If you run a small business, then you're probably always on the look-out for new ideas and marketing tips that will help give more exposure to your business - but at the same time won't break the budget!
Well, maybe you should think about video blogging, or "Vlogging" (as it's sometimes referred to), if you're not already doing it. This can be a great way for you to personalise your message and begin to build a connection with your potential customers. You'll see some examples of video posting further down in this article.
- Add video to your blog
Many small business owners have already learned about the importance of a blog to support their business website. A blog that is reasonably regularly updated with fresh, original and relevant content is said to transmit important "SEO juice" to the website it's linked with.
Blog posts that comprise just text can be a little bland, so you add some imagery. But when you also supplement your content further with some relevant video, then you are offering your reader an even more interesting and rewarding experience. Particularly when the video has an informative focus to it - as opposed to just being a commercial for your business. When you provide useful content in your videos, you come to be seen as an authoritative source and a visitor will more likely become a follower and return to your site when your next post is done.
Studies have revealed that visitors remain more than three times longer on a blog when it has video, compared to when it does not. You can make videos that are informative - or you can make a simple promotional video of an animated nature, which can be entertaining in its appeal. See what you think of this one for example .....
- Keep it simple when you start out
Sure, it can take longer if you want to include some fancy graphics - but when you're getting started, it's often best to keep things simple and build your confidence by acquiring some experience. Then as your capability grows through increased familiarity with the medium, you can start getting into some of the more complex and admittedly more visually appealing functionalities of the medium.
There is no doubt that an increasing number of businesses are incorporating video clips on their websites as well as their blogs. They know that video helps engage and maintain the attention of site visitors. And the longer a visitor is on your site, the more likely they will take action. Either a sale or an enquiry or a subscription to your newsletter or signing up to your email list.
- It doesn't have to be "perfect"
If you're worried that your first few goes at this may "damage your brand" - there's no reason why you can't just leave the video hosted at YouTube without necessarily embedding it into your blog or website. You can ask some friends and customers to look at the video and give you some feedback on it. Then learn from the experience and try recording some more video, whether it's on the same topic but from a different angle, or on a different topic.
- Like so many things, gaining more experience will help
Hey, even if you upload the video and publish it on YouTube, you can always delete it from your channel if you later decide that you don't like it.
With more experience, your video presence will improve and your delivery become more natural in front of the camera. I believe you will find that video blogging can become a powerful marketing tool for your small business.
I have about 20 different blogs and websites, most of which have video clips embedded. Also, your video clip may actually generate traffic to your website from people who are using YouTube as a search engine ..... Did you know that YouTube is the second most frequently used search engine, behind Google and ahead of Bing and Yahoo.
- Optimise and customise your video, in the same way you do your blog
For those of you who intend to embed your video in a post of your blog, look for the customising options that YouTube give you. Select a size for the video that will fit nicely into your blog frame. Another customising option you are offered is to de-select other videos from appearing at the end of your video. Select your preferred customisation options before you cut and paste the code.
- Use your own natural communication style
Here's a short video clip that offers some really useful video blogging tips for the beginner. Although I don't know the speaker, he projects a low-key, authentic style - and gets some helpful points across quite clearly. Personally, I think he has represented his business in a professional way. One of the tips is to be yourself when you record your message.
- Promotional videos
Here's an example of a video clip that I had produced a while ago through Fiverr that cost me around $20 to make - which also included a professional presenter. This particular video was a promotional one, with the title and description optimised for YouTube. It has been moderately successful in directing some traffic directly from YouTube to this blog ...... And yes, I know - this is an Australian blog and yet the speaker has an American accent - I didn't say it was an ideal example
- One of my own video blogs
- Do-it-yourself video - or get a professional to do it?
So I will include a video clip below - it's only around one minute duration, that does explore this issue. But the video also nicely illustrates how the speaker has developed something that is informational and educational for the viewer - and yet uses a soft-sell to promote her own video production business
About the author Brian Carroll is the founder of a management training company Performance Development, based in Melbourne, Australia. He is a qualified psychologist, experienced leadership coach and an engaging presenter, with a passion for helping people develop their full capabilities. He regularly delivers leadership courses in Melbourne