May 20, 2009
Video streamed on the web is a powerful medium to reach your online customers, and contrary to popular belief it is now no longer beyond the budget of small businesses.
Below are six ways to use video to build your business. Many of them do not require large funds to implement – just a little time and creativity.
1) DIY Tutorials and How – To’s.
The proliferation of home improvement, cooking and motor repair shows both online and offline is testimony to the continued popularity of practical information in a video form. Hardware stores for example, provide handy tips to customers and in return reap the benefit of generating goodwill – and a continual flow of buyers.
One recent example that sticks in my mind was a company that supplied computer parts. Their online store provided video tutorials on how to fit these parts. The end result was that I made my purchase from them because not only was their price reasonable, but their video showed attention to detail in helping their customer (and that is good business sense).
You can do the same by creating simple tutorials in video form and featuring them both on your own website and sharing a few around the various video sharing sites and linking them back to you. This will not only expand your visibility in the search engines (remember to add keyword tags to your video) but also generate goodwill and traffic when viewers want to investigate further.
Hint- don’t put all of your videos on sharing sites – embed them (and others) in your website too because you will want to provide as much incentive as possible for people to visit from these sites and actually go to yours to investigate what else you have on offer (including what you are selling).
Have happy customers? Few advertising campaigns (if any) can match the effectiveness of a genuine testimonial from a delighted consumer. Video some brief testimonials and post them online and get people talking. Post a few on your sales page too.
Who are you? What do you do exactly? Where are you located? Can I trust you? These are questions your potential customers will be asking before they are willing to do business with you. A video tour of your business location, your people and how you do what you do is a great way to break the ice and show visitors that you are more than just a website – you have real staff who care about their customers and what you do is not a mystery.
Hint- Keep it real – Trash the jargon and use common language to explain exactly what you do and how you can help your customers.
4) Online Demonstrations.
Ever tried to explain how to use your product or service over the phone or produce a manual for your product? Video will be much more effective on getting your message across. Simply film your product or service in action, add a voiceover and some text if required and create something that will clearly explain to you viewer exactly how your product or service can help them.
You can utilise this twice – As a sales tool and secondly as a customer support tool that can be viewed after office hours.
5) Video Newsletters.
Keep your existing and future customers in the loop by providing a newsletter with video footage as part of the content – it will be more likely to be watched and remembered. Also consider that many good videos are viral – they will be forwarded from person to person so make sure your content is useful since it will inevitably find it’s way into the inbox of other future buyers. You could add a helpful tip in each issue, perhaps a case study or testimony and maybe even a competition – get people talking and have them submit their own videos in exchange for a prize.
You can then post these to once again increase traffic.
6) Start Your Own Online TV Series.
Dare to be famous? Are you an expert in your field? Why not create your own online TV program and stream this from your website? A few episodes distributed among video sharing sites will act as teasers to draw more visitors to your site where you can develop a fan base and incorporate your own promotions and advertisements. You may want to incorporate messages from other businesses who are promoting related products and benefit from their advertising revenue to supplement your own.
Hint – create quality, useful and entertaining content as mentioned previously (since this is what will attract viewers). Also include a subscription form on your website so visitors can sign up for email notification so you can let them know when you have released a new episode. (Also choose a paid streaming video service so you can have full control over your advertising and distribution).
Streaming video is a unique medium that is both versatile and powerful. Making it work for you requires some creativity and planning but the final product will reap dividends for anyone willing to embrace the technology.
Mark Spivey is a musician, graphic designer and Virtual Media Consultant who provides easy to use, powerful, cost effective streaming video solutions for business and home use including video email, interactive live broadcasting and video marketing. To find out how your business can benefit visit http://www.helloworld.com/markspivey