Business owners have always had many avenues for communicating their marketing messages to clients, but the newest avenue is videocasting (online video). This method is inexpensive, easy and helps quickly build rapport with current and potential clients. The only expense is a hand-held video camera, which you may already own. With a little bit of practice, you can be adding this high-tech feature to your website or blog.

There are many applications any type of business can use video for. Retail business can record a walk-through of their store including special features, customer service and sales. “Main Street” businesses can record basic maintenance techniques, like changing furnace filters, as a courtesy to their customers and a way to build interest and loyalty among prospects.

Service businesses benefit from using video as well. Your potential clients get to meet you and your team online ahead of time while YOU tell them about your business. You can offer short training videos as well and create relationships built on trust. This makes it much more likely for them to enlist your company’s services because they get to see, in advance, that you have real content to offer them.

One of the great things about videocasting is it isn’t expensive. Good video cameras, even those with high definition recording, can be found for $150 or less. It may be that your personal digital camera has adequate recording capabilities as well. Invest in an inexpensive tripod and use this when recording yourself talking at a desk. If you are recording a training video showing a process, an extra pair of hands managing the camera is preferred. Keep your clips short-3 minutes or less.

Make sure the lighting is decent (natural light is always preferable to overhead or desk lighting) and that your filming area is quiet. There are exceptions to all of these rules and you can find successful videocasts where the speaker is walking or the lighting is grainy. In the end, again, it is about having something to say. In the beginning, you will probably shoot several versions before you are happy and few of us like to see ourselves on video!

Don’t worry about purchasing expensive video editing software. More than likely your video camera came with it or there are inexpensive and “freeware” programs available online. All of these will allow you to load your video to your YouTube account, which you should have set up in advance. There are additional benefits to YouTube like the social networking features which allows you to interact and network with viewers. Be sure when you set up your account, you have a link to your company website in your profile!

Once you have uploaded your video to YouTube, be sure you make it public versus private. This way people can find it via searches. Click on “share” in YouTube and it will provide you with the code that you can use to add the clip to your website and the URL link to share via email. Using video is a great way to build loyalty and rapport and to reach potential customers in a way your competitors might not have thought of.

 

by Steven Schlagel