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Video in Business

By David Hague

To most people, "video" invokes the idea of entertainment. The latest blockbuster movie about some superhero or another, a favorite TV show that seems to go on forever such as MASH or more lately, something internet based on a file sharing service such as YouTube, Facebook or Vimeo, usually containing 60 seconds of badly shot video using a smartphone, no composition, little if any editing and garbled audio.

Stereotyping? Sure! But it is the truth more often than not and may have turned you off one of the very best uses of video there is. To market your business.

The talkie moving picture has been the best way of communicating marketing ideas and concepts since John Logie Baird had a statue named after him, but traditionally has been via television. With so many people looking at video on line why not take advantage of that fact? YouTube having a billion users a day is no flash in the pan.

As others have found, video online allows the quick delivery of key messages that are easily digestible and therefore very effective as marketing tools. 

Righto you say. I'll give that a go then.

Hang on a minute. Creating marketing video is not quite the same as shooting Aunty Mabel blowing out the birthday cake you know. It needs to be planned and executed correctly and professionally and there are three main steps to ensuring this.

Like writing a book, creating a brochure or even designing a print ad, the concept needs to be laid out, the market you are aiming for needs to be ascertained, the exact message you are trying to portray defined, whether you are aiming for an advert or infotainment, the delivery mechanism to be used (YouTube? Facebook?) which will dictate the length of the video and finally, what do you think is the viewer(s) expectation?

So, the three subsets of these factors are:
  • You must start the video with something that grabs the attention be it visual, audio or even text based. It must lure the viewer in as they honestly WANT to hear more of what you have to say.
  • Once you have them, you need to hold onto their interest. A product oriented clip may show ways of using the product or a service industry might have testimonial talking heads for example, or an interview with a happy user. And keep it snappy. The average length of TV ads at 30 seconds is not coincidental. The attention span will almost certainly be blown by 3 minutes max.
  • Finally, you need to make your audience want to do something. Follow a web link, send an email, make a phone call or place themselves on a mailing list for special offers.
You might also consider a campaign. You may remember quite some years back one of the coffee companies (Maxwell House or Nescafe if I recall) had a successful campaign that ran as a soap opera on both radio and TV and people were WAITING to see / hear what happened next! AAMI did the same thing with Rhonda and Ketut.

Of course, you could nail all these things together in your front living room, but it is not recommended. The level of professionalism will reflect in how people see your business and their future dealings with you, so it is best to hire a proper videographer who understands what you are after and has the appropriate shooting, editing and audio skills.

Once created, you need to get your video "out there" and this is by means of social media and search engine optimization using keywords and tags (YouTube and Vimeo both prompt for these).

To gauge the reaction to your video, prompt for user feedback, comments and encourage user ratings.

Finally, don't let it go stale. Continually update with new material, taking advantage of whatever comments and feedback you have received to hone your content to what people want to see.

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David is the owner and publisher of Australian Videocamera. He has a background in media dating back to 1979 when he first got involved with photojournalism in motorsport, and went from there into technology via a 5 year stint with Tandy Computers.

Moving back to WA, David wrote scripts for Computer Television for video training for the just released Windows and Office 95 among others, and was then lured to Sydney to create web sites for the newly commercial Internet in 1995, building hundreds of sites under contract to OzEmail including Coates Hire, Hertz Queensland, John Williamson, the NSW Board of Studies and many, many more.

David can be contacted via  [email protected]

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