12 Ways to Use Video to Grow Your Small Business

Reposted from Melinda Emerson on August 6, 2012 in Branding & Marketing, Technology

The Internet is the new TV. YouTube is the second most searched site on the Internet. If you want to stay relevant online with your small business, you will need to start using video as part of your ongoing content development strategy. Video can also give you a competitive advantage in the marketplace.

If you are searching for some ideas, here are 12 ways to use video to grow your small business.  

1. Product Presentations.  Nothing is more effective to sell a product or service than to see it in action. Whether you are a service business or retailer, people want to see how things work.  Your video can feature your team working with a client or a product demonstration. Your presentations should focus on benefits and talk should be more from your customers’ perspective. The video should show how your product solves a specific business, personal or economic challenge.

2. Video Content Marketing.  Creating short videos (2-minutes or less) of how-to advice content is a great way to diversify the information on your blog or website. If you are using attraction marketing as a strategy, do not focus on selling, instead educate your audience and help them with their most pressing pain-points. By focusing on solving your customers’ problems first and associating your brand with those solutions, you will position your business as the solution when they are ready to make a purchase.

3. Video Training.  Online Video is a cost effective substitute for in-class training. You can also easily integrate video into online training management tools.  You can create a course once and sell ongoing access to it as a business model.

4. Live video streaming.  Live training videos are becoming very popular on the web. You can use video conferencing to present. ‘How-to’ content and other types of content that are being used to supplement or replace traditional training. Mobile video will increase the popularity of this type of video.

5. Video Customer Testimonials.  Nothing is more compelling than turning your customer into a sales person for your products and services, especially if you can get them to explain how you helped them achieve their business goals. These videos usually run from 30-60 seconds and you can use them on your website to educate visitors about doing business with your company.

6. MOS Event Interviews.  These videos are spontaneous “Man-on-the Street” interviews where you grab a person who is an event attendee or at a coaching session – to get their immediate reaction to working with your company or attending a training class or seminar.  The questions are posed by an interviewer just off-camera. These videos are used to build buzz around coming events as sales support to selling tickets and get people excited about the event.

7. Product Demonstrations.  When you do not sell tangible products, sometimes you need to help your clients understand your system that you use to solve customer problems. You’ll want to use graphics, screen captures, 3D images, or high impact animation to show how your product works. This video should also highlight the features that help your company stand out from the competition. Product demos are great for selling technology products or targeting buyers of larger ticket items.

8. Product Reviews.  Third party reviews of products and services are the most trusted on the Internet. You could position yourself as an expert reviewer of products on your blog. Video reviews can be used anywhere from YouTube to various business and beauty websites. If you position yourself as a key influencer in a specific industry, it’s a great way to monetize your blog.  You can also partner with trusted third parties to create product reviews for your own products.

9. Commercials.  While advertisers are becoming more selective in how they choose to spend their promotional dollars with broadcast television, other venues for commercials such as online video pre-roll, online sponsorships, in-game advertising, event sponsorships and in-theatre advertising are starting to take the place of broadcast / cable commercials. A proliferation of video screens cropping up on every building, device and structure will create an even more diverse set of advertising opportunities. The challenge will be to create specialized content targeted to an ever-shrinking niche audience.

10. Viral Video.  To make a great “splash” online, you can create a captivating video that people want to share. Viral videos have to be extremely entertaining, shocking or meaningful to be successful. Be careful with this strategy. You want to make sure that your video isn’t so entertaining that it fails to sell anything.

11. Email Video.  Email is the #1 way to convert contacts into sales. Testing has shown that open rates can double if you include video in your email marketing activities. Do not waste people’s time. To be effective, the video content should be helpful and end with a specific call to action; such as requesting a free chapter, demo, or free quote, etc.

12. Video News Releases – VNR.  The standard media news release is now being supplemented with video and b-roll to tell a more engaging story. Video is now a great value-add for news organizations that want to run stories on the web in addition to in the newspaper. Online press releases are more attractive to busy assignment editors, too. Consider creating a VNR the next time you want to create a press release!

Do you have any other suggestions for using video to promote a small business? Send us a note- we’d love to know, and share them as well!

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