it outâ€”consider a college kid. Every university has a communications department, and they need the practice and oftentimes, have their own equipment and already know how to upload it online. How easy is that? Make a call, hire a couple of college kids, tell them your plan and style, and see what happens. You might even be able to barter their services (what do you have to offer?) or many internships are for the experience.
4. Donâ€™t just do one videoâ€”create a series. Make it fun, spoof a TV show, feature a local celebrity. Get creative. Every town has a memorable local commercial. It may involve a clown nose or a silly jingle, but the point is, theyâ€™re remembered. You donâ€™t have to go bizarre to create a recognizable brand and style–but you just may want to–there’s a cheese-ball in most of us.
5. Keep your video shortâ€”ten minutes max.
6. Always strive to help or educate. Yes, promote your company and product, but donâ€™t stand there for five minutes stating your name over and overâ€”be of benefit.
7. Is your video funny? Does it flow? Does it cover your demographics?
8. Pick your spokesperson well. Even if itâ€™s not you, or they donâ€™t work for youâ€”choose someone who is approachable, speaks well and uses appropriate body language.
9. Consider using music, but make sure youâ€™re not breaking copyright laws. You can always use classical music, or feature a local bandâ€”and youâ€™ll get their following to help you spread your message. You can even create your own music with programs such as Garage Band.
10. After your video is made, you can edit it. Check out iMovie for Mac, or Windows Movie Maker for PCs.
These tips are just to get you started. Local and online videos are a great way to feature your small business and broaden your audience baseâ€”and by posting videos on your website, blog, and social media, youâ€™ll be able to capture and showcase your business in this exciting, visual format.