There are countless ways to use video for business, varying from sophisticated, high-priced ad campaign commercials to complex landing page productions devised to pull someone into a purchase. What are the greatest types of video for Small Business owners that can be produced cost-effectively and published rapidly and create leads? Here are the Elite Eight.
Well-known and regularly underused, the video Intro to the Business is a short, 5 minute or less (2-3 works well) homepage introduction that tells who you are, what you do and why customers should care. This can be done using a description in a commercial replete with lots of movement shots of the shop floor, the office, and merchandise; a talking head of the CEO to a blank camera; or use the 3rd party opinion of a genuine Video interview (see below) Business FAQ.
Production fees can vary from FREE (CEO talking into a webcam) through a few hundred bucks to thousands for a videographer shot commercial. Google doesn’t care; either will index well given the suitable keyword tags. The question you have to answer is, what is going to be instantly informational, entertaining, and referable (as in Re-tweeted).
Specific to demonstrable merchandise, especially ones that move, like machines, toys, electronic devices, and, considering the medium, software. These again shouldn’t go on too long but can be longer than an introductory commercial. A software-based demo may take up to 8 minutes, but you should be able to say it in less time than that. When it comes to demos, in some cases less is more. Most often either a narrative led demo showing strictly merchandise or a spokesperson paced demo (think QVC or Home Shopping Channel) works the best. Just make sure to show the greatest features of your product and lay out consistently (3x) how this addresses an issue for your customers.
This is very similar to a product demo and works best for suppliers, especially those in developed countries, trying to demonstrate their remarkable technology will actually cost less money or provide better quality merchandise for a customer engaging them with an arrangement for recurring services. Machine shops and laser houses prefer this stuff, showing programmed machinery cutting steel while a guy with a hardhat and safety goggles oversees the process. This can run 5-10 minutes max. The key here is, make sure that your ability really is something memorable (as in a True Competitive Advantage that others don’t have) and that your video captures its uniqueness.
This is more of a tug on the heartstrings video that features either what your company has achieved that is significant or what your staff members have done for your company. If it’s about the company, it MUST be validated by 3rd party reference, as in an award won from a prestigious registrar (Best in Class, Malcolm Baldridge quality), a status acquired (ISO 9001 certification, etc.) or a cat saved from a tree on the news.
When discussing employees, the old Employee of the Month style headline adds a nice human element and speaks to what your company values in its people, and that can make a big difference to prospects with the same value system. For these kinds of videos, keep them short (2-4 minutes) and keep them current, especially for the employee notoriety videos. An Employee of the Month surmises that next month, we’ll see another.
Video Landing Page Combo
I could write pages on this one and frankly, I’m not a professional at it, but I am sure you’ve experienced pages that have these videos. These are designed to be hands-free on the part of the seller of a product or service, meaning, don’t call me, take the steps explained on the video. That means enter your email address to get something for FREE for agreement to advertise to you, or register for the thing (whatever it is) right now!
Just like text-only sales landing pages, these are long-form videos, with Squeeze Pages (get the email address) videos stretching from 3-7 minutes, and Sales Pages running all the way up to 30 minutes (that is too long in my opinion, with 10-12 being sufficient). The crucial stuff here: limit options to only this with no other on-page interruptions and make multiple calls to action to the prospect.
All about providing information this one is. It comes in the form of an instruction video, which is conveniently done for things like software applications using screen capture software, or talking head telling something she knows, and typically is the Expert Interview (I’ve done a ton of these in my blog, see sample). The goal is expert placement for your company while providing real value for the view. These videos can run from 5-30 minutes or longer (think of a book author interview), but I like to keep them between 7 and 15 minutes (YouTube has a 15 minute max until you are a recurring video poster). Tickets to success are to limit the subject matter to avoid rambling, don’t provide fluff with a sales pitch to get more, and add some written text fore and aft of the video to set it up and recap.
Testimonies and Personal Examples
Very self-explanatory here, this is 3rd party Reliability Building 101. Take the same things that marketers value about written examples and reviews and put them on steroids. This positively MUST be a person outside the company outlining what the company did for him or her, and it can NOT be anonymous (just like those outrageous made up references you see, “JL from Tampa says …”). Use foresight if the person doing the talking is not good on camera. It shouldn’t matter but it does. He doesn’t need to be Ben Affleck, but he can’t be a stiff either. These run no more than 3 minutes in length and follow my rules for great reviews.
Quality can’t be weak, but a webcam with acceptable quality can be used effectively, as the content of the person’s reference is the crucial piece.
I saved this one for last and, as you probably know by now, Smart Company Growth does these in bundles for the right type of clients. Video interviews work well for any business that wants to put a human face on its product, so take into account if that is you. They work exceptionally well when your business has these three qualities:
- No physical merchandise— That’s right consultants, lawyers, accountants, financial advisors, IT people and anyone else offering professional services, I’m looking at you. You sell intellectual property and that is difficult to show by showing a video shot of your report (although you can show results charts, but the people who can use this tactic the most, financial advisors, usually have rules preventing it).
- Trust is the key to business— Same group, right? If you’re an attorney, how can you start to break the trust hurdle down without ever getting to know someone? Show some face time with the 3rd party legitimacy that comes from being interviewed.
- Sameness in Brand— If you look at your rivals’ websites and they look like yours does– competent yet non-distinguishable– you’re a good candidate for a video interview to set yourself apart. Again, this is why professional service companies fall so perfectly into video interview prospects.
For advertising purposes the longest video interview (we call them SmartVu) we do runs about 12 minutes. That’s pretty in-depth. The shortest you can reasonably do with any bona fide dialog is about 2-3 minutes.
The vital success factors here are that the interviewer is good and that the framework of the content is planned beforehand. A faltering interviewer will lead to an unpersuasive interview and fragile video. A sound interviewer with planned content will lead to genuine questions that represent you in the very best light.
Although I can not persuade all of my clients of this, DO NOT READ FROM A SCRIPT! If you’re a category specialist on your product or topic, a good interviewer’s questions will lead to natural responses with you looking right into the camera. Script readers have their eyes turned aside to wherever the script is located and come across as stiff, with only the skilled few able to fool people into believing they are responding ad hoc.
There is a time and place to use any of the 8 best types of video marketing for your small company video. The information here should serve to generate concepts on what kind of video you can develop for your own video marketing and video SEO crusade to turnout superb results.
About the Author:
Karl Walinskas is the CEO of Smart Company Growth, a business development firm that helps small to mid-size professional service firms build competitive advantage in an online world of sameness. He is author of numerous articles and the Smart Blog on leadership, business communication, sales & service, public speaking and virtual business, and Getting Connected Through Exceptional Leadership, available in the SmartShop. Get your FREE LinkedIn Profile Optimization eBook & Video Course, Video Marketing video and course, or Mastermind Groups e-course & video now.