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Thursday, 31 January 2013 00:00

Lights, camera... action! Promote your business with video content

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Take a starring role in promoting your business.

A picture paints a thousand words so think how many a video offers when it comes to promoting a product or service you sell?

Consider this… A survey carried out by MarketingSherpa found that 71 per cent of the businesses asked planned to increase their mobile marketing budgets in 2013. As part of the survey, MarketingSherpa decided to find out what type of content thrives on mobile devices. The answer? Video content.

With the explosion in smartphones and tablets, more and more people are accessing content on the move. And with time in short supply, video is becoming the number one way people interact with brands via the internet.

Video content takes many forms. Product descriptions, staff profiles, demonstrations, ‘how to’ guides – you name it. Producing this content is a fairly straightforward task these days, and you’re only limited by your imagination.

BT Marketing Solutions has number of businesses featured on our website, like the one below. These are professionally done – but simply – and you will see clearly how they bring the business in question to life and make a real connection with the viewer.

 

What to remember when making videos to promote YOUR business…

It’s all about engagement.

Yes, you’re trying to push the product, but like social media, ‘hard sell’ is a turn-off. You’re trying to build engagement so if it’s a promotional video, then the story (and therefore enjoyment the viewer gets) is more important. If you have a target audience – think how you want it to resonate with them, and devise your clips accordingly.

Start with a bang

You want to attract attention and keep the viewer watching. The first few seconds of your clip are vital in keeping any potential customer engaged. Even if you’ve never been in front of a camera, your business will benefit from having a ‘real’ persona. If you can, present an intro with some humour as it’s a sure fire way to get people talking about it.

Don’t make it up as you go along

As funny and as unrehearsed as your favourite comedians or actors appear, they are working to a script. It’s very difficult to shove someone in front of a camera and expect them to start performing. And that’s just the professionals! Write a script and rehearse it a few times until you get it right.

Are you ready Mr Spielberg?

The Blair Witch Project is an example of the shaky camera technique that’s frequently deployed to indicate the film is ‘real’ or authentic. Don’t do this with your video. Unless you are very good technically with a camera it will look cheap and amateurish – and not in a good way. Use a tripod for your camera and try out various sound and light combinations. The more professional it looks – the more professional your business looks.

Surprise, don’t shock

You’re trying to promote a business so while it’s good to surprise your customers, the last thing you want to do is shock them with something crude or inappropriate. It’s a very fine line between humour and crassness – and the latter will lose you custom. If in doubt, leave it out!

Make me an offer

What’s the video for? If it’s just a promotional clip for your business without any key messages, then viewers are unlikely to share the clip – which should be one of your main outcomes. If you can mention a special offer (ideally one that is going to be valid for a decent length of time), you are giving customers reason to share and possibly to watch again.

Call to action

Every marketing message should a include a call to action. Video content is no different. Make sure you finish off by asking the viewer to visit your website, offer page, Facebook page or blog site etc.


How to do it...

Hosting

Broadly speaking, adding video to your website can be done via a plug-in or add-on video player on your own website, embedding it in your site (by cutting and pasting the ‘embed’ code from a third-party hosting site to your CMS - the video below was done this way), or by simply including hyperlinks and/or URLs to a third-party site (like YouTube – if you click on the blue part of the text on the left you'll be taken to BT Marketing Solutions' video page).

Embedded video or hyperlinks involve uploading the video to a third-party site, while hosting the video on your own site doesn’t. BT offers a video player add-on to customers with some web design products, letting them put video straight on their website (video player incurs additional cost).

Production and editing

If you are serious about it, invest in some video editing software (Adobe Premiere Elements, Pinnacle Studio 16 Ultimate etc). It’s relatively cheap and will allow you to employ all kinds of tricks and effects to your film.

Make your films short and to the point to begin with. As you get better at it, you can introduce new elements like instructional videos and demonstration clips.

Have fun with it and don’t forget to smile!

Visit our website for details of our website packages that can include a video player add-on.

Read 1692 times Last modified on Thursday, 31 January 2013 09:56
Robin McEwen

Robin McEwen is Marketing Solutions' web content manager.

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