How to produce a must-see small business video

Video experts and small business owners share their tips for creating videos that grab and keep viewers’ attention and offer advice on how and where to showcase them.

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And be sure to include contact information both at the end of your video and in the description accompanying it (on YouTube or Vimeo and whatever social pages you post it on).

6. Make sure your video is easy to see and hear

When shooting your video, make sure your subjects (e.g., employees or customers), or products, are easy to see – i.e., shoot in a well-lit room or a place that gets good natural night, being careful to avoid shadows or overexposure. Similarly, make sure voices or narration can be clearly heard – avoiding or filtering out static and/or external noise.

7. Consider live video

“Video on demand is good, but live video is better,” says Chris Michaels, streaming industry evangelist, Wowza Media Systems. “For most viewers, live video creates a better sense of authenticity, because it’s not necessarily rehearsed, edited or overly produced.

“Interview a customer, do a video news release or even create a commentary about something that’s happening in your market,” he suggests. “You can insert simple polls, answer questions from the audience or create your own creative interaction.

“All you need is a mobile device that’s connected to your platform of choice and a decent plug-in microphone, or a laptop with a good webcam,” says Michaels. “There are free tools like Lightstream that turn your web browser into a powerful production studio. If you have multiple places you want to send the video (Facebook, Twitter, Periscope, your website, etc.), use a paid transcoding service like Wowza Streaming Cloud, which can send it to multiple destinations and streamline your workflow.”

3 tips for getting your video noticed online

1. Optimize for mobile
“Granted, every year marketing blogs and experts will say ‘video on mobile is the next big thing,’ so it doesn't feel like fresh advice. But at this point if you aren't optimizing for mobile, you’re missing a large chunk of your market,” says Divya Menon, founder/consultant, Bad Brain. “Mobile-friendly videos should be quick to load, not involve too many visual details that would be overlooked or overwhelming on a tiny smartphone screen and allow for both consumption with and without sound.”

2. Promote your videos on social channels, especially Facebook
According to the Animoto survey, SMB owners rated Facebook more effective than any other social platform. Though YouTube and Instagram were also highly rated.

However, “rather than simply uploading [videos] to YouTube [or Vimeo] then sharing the link on your social channels, upload your video to the given social platform directly,” says Edstrom. “This will allow you to take full advantage of the auto play function social channels like Facebook have put in place. By presenting a good business video with auto play rather than click to play, it will allow you to attract additional viewers that would have otherwise proceeded to scroll over your post.”

3. Share a link to videos in email marketing
“Video is a great addition to any introductory [or marketing] email,” says Heather Clark, brewery rep, Video Brewery. “Including the word ‘video’ in your email subject line has been shown to increase open rates. [And] an image of the video will increase click-through rates.”

This story, "How to produce a must-see small business video" was originally published by CIO.

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