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Why you need to use video

Creating quality content on your website can help you stand out from your peers and build a sustainable online presence. These days that means using video, says Justine Priestley, founding director of Really Bright Media

Social media and quality online content is
 now crucial to business success. Why? Today, the customer buys you before they buy your products or services. Your customers 
can search online and find with pinpoint accuracy exactly what they’re looking for. Your content
must be informative, timely and relevant to their unique wants and needs. In today’s online culture, successful business owners must also be accessible, building relationship, trust and rapport with potential and existing clients and customers. As old forms of advertising lose their impact, social media is the personal new way to promote your business.

Surprisingly, while businesses are getting switched on to the power of social media by blogging, tweeting and posting on Facebook, they often leave out video. Yet video is the most shared and consumed content on the web today. It has the power to express your message and create
 an experience in mere minutes or even seconds without the viewer being asked to read text. Watching a video is effortless and enjoyable! First impressions are formed rapidly and quality video leaves a lasting impression on your target market.

Statistics have shown that largely, people prefer to watch a video than read copy on a website. Imagine a good sales person broadcasting your message, establishing you as a thought leader and connecting with your potential customers 24/7 … even while you sleep. This is what a good video can do for you!

If you’re new to videos, and unsure if you should use them, be reassured; a video can help in your business in five key ways:

1. Attracting leads. You connect with new people who wouldn’t have found you otherwise.

2. Making conversions. By offering quality content online, you allow people to spend time with you before making a considered purchase.

3. Building community. A loyal community will accelerate your success online. Your social media community means you can stay in relationship with your network. This has knock-on effects, such as being referred by your network to new prospects. And online loyalty increases the likelihood of repeat sales by existing customers.

4. Reducing expenses. Think about any product or service you might be able to automate and take online. For example, do you hold regular training days for staff? Produce an online training module that can save you money and time.

5. Lifting brand value. This increases your credibility, brand awareness, your reputation and rapport with your audience. It is crucial to consider video content because your competitors are doing it; if not now, they will be in the near future and you have a chance to get ahead of the game!

Giving insight
Videos are good for business, they make you more searchable online and referable to wider networks and they allow people to spend time with you or your brand. Not only is video a long-term content asset that builds value over time, it gives you great shareable content for your other sites. Video allows you to express your creativity. You can create powerful experiences for your audiences by harnessing different elements, such as music, images, text, visuals and good scripting.

Did you know the second largest search engine on the internet is YouTube? By the end of today, four billion videos will have been watched around the globe! YouTube offers a massive opportunity through infrastructure that is freely available to everyone! All you have to do is provide the content and you can have global distribution and access to a worldwide audience! Such an opportunity for global reach was unthinkable 20 years ago!

Film is all about experience. Have you ever sent an email or a text message and the reader has misjudged your tone and intention? When you create a video, you can completely construct an experience for the viewer and ensure your message is delivered the way you intend. You’re giving people insight into who you are!

If videos are so important, why are they often left out of the content plan? There are three main reasons: time, technical skills and cost. In actual fact, adding films into your business can save you time, it has never been easier to make a film and you will discover that film is a wise investment of resources.

Yes, it does take longer to create a film than some of your other content, but remember it is a valuable investment of time; you are creating a long-term asset that can keep appreciating.

Film allows your customers to spend time with you before they have met you, which means you can build rapport before you’ve had your first real life conversation.

By leveraging your experiences you multiply your audience. You’re able to spread the net wider. Have you ever gone to a great deal of expense and effort to stage an event? Imagine if you filmed it, edited some easily digestible YouTube films and put them on your channel! They would still be available today, and you would be sharing with new audiences each day! It is common to reach a hundred or so people at an event in person, but thousands of people can watch the event online.

Videos can also save you time. Do you have features of your business you say or do over and over? You probably recite mundane but necessary information, such as training procedures or answer frequently asked questions on a daily basis. Automating messages in your business via video will save you lots of time.

Technical skills

It is now easier than ever to make a film and distribute it globally.

1. You need a camera – smart phone, flip camera, DSLR, webcam.

2. You need editing software – on your laptop, iPad or even iPhone.

3. You need to know some basic steps on how to film and edit and upload.

If you need some help, there are many tutorials online, you can ask someone in the know or seek professional training.

You can also access film production companies, who specialise in online films and have ways of filming so that you get the most bang for your buck.

But a word of caution: the point of films is to lift your brand value and sometimes DIY films will not achieve a professional standard. A good rule of thumb is to have a few professionally made films to post to your YouTube channel and your business website. This sets the bar in the viewer’s mind. You can then add to your channel with your own DIY clips too.

Cost effectiveness

The beauty of investing any resources into films is that your films become assets that continue to yield a return indefinitely.
By comparison, you might pay thousands of pounds for a print advert for little return on your investment. And the impact of the print advert has a short life. Instead, a video perpetually builds in momentum over time.

You might decide to create a suite of films for your website or informative videos for YouTube. Here are some pointers for making them impacting and engaging:

1. They should be interesting – this requires careful thought and creativity. Think outside the box. You want people to feel compelled to take action at the end of watching – like sharing your video because it’s so helpful or has the wow- factor.

2. Keep them short and sweet, usually two to three minutes.

3. Remember, music makes a world of difference and lighting and an interesting set will take your videos to the next level.

4. Release videos regularly and let your audience know when to expect the new videos!

If you need somewhere to start, make a good introduction film to your business that can sit on the front page of your website. You then might consider releasing some helpful information videos on YouTube or creating a weekly or monthly video update for your clients. This simple gesture will build loyalty, so much that your clients won’t ever dream of taking their business elsewhere!

Let’s look at different film styles you might consider working into your content plan:
• Introduction video
• Meet the team
• Testimonials
• Case studies
• Event highlights
• Online commercial
• Tutorial or how-to
• Frequently asked questions
• An interview with an expert
• Industry news vlog
• Product or service promos

You have all the infrastructure, connectivity and technology you need right now at your fingertips. Videos promoted through an integrated social media plan can be a powerful asset for your business. So start where you are, do what you can, have fun and test and measure the results. Once you have your first breakthroughs using film, you’ll never look back!

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