Up Close And Personal
Let me cut to the chase, using video in your business is important. That probably isn't a revelation, but it is true. So where do you even begin? If you haven't already been using video for anything, you probably feel overwhelmed. I know I was when I started trying different things with video. Truth be told, I jumped on the bandwagon a long time ago. I hosted a live (but recorded) weekly online cooking show for 4 years (2008-2012). Live streaming video at that time was still emerging and there weren't many platforms to choose between (mostly Ustream, JustinTV and Mogulus which became Livestream).
So what does that have to do with this post? Don't wait to long to try out new technology, mediums, formats or apps. As a business (and business owner or creative) it is part of your role to keep learning and adding innovation into your everyday processes. Also, there are always new ways to connect with your customers.
My own journey with using video continues to evolve as different platforms emerge and as I try new ways to convey content that is specific to my audience and the platform where the video is consumed. I will say that staying true to your brand is vitally important to connecting with your audience and growing it.
Checkout this link for a video of me talking about the points below:
When Shooting Video Content:
- Be authentic about who you are and what your company is and does. Being phony won't get you the results you want. Consumers are smart and they can tell (usually) when they are being misled. You have customers for a reason, so double down on that in the video. Don't hide from what makes your business unique.
- Live your brand and culture on screen. This is essentially an add-on to the above point about being authentic. Show customers what makes you unique and show them why those items are important to your business and how they are applied.
- Get behind the scenes. Let customers have a peek behind the curtain. It may not be the most glamorous part of your product or service, but it will show your customers what really is going on within the company walls. This is a great way to showcase team members, how a product is created or any other facet you think your customers might enjoy seeing that they may not get from just using your product or services. Just make sure that you do not giveaway and trade secrets or proprietary information.
- Remember to have fun. Don't get overly sales oriented. Selling is great. Having a call to action is important as well, however, you need to create engaging content that just helps engage your customers with your brand. It is okay to be a bit goofy or try something different.
- Be willing to try different platforms. May video platforms exist (YouTube, Vimeo, LiveStream, Facebook Live, Periscope and Meerkat, Snapchat, Instagram, webinars, online courses and more). Don't try one platform and give up. Find a platform that works for you and your brand.
- Live - This can be intimidating because things may not go as planned. However, live video is a great tool to connect with your audience about timely events, sales or information (I would highly recommend recording the live video if you have the option). It can also be a great way to start a more personal feeling conversation. Live video also feels more informal so keep that in mind when creating live content.
- Pre-recorded - This format can be more formal but it doesn't have to be. The idea behind pre-recorded video is that you have more control. You can control everything from the lighting to the dialog. You can also add overlays, graphics and transitions with this type of format more easily.
- Short - Shooting short video says several things. The first is that you respect the time of your audience (this is especially important if you are trying to win over potential customers). The second is that short video is a great way to tease a longer future segment (think about movie trailers / previews). Many online classes and self-paced courses opt for using a string of short videos to convey their content.
- Long - Shooting long content can be challenging (logistics of having the space, time and focus of all involved). However, longer content can be great for an audience that is already engaged with your business. Consider that longer video (which can vary from 15 minutes to over an hour) should only really be targeted at your existing audience (again, respecting the time your audience is willing to give is important). Longer videos are generally great for in-depth tutorials, a mini-series, events or conferences and other opportunities where your audience will be really focused.
Remember to stay open-minded and receptive to feedback. There will be an element of trial and error as you try different platforms and different styles of content. Feel free to reach out to your audience via email or surveys to see what type of content and what format of content they would prefer (that can at least be a great starting point).