If your company is serious about extending its reach as far as possible, then video is a platform you should be utilising. Having a presence on websites such as YouTube and Vimeo is essential and can really boost the traffic back to you. So are you getting what you want and are your videos an extension of your brand?
Hopefully the answers are ‘yes’ and ‘yes’, in which case well done and you probably don’t need to read any further! However, there are countless examples of where the product and service are good, the website is professional, the blog is informative, there’s Facebook and Twitter interaction… then we get to the videos. Hmmm, they’ve had a go! Often the sound is poor, there’s no lighting, the camera keeps zooming in and out, and the whole thing seems to go on forever. Where did it all go wrong?
The problem with video is that it can quickly become expensive, forcing you to justify the spend. Where small businesses are concerned, all too often they decide to save the money and take over the production themselves – after all, you just need a video camera! If only it were that simple. Just as buying a musical instrument doesn’t turn you into a rock star or concert performer, owning a video camera does not mean you are going to give Steven Spielberg a run for his money.
So what’s the solution? First we need to analyse what we want at the end of the process.
- Content – this is the first priority because without a fundamental purpose, your video will be wasting the viewers’ time. Video is the perfect means by which to help your customer in some way and if you can create something that is engaging at the same time, then you are onto a winner.
- Establish your authority in the market – your knowledge, experience and passion must come across to the viewer so that it’s clear to them that you are the ‘go to’ person for this niche. This is never something you should force, but can come across naturally by giving away lots of great content for free.
- Increase brand awareness – the exercise of generating useful videos is about extending your reach, so you must make sure that you seize this opportunity. Again, it doesn’t have to be over the top, it’s just about seeing the logo and having a clickable URL link back to your website.
- Quality – no matter how simple or complex your video, it must be made well. The production values will count for a great deal. Even though your clients know you are not an expert film maker, if they see an amateur video on your site they may assume that you cut corners elsewhere in your business.
- Frequency – unfortunately making one video and sitting back and relaxing is not enough. Video sharing websites will date you if you are not adding to them regularly. Much like a blog or social media you must realise that the best strategy is to be producing content as often as possible.
- Hire a production company – you may have been hoping that this article was not going to suggest that, but this is still the best way to ensure that you get the results you are after. This doesn’t mean to say you get ripped off. Hiring Steven Spielberg to direct your first video is going to be a little excessive. Similarly paying peanuts for the local videographer may also leave you disappointed. This is something you are not necessarily going to get right straight away. You need to learn about how you can get the prices down using the right people, small crews or producing a lot of content in one session. You will soon get a feel for what works for you. Another option is to create fewer videos, but videos that all hit the mark. They will pay their way if you get it right.
- Hire staff with the skills – with basic equipment a gifted producer can really deliver the results that you desire. Multimedia staff, who really have had experience, can be a great asset to your team. They could also be the brains behind your podcast and enhance your blog service.
- Do it yourself – this is probably most suited to the business start-up. When money is in short supply, do the best with what you have available… progress over perfection. If your business does anything on computer, it is possible to use screen recording software such as Camtasia or ScreenFlow to make video tutorials about software relevant to your niche. Also, keep things simple. That means making short videos that rely on talking heads. For example, you could answer a client’s question in video form and then post up the answer.
- Outsource the work to a virtual assistant – hiring skilled professionals in another country can be another way of approaching this. There are obviously limitations! They are not going to be doing the filming but this could be a cheaper option for animations, pre or post production tasks.
If video hasn’t been working for you, then why not get in touch with us and we can advise you.