In a similar vein to yesterday’s post on podcasting, today I want to talk a bit about video for your website. Like podcasting, video is a vastly underused medium in local online marketing efforts. And while it’s true that it used to be difficult, expensive and time-consuming to get video on the web, today there are so many options available it’s almost the other extreme of not knowing how to use all the available tools.
Your Computer is Watching You
Most, if not all, computers come with a built-in camera & microphone that’s capable of capturing decent quality video/audio which can then be edited using software also included on your computer (iMovie on the Mac, Windows Movie Maker on Windows). You can also record directly into some websites like YouTube and not have to worry about figuring out software and how to upload your video.
Potential customers have long since given up falling for stuffy, corporate videos that obviously aren’t actually representative of the actual business – they are much more interested in seeing the real people behind the business than professional actors and expensive studios.
There’s certainly a time and a place to rent expensive equipment and have a professionally produced and edited video, but the vast majority of local businesses could start with basic videos to expose their products and service to a wider audience.
With the rise of video sharing websites such as YouTube, Vimeo and many others, it’s become very affordable to have video hosted online – in most cases, it’s free. The only cost is the advertising displayed next to your video by the host website. But, in the case of YouTube, you can embed the video on your website at no cost and make use of YouTube/Google’s vast network of content servers around the world to take care of presenting your video quickly.
You get the added bonus of exposing your video and company to people searching exclusively on YouTube that might not have otherwise seen your video. For J&H Builders Warehouse, nearly 30% of the viewers of their installation video came from YouTube – people that might not otherwise be familiar with J&H but are now.
It will vary for each business or service as to how video could be used, but here are some ideas to get you started:
- Weekly video messages from the CEO/owner about what’s going on with the business.
- Basic training for how to use products that you sell as in the J&H Builders’ video.
- Videos of opening new product as they come into the store (typically called unboxing videos).
- For a clothing/retail store, modelling new items that do a much better job showing off the products than still images.
- Walk through video of a golf course, kids play centre, manufacturing plant or mall to show what people can expect if they hire or visit your business.
- Screencasts showing how to use your product or service for web based businesses.
Try out your computer’s camera and see what you can come up with. Get in touch with us – we’d love to help you do an awesome job of using video to help promote your business. Just like podcasting yesterday, there’s not a lot of local competition in the video space so now is the time to try it out and be the main communicator in a growing medium.