Video content is easier than ever to make and to share. Many might remember how the former Men’s Wearhouse CEO, George Zimmer, made himself famous by taking it upon himself to become his own spokesperson. Mr. Zimmer had the advantages of a large advertising budget to shoot commercials and put himself on television. Today, with the advent of YouTube, the ability to shoot a video on a smartphone, and the ease of sharing via social media, small business owners can now follow in Mr. Zimmer’s footsteps and be their own spokesperson, shooting and promoting a video at virtually no cost. However, even with all the available technology, shooting a video that’s professional, easy to find online, and shareable is critical to making any video-based strategy a success.
One critical consideration is technical factors to make your video look professional. It’s important to know your device’s capabilities (even if that device is an iPhone). Lighting and audio are the two critical factors. The available device should be tested. First, make sure the device shows everything at a standard zoom level. Zooming can create distortion, particularly with less advanced devices, so this is critical. Secondly, check the lighting and color. Lighting kits are available for $50-$100 on Amazon, so this is a low-cost way to keep one’s makeshift studio lit properly. One should test color temperature on a white piece of paper. If that paper does not look white on the recording, try adjusting the color temperature of the camera. Finally, check the audio. The speaker needs to have a strong, clear voice and background noise must be avoided. Consider purchasing a directional microphone if necessary. Also, if one chooses to have background music in the video, make sure the music is instrumental. Singing voices tend to be distorted in these types of videos. If one’s smartphone is not adequate, consider spending $200-$300 to purchase a video camera.
Once the video has been created, businesses will want customers to find it. If the video is embedded, one needs to add SEO to lead prospective customers to the video. The most important way to add SEO to a video is with relevant metadata, meaning the title, description and thumbnail need to have SEO keywords strategically placed within. Like with other SEO content, these need to be written with both humans and search crawlers in mind so it will be a video users want to click while still being easy for a web crawler to find. Business owners can also create a video sitemap. Much like a sitemap within a website, a video sitemap will make it easier for search crawlers to find the video.
Finally, videos need to be shareable. Social media makes this easy. In most cases, a video will be placed on one’s YouTube channel. This serves as both a repository for videos that businesses want customers to see and provides a base from which video content can be shared to virtually any other social media site. Additionally, Facebook has just now added a capability to place a video where the cover photo is located today.
Video is a powerful and now, low-cost tool whereby businesses can promote themselves to customers. Fortunately, the technology to both shoot a high-quality video and promote it at a low-cost is easily available to all business owners. Businesses who choose to utilize video should take some steps to ensure the video has a professional look. They should also utilize YouTube and any social media available to bring that video to their customers. With the available technology and a small amount of technical and marketing savvy, virtually any business can have a video advertising campaign that was once only available to large-scale businesses.