Online Video Advertising
A Marketing Idea for Small Business
Online video advertising is a great marketing idea for small business growth. Video can be a tremendous help when it comes to marketing your business and I believe that just about any kind of business can benefit from using it. While photos of you, your employees and your products and services are all great things to have in print and on your website, video adds another dimension and it is never been more affordable and accessible to record and show videos on your website than now.
What is so great about online video advertising? Perhaps the best thing in my opinion is that it helps you build credibility with your prospects because you show them just who is behind the business name they may see on the front of your store or website. People buy from those they know, like and trust – and getting to know someone new can be a long process – but using video can help you shorten that process and encourage people to do business with you now instead of later.
So, just what can you do with video? Here are a few ideas to get you started:
1. Record the company's owner/president as he discusses what is different about your company and why prospects should do business with you.
2. Give others a behind the scenes look to show how your products are made or your services are performed and what makes them special.
3. Produce video tips or instructional videos to help people get the most out of your products or services.
4. Introduce prospects to your employees and show them the quality of people who are there working to help provide them with great service.
5. A great online video advertising technique is to interview existing customers and have them share their testimonials. This may take a little more effort and incentive than getting your employees in front of the camera, but the extra work will be worth it if you get some great testimonials for the world to see.
Producing Your Video
Now that you know a few ways you can use video as an effective marketing idea for small business growth, here are some practical tips and resources to help you produce your first video.
To start with, you will need a decent camera that records video, but there are lots of inexpensive options to start with. Many laptops today come with built in webcams that work just fine, or you can find inexpensive webcams that connect to your computer via a USB port for $50 - $100.
I would probably recommend a camera that can shoot high definition video though. Using your iPhone is fine, but many inexpensive digital cameras also shoot short HD videos. Many people like the Kodak Zi8 for about $100 in many stores or online.
The Flip cameras you can find everywhere are nice options too, but one of the great things about the Kodak I mentioned is that you can use an external microphone with it, and nothing can ruin a great video like poor sound can. A built in mic should be fine if you are shooting in a quiet, indoor office or studio, but if you are in a noisy environment or need to be walking around and explaining things, get an inexpensive, wired lavalier mic for only about $25 online.
A tripod should be considered a necessity as no one likes to watch shaky, handheld videos. While you can by tripods made just for video cameras that allow for smooth side to side panning, for recording yourself or just focusing on a stationary subject, pick up an inexpensive camera tripod for about $30 just about anywhere.
Recording, Editing, & Hosting
Now that you have the basics to begin recording your online video advertising gem, I find it helps to have a script written to read from ahead of time instead of just trying to “wing it”. Even for a short 2 – 5 minute video a script can save you from having to redo your video when you forget a line or two. Print your script or set your camera next to your computer monitor. Using a free teleprompter such as Cue Prompter or Movie Clip really helps.
Once you have recorded your video, do some basic editing to clean things up a little or edit out any retakes, even adding some pleasant background music or subtitles. If you use a PC, your computer may already have come with Windows Movie Maker installed, or download it for free at http://explore.live.com/windows-live-movie-maker. WMM is a nice, basic movie editing program that may be able to do all that you need, but if you want a more fully featured program, try Sony’s excellent “Vegas Movie Studio” that you can find for less than $100 and is more than enough for even many semi-pro videographers.
If you are a MAC user, iMovie that comes as part of iLife should be able to do all that you want – and you can do great things with the iPhone version of iMovie also!
Once you have your short video shot and edited, you will need a place to host it online. For business use today, virtually all online video advertising efforts include Youtube.com. To start with, it is free, and you may upload up to 15 minutes for each HD video to their website! Just register for an account, follow their instructions, and your video will be online in no time!
Now that you know the basics to online video advertising, spend some time at the following websites to learn more and hone your skills before going public with your videos.
It is not all that difficult to get started once you understand the basics as outlined in this article. I strongly encourage you to use online video advertising as an effective marketing idea for small business growth.
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