Promoting Your Business With Video?

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By Gordon DelGiorno

In this day of websites, YouTube and SEO, video is becoming more and more the norm for business marketing. Whether you hire professionals or do it yourself, video can be a powerful tool that brings your business to life for the customer. Data shows that more than 50% of online viewers watch video. You can decide whether or not this is valuable to your business.

Let’s explore the dynamics of DIY or hiring a professional to produce your business video. There are many factors when deciding which direction you will take with it. Let’s start with hiring a professional:

The general perception that I have heard from business owners is that video is expensive. The reality is the prices to hire a video production company to produce a promotional video can range from a couple hundred dollars, into the tens of thousands. This can make the decision to go DIY or professional that much harder.

With the DSLRs coming out at consumer prices several years ago, much of the general population can afford a high quality HD camera. In recent years, there has been a spike in video production and media companies. The question is, who can I trust to produce a quality video within my budget?

Online reviews can be helpful, but not always accurate or even real. Word of mouth from your trusted colleagues is a good start. Check out if and how the production company uses video on their own website. Search YouTube or Vimeo and see what sample work they have on the Internet. If you like what you have uncovered, a face to face meeting is the next step with that production company. Be clear from the beginning if they charge an initial fee for consultation or not. Production companies are often mined for creative information and ideas. Some feel they want to be paid for their time whether you end up hiring them or not.

Find out if the production company initiates sales/marketing strategies or does more of straight video production. In other words, are they looking at your demographics, messaging and image or are they leaving that up to you. What is it that you want from them? Often video production companies are just that . . . video production and nothing more.

Before putting down a deposit for work, be sure everyone is clear on these expectations and delivery date of pre-production materials, filming, editing and the final format.

What are some different styles of video?

  1. Scripted – Commercial style, traditional :30 spot.
  2. Testimonial – Interview-style with customers singing your praises.
  3. Sensationalism – No narrative. Just high impact visuals, music and keywords and phrases.

Sometimes there can be a hybrid of Testimonial and Sensationalism to keep the viewer’s attention. No matter what style you choose, the recommended length is between 15-90 seconds for attention span. Longer videos 2-7 minutes should be for captive audiences, like at events, dinners, and fundraisers.

How about just a DIY video to save on costs?

For under $1,000 you could get an HD video camera, some basic lighting and a portable audio recorder. You could even just shoot video from your smartphone. This gives a HD quality, but still has some limitations. Some DIY tips when using your smartphone:

  • Film horizontal, not vertical (portrait-style)
  • Film with sun or light to your back to avoid overexposure.
  • Opt for more close up shots, unless the action is pertinent to your message.
  • Keep the clips at :30 or less. Longer clips are more difficult to download.
  • The real question to DIY is will you have the time and energy to create, edit and upload the videos, while running your business?

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