Why use video?
We’re all a bit lazy when it comes down to it! (All right, I’m speaking for myself!)
But don’t you agree, it’s easier to watch and listen to a video than to wade your way through paragraphs of text? There’s a reason for that, well nine reasons. Let's have a look at them.
We prefer video
1. The brain processes visual images 60,000 times faster than written words, and 90% of the information transmitted to the brain is visual.
2. Images tell a much better story than words. And if they’re moving images, all the better. Just think about the power of a good film? As a business owner, even if you do also write, you can get your message across more effectively using pictures than you can with words alone.
Reach more people
3. You can reach more people with video. Videos drive more traffic to your website. Did you know that your site is 53% more likely get a first page Google hit if it has a video on it?
4. It's great for SEO. Websites attract three times as many inbound links (an important factor for search engine ranking and referral traffic).
5. There are billions of users. More than 1 billion different users visit YouTube each month, spending more than 4 billion hours watching videos? And that 700 YouTube videos are shared every minute?
That's a massive audience for you to get in front of, so make the most of it.
Engage your users
6. People stick around longer. Video attracts more attention than text and we spend more time on websites with videos on them. Tell your story in a way that’s visually appealing and you'll draw your audience in, and keep them engaged for longer.
7. People connect with your product or service. A video will help your audience imagine they are right there, checking out all the details and getting a feel for the atmosphere, or a feel for you, just by clicking a link. It’s personal. Seeing your friendly face on the screen or even just hearing your voice will help your audience connect with you and feel they know you.
Show don't tell to drive sales
8. It’s easier to show rather than tell. Whatever your topic, it's often easier to show rather than tell. Demonstrate a healthy recipe by cooking it live, or take a screen capture video of how to implement the latest tech gadgetry. Show off your serene and stylish salon, or the venue where you plan your next training course; interview a client talking about you, really anything you can do to show will engage your viewer more than a list of written instructions.
9. Videos drive more sales. If you are aiming to reach out to more people through your website videos will help you to connect and drive sales, especially online sales. And it can be particularly useful if you are selling a service. Potential clients need to know that you are friendly and approachable and that you are a fellow human being who cares about meeting your needs.
Getting Started with Video
Well done! You’re going to bite the bullet and make a video. Here are some pointers to get you started.
Decide what kind of video you are going to make. Will it be you introducing your business? An explanation of your services? Images of what you do? Information about your product or premises? A testimonial video? An employee bio video? Answers to Frequently Asked Questions? Some 'how-to' information? The possibilities are endless and if you're stuck for ideas browse on YouTube or ask a friend for creative ideas.
Plan on the content of your video. Not sure what to say? First of all think about the purpose of your video -- is it selling or marketing? Brand awareness of content marketing? Be clear what you want your viewer to get out of it. Then think about your script -- you don't have to write it out word for word but it's a good idea to understand the flow. If it helps to have a friend or colleague as you questions then do that and edit out their question so it looks more natural. Decide whether you're going pro and getting a whole video crew, or whether you want to do off the cuff iPhone videos. Keep it short -- it's better to do 10 2 minute videos and get them out quickly (all that scope for repurposing!) than it is to struggle for months perfecting a 20 minute video.
Shoot and edit a video yourself. If you have a DSLR camera which records video in high definition this is ideal. Otherwise you can use your smart phone or laptop. Most laptops have editing packages such as Movie Maker or iMovie and this step-by-step guide will help you get started.
If the whole idea of making your own video brings you out in a cold sweat then contact a video production company. They are a friendly bunch and will be only too happy to talk you through their process and prices. Costs vary and you can get a good deal if you book a series. Ask to see examples of their previous work, and meet face to face if you can to make sure they're going to make you feel comfortable. If the video’s done well and you feel relaxed, then it's a win-win for you and your customers.
This post was written by Hannah Falcon-Lang. Hannah is Chief Videographer at Button Media, and specialises in helping you tell your story on screen.
Do you use video? What would it take for you to get started…?