5 Tips on creating an online video for your website
Business videos come in several different varieties. There are explainer videos, about us videos, marketing videos -- some meant to educate, others meant to purely entertain and some designed to do both. And while there is no way to guarantee that your next business video will garner tens of thousands of views on YouTube, there are steps you can take to increase the likelihood of it being viewed, liked and shared.
Here are 5 tips from video marketing experts on how to help ensure your next business video is a hit.
1. Know who your target audience is."Before you [write a script or] get the camera rolling, think about who your audience is and what their needs are," says Loni Stark, director of product, solution and industry marketing at Adobe.
Your "business objectives will help you segment your target audience. For instance, if your goal is to drive awareness, your audience will be quite different and much larger than, say, folks already on your site who need a little nudging to drop a product into their carts," says Stark.
2. Have a solid concept and script. "When it comes to creating influential business video, a solid script is the foundation for success," says Sabrina Cote, social media marketing manager, Brainshark, a provider of business presentation solutions. "Start by determining the format for the video. Is it a product demo or talking head style video that requires a carefully worded script? Or is it a Q&A video that requires pre-written questions, but allows for wiggle room in the answers to ensure authenticity?" Then, once you've settled on a format, "create an outline. Then fill in the details." Finally, make sure to storyboard it.
3. Hire a professional to film it -- or at least use professional grade recording/sound equipment. "Some of the most popular viral videos on YouTube were shot by amateurs recording something funny, with mediocre sound and video quality," says Russ Somers, vice president of Marketing, Invodo, a business video provider. "That may work for 'Charlie Bit My Finger,' but your business shouldn't make the mistake of [shooting] amateur quality videos," he says. "Consumers prefer professional-grade business videos to user-generated content, according to multiple studies."
"There are many companies that can make you look good [that are] cost effective," says David Greenwood, the owner of Greenwood & Associates, a PR and video marketing firm. "There's nothing worse than bad lighting, sound and a business video that looks like it was shot on a phone. Invest a little and get a lot back."
Indeed, "sound is 50 percent of what makes a video," says Jason Whitt of Geek Powered Studios, an Internet marketing agency. "Having quality recording equipment or a controlled environment is critical when recording a business video. If the sound quality of your video is poor or has too much external noise, viewers may not respond the way you want them to."
So if you have to shoot the video yourself, "don't rely on the camera's built-in microphone," says Somers. Instead, "make sure you're using an external microphone to get the best audio."
4. Have a clear, simple message -- and minimize (or cut) the corporate jargon.
"A successful business video is simple to understand," says Deborah Sweeney, CEO, MyCorporation.com, a provider of online document filing services. "Customers are looking to understand what your business can do for them or how you can help them solve a problem," Sweeney says. "If your video is too detailed and complicated, viewers will click away and search for something simpler. So make sure your video is "compelling, brief and focused on a specific message."
"Too often we try to cram in every benefit or feature about our business in a single video," says Stephen Murphy, the owner of Bamboo Interactive. So "keep your message to one or two main points and cut the rest; your audience will reward you with their attention."
Lastly, "cut out [or minimize the use of] words containing '-ization,' such as, 'globalization,' 'utilization,' etc., and avoid overused business words [such as] 'innovate,' 'disrupt,' etc.," says Eddie Rice, a speech writer at Custom Speech Writing. "To make this happen, take the script and highlight all of the jargon -- and then get someone not familiar with your industry to find the jargon and useless phrases." Then replace jargon with easy to understand words and phrases.
5. Keep it short. "Fifty-three percent of people viewing business videos leave after one minute," says Eric Guerin, executive producer, Adelie Studios. "So edit. Then when you think you're done, edit some more," he says. "Being concise helps keep your audience engaged and drives them to whatever your call to action is."