Why should you use video to promote your business?
These are exciting times for entrepreneurs and start ups, with bold new business ventures coming on-stream week in, week out. You might say Wales is the home of the small business – according to latest Welsh Government figures, of the more than 238,000 active firms in Wales, 99.3 percent of these are SMEs.
And those small businesses have never had such a varied and easy-to-use toolbox at their disposal to promote their head-turning goods or services.
All start ups worth their salt will investigate the best social media platforms and the best off-the-shelf marketing tools on offer to help them find their customer base, communicate with them regularly, and tailor their offering to suit their needs. One of the most eye-catching ways to do this is by creating engaging, shareable video content.
For our part, here at Business In Focus, we regularly use video to tell the rich and varied stories of our start up successes. Some of the most recent examples being Gintan & Beauty, Doggy Groom and Fit My Floor – all fledgling business we have supported via our start up loans programme.
As successful start ups they all make good use of social media and of rich content, including video content, to promote their own businesses. Of course, embedding video into your website means visitors are more likely to spend more time on your site, which won’t do your Google ranking any harm, and which may lead to more sales.
Here are some simple tips to help small businesses get to grips with vlogging, and how to make it work for your business.
Draw a simple storyboard – if you are creating your first video to introduce yourself and your business to an online audience, create a rough storyboard, with a visual narrative that has a beginning, middle and end, which lets people know who you are, what you do, why you are unique and why people should use your business
Find the emotion – stories in any form, whether novels, Facebook posts, news items or anecdotes need to have an emotional centre in order to hold the attention. Find the emotional core of your business story. The video we created for Sam and Charlie Lewis illustrates this well, as it tells the story of the unusual circumstances surrounding the birth of their business – while they swapped ideas during a 24-hour trek in the Brecon Beacons. The emotional heart of your story might be about overcoming adversity to set up in business, realising a long-held ambition, it might be the fact that you are working alongside family, or providing a service for people in great need
Create visual interest by using a variety of camera shots. Thanks to Smart Phones and a host of simple and low cost video editing aps you don’t need have the skills of Francis Ford Coppolla to create an engaging video. It is wise to keep the style of your video fairly clean – don’t get carried away with fancy shot transitions or with shots which look gimmick, but do include a variety of shots – a talking head, some external and internal shots of your premises, footage of one of your products being made, or of a customer being served – anything which illustrates the customer experience or the details of your working day will help the viewer relate to you. If you don’t have a good eye for this type of thing then get the support of a professional firm.
Keep it short. It is tempting, when you are passionate about your business, to give the viewer a blow-by-blow account of its story. In fact, the optimum length for an online vide is between 40 and 50 seconds. If you are using a vlog to introduce a new product, to launch a competition, to show how you bake your cakes, fit your floors, fix a broken engine, to introduce a new member of the team, or to bring a customer testimonial to life, 40 seconds should be enough
Share your expertise. Some business owners are nervous about sharing their ‘trade secrets’ via video, and they don’t what to give too much away about how they create their product. In fact, sharing your knowledge and expertise is a great way of attracting customers and positioning yourself as an expert in your field. It helps you present an approachable face to your marketplace, and, if you are generous enough to show the world how to fix a puncture on their bike, viewers are likely to have you and your business at front of mind when they are looking to trade up their bicycle, or to buy a set of wheels for their grandchild for Christmas
Music can add warmth to a video, but make sure you only use copyright-free material
Business in Focus is a Wales-based business support specialist offering a broad range of vital support services, with offices throughout South Wales and the Valleys.
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