Online video is a hot trend that continues to grow and has become a key strategy in many companies’ overall marketing plans. It’s an amazing vehicle for promoting your product or service, especially if you’re a business that relies on relationship marketing and really, what company doesn’t? Think about it — you get to create this moving, talking, alive representation of what you’re all about so that potential clients can start building a relationship with you right away…from the comfort of their own home…any time of day. That’s pretty powerful marketing, if it’s done right.
The good news is, making an online video is incredibly easy nowadays, all you basically need is a smartphone and an internet connection. The problem is, too many small businesses don’t plan out what their message is or tailor it to their audience and can end up harming their brand rather than helping it. So how do you make an effective video, that’s engaging and attracts new business?
With that question in mind, I interviewed partners Adera Angelucci and Ryan Smith, of the new video production firm SPIRO Creative, to find out where small businesses go wrong and how they can easily get it right.
What are the biggest mistakes you see most small businesses making when they create their business videos?
Adera: They make the video about the business — pushing the product or service — instead of showing a personal approach and effectively conveying the core reasons why someone would want to buy from them.
Ryan: Definitely, a lack of focus regarding their key message. I’ve watched business videos where, by the end of it, I’m still not sure what they’re trying to get across or to who. Another factor is that they don’t pay close enough attention to things like lighting and sound issues which can create a poor quality video, which can then convey that you’re not professional or don’t pay attention to detail, which may be an important attribute of your product or service.
There’s a wide range of production quality out there — from casual to professional. What are your thoughts on how a small company should approach making their promotional videos?
Adera: Online video is a key marketing tool, so think of it like you would any other key promotional materials for your business. You wouldn’t put out a cheap, flimsy business card or a brochure with spelling mistakes and blurry photos in it, so create your video with the same professional mind-set. If you want to be known and trusted, then you need to position your videos that way. It can be difficult to have perspective of yourself, which is why it’s imperative to get outside feedback from colleagues, other business owners or friends before uploading the final product online.
Also, because consistency is so important with online marketing and staying top of mind, we advise clients to think about creating a series of videos. Each one could cover a different topic and then be released individually over a period of time, usually over four to six weeks, to keep viewers coming back to your site.
Ryan: Research, research, research! Look at the videos of your competitors and those who are top in their industry to see what they’re doing right and what they’re doing wrong. Watch videos that have become viral and consider the reasons why. And remember: your message has to be clear. You don’t have to pour a lot of money into an expensive production. It’s not about special effects or being a star, it’s about the clarity and impact of your message. Think of it as telling the story of your business or product.
You successfully produced two TV shows that cleverly featured local businesses within the shows. What unique insights and skills did producing those shows give you about highlighting individual businesses?
Adera: I learned how to tell their story. How to really understand why a business owner does what they do — the passion and purpose they have — and how to convey that to an audience. I have worked with over 100 business owners and each of them handle the camera and the experience of being on TV differently. So as a producer and director, I’m able to confidently and easily guide them through the interview process to get the best out of them and make an amazing video that captures their true energy.
Ryan: How to differentiate from all the other promotional videos out there — we know that connecting to an audience in an emotional way is key. That won’t happen by highlighting a blender. But showing the person whose passion is bringing that blender to the masses to improve their health and vitality, and seeing their love of what they do and relating to them will do that. The most powerful videos tell a story about a person who can do something for you, rather than “here’s a product you need.”
What should people look for when hiring a firm to help them produce their videos?
Adera: Look for a company that’s passionate about telling people’s stories and the medium of video. You should feel they genuinely want to get to know who you are and what your business is all about. And ask how they will support you beyond the production side. At SPIRO, once a video is completed for a client, we go out of our way to help promote it online and share it with our network.
Ryan: Make sure they really know how to listen to you and that they ask great questions. Everyone has their unique story and that should ALWAYS informs the direction of a video. That gives it the authentic and genuine feel that is so important for creating a connection with audiences, and it’s the foundation for all the videos we produce here at SPIRO.
What do you love most about the work you do?
Ryan: Working with people who have the same passion for what they do that we have for our videos. There is an energy and harmony there that lifts creativity to unimaginable heights, and it is a joy to work in that kind of environment.
Any last tips or pointers to share?
Adera: Think of video as an important component of your marketing, if it’s done correctly (and that’s not hard to do!). Think of the power it has — you can qualify potential clients even before meeting them, saving you tons of time and money. Remember that your message is important, that who you are is enough and that everything you have to offer the world can be realized and received by people who watch your video. There are 3 billion people online and if only 100-500 see your video and 2-10 people buy from you, well that makes video a valuable business tool.
Ryan: Keep your brand in mind. Online video is about helping you build awareness of your business. Most importantly, know that you have a story to tell that is powerful and resonant, and needs to be shared with the world. Video offers a spectacular opportunity to tell that story and spread it around the world.
To learn more tips about creating effective business videos, attend Empower By Design’s Meetup, ‘8 Keys to Making a GREAT Online Business Video’ featuring Ryan Smith and Adera Angelucci from SPIRO Creative. See details below or click here to go to our event page.
8 Keys to Making a GREAT Online Business VideoDate: Thursday, Feb. 21st Time: 7:00-9:00 pm Price: $22/person (includes coffee & tea) Location: The Pantry Restaurant | 1812-152nd Street, South Surrey Tickets: www.empowerbydesign.eventbrite.ca
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