a guide to using video in your business

You’ve almost certainly come across the idea that your business should be using videos to promote itself.

And maybe you’ve considered the possibility of saving yourself some time in presenting training sessions through recording the seminar and creating a video for the future.

But really, what’s all the fuss about video in comparison with written copy?

After all, the internet is based on text content.

Isn’t it?

While it would certainly be true to say that there are some people who prefer to read words online than watch video; it is also true that there are still people who print out their emails before reading them.

Cisco predict that 82% of all internet traffic will be video-related by 2020. (OK, video takes up more bandwidth, but that’s still an enormous amount of video being watched).

The key point, of course, is that the majority or people prefer to spend their time online watching videos, not reading words.

People like video.

Which is why your business should take advantage of this fact and tap into what your audience already prefer, rather than trying to force them to do something they’re not quite so keen on.

Here’s our list of the 10 most important ways your business can use video.

1) Video for Sales & Marketing

In the same manner as your website being a “shop window” to the world (to use a somewhat retro phrase), video can act like a 24/7 salesperson, continually pushing out your message.

So your potential clients can have the impression of human contact with you, even outside of your working hours.

Video provides that personal touch that you simply can’t convey adequately with the written word alone.

‘People buy from people’ is an oft-quoted truism about sales and marketing – so presenting a human face, in the form of a video, is far more likely to get your potential customers engaged with your content, compared to a page of words.

And we’re no doubt all familiar with the idea that videos of phones in blenders and grumpy cats can ‘go viral’ – leading to a huge influx of traffic to your site.

But don’t just take our word for it – there are plenty of statistics to back up the fact that video is an essential component of a successful business marketing strategy.

2) Video for SEO

SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is the process of ensuring your site appears ranked well in relevant searches that people perform on Google.

YouTube – a site based purely on video content – is the world’s second largest search engine by volume of searches. So clearly you can tap into a large market if you can feature your videos on YouTube.

Another obvious thing to point out here, as well, is that Google owns YouTube. Which is one of the reasons you see so many YouTube clips appear in the Google search results.

But, more importantly, it shows you how important Google considers video content to be.

Outside of this Google connection, it’s not always explained very clearly as to why video content works well for search rankings. 2 well-known factors for successful SEO provide the key here:

Inbound links – people are more likely to link to video content, as they’ve found it more engaging themselves and are more likely to want to share it with others.

Time spent on the page – people engage with the video more, so spend more time on the page, which is often considered to be a positive factor for SEO (see this post about “dwell time” for more info).

The bottom line is – if your business is keen to generate traffic through SEO, you need to be looking at video to increase your chances of getting good rankings.

3) Video for Email Marketing

Statistics suggest that an incredible 200% – 300% increase in open rates can be achieved simply by including video in your emails.

Not only that, after watching a video, 64% of customers are more likely to buy a product.

(Info above – plus many more interesting stats – taken from this post about video stats).

So it’s clear that the use of video in your email communications can significantly increase the effectiveness of your email marketing efforts, with not only higher open rates and click throughs to your site, but also an increase in conversions over non-video content.

4) Video for Internal Training

Practical demonstrations of something in use are much better than a written document for imparting info, so using video for your Onboarding seminar and Health and Safety training should help the message sink in much more than a simple document would

And another great thing about using video in this way is it saves you time, as you can simply record the training once and not have to give up your own / a trainer’s work time in the future to impart the same message. Plus the video is available to be viewed at all times of day and in any location, so you don’t have to block out time or a meeting room.

Some methods you may not have originally thought of for creating your training videos include:

Screen capture videos – which are particularly useful for software training.

Role play training – generally considered to be particularly effective for sales and customer service training.

Webinars are another marketing / training tool you should consider developing – especially those including questions and answers that you may not think of otherwise.

5) Video Demonstrations & Explainer Videos

There are a large number of popular fitness and yoga teachers (or similar) who utilise the medium of video – because they know it’s the easiest way to get someone engaged and following along with their movements exactly, rather than trying to follow diagrams in a book.

Product demonstrations, then, are certainly something you may be able to use for your own business, enabling your customers to get the most out of their purchases.

Explainer Videos – of the whiteboard type that have become increasingly popular in recent times – are well-known as a type of marketing tool to show off your knowledge and expertise.

But Explainer Videos can also help illuminate something that may not be easy to explain in words and can be used as a supplement for infographics or descriptions of processes, providing more engagement with the subject matter and ultimately more knowledge being taken in.

6) Video Records of Events / Meetings

Conference and event videos can be an extremely effective means of not only increasing the potential revenue from the event (selling the video copies to people who were unable to attend), they can also help act as a reminder of what took place, helping the information to sink in more than simply taking notes.

In a similar vein, recording office meetings can provide a very useful record of what has been said by whom – eliminating the type of mistakes that are often made when notetaking.

7) Video Testimonials & Reviews

Video testimonials are a great means of including the human touch when you’re looking to build credibility. Being able to show a real person on screen – rather than just someone’s name attached to a quote – really helps with identification and authenticity. (This is particularly true if you can film the testimonial at the other person’s place of work, so it’s obvious they are who they say they are).

Video reviews are another credibility aid. These are usually carried out by other people talking about your products or service, in the manner of the testimonials outlined above.

But there’s no reason you can’t also develop some video reviews of your own – for example, of the necessary software or components you utilise in the carrying out of your own business.

8) Video Blogging

The rise of the Vlogger – YouTube stars such as PewDiePie and the like – seems to have come from nowhere. But the reason they are so popular is the same reason we recommend businesses use video – people like watching video!

So if a YouTube star can make a very nice living simply from offering a daily slice of their own life online, surely as a business you can imagine a situation where you can successfully promote your offering in a similar manner?

We don’t suggest you go the full Vlog route and upload daily posts of you sat in your office reading spreadsheets.

But a weekly / monthly glimpse into the life within the walls of your business could well be a valuable way for you to build up that all important rapport with your clients and prospects.

9) Video on Social Media

Facebook have been changing their focus to have much more emphasis on video. Video advertising on the Facebook platform is now much more common, with a 360% increase in the amount of videos shown on Facebook (as per the stats in this article).

Several years ago, podcasts were assumed to be the next big thing – when data was costly and download speeds were slow.

However, it’s estimated 85% of Facebook videos are viewed with the sound off. This means people are keen to watch videos, but perhaps are doing so at work or in another environment where they don’t want to disturb others or let them know they’re watching it – yet more proof of the popularity of video content online.

Interestingly, as well, it shows how the words are perhaps becoming less important. If people are not listening to the sound, they won’t know what’s being said, so the actual video content itself is the key factor that draws you in.

Something you should probably consider when making your own video content.

10) Video Ideas You (or we!) May not Have Thought of

Interdepartmental introductions – where a firm’s individual departments uses video content to show the other departments what they do as a means of introducing them to the rest of the company.

A great use for video is in your company website’s About Us page – even maybe incorporating multiple people from the firm within the same video / multiple videos. Video used in this manner could be much more interesting than the standard text-based company intro.

Always On

Smartphones are now so commonplace as to have replaced the words “mobile” or “phone” in people’s consciousness. And obviously, one of the great capabilities of the smartphone is the ability to view video.

Many people are now connecting to wifi hotspots on a continuous basis and taking advantage of internet-based applications, such as whatsapp, to make phone calls – with the previous issues relating to data download costs, slowly disappearing.

You’re already trying to communicate with people – potential clients, existing customers, staff, suppliers – so why not use video to do it? As we’ve seen from the information above, people will be more engaged with it than they might be for simple text-based articles.

In Conclusion

So, to summarise, your business can attract and keep people’s attention in a much more engaging and satisfactory manner through using video than just using words.

And if we were to indicate why it is that every business should be using the power of visual content for their own purposes, in just 3 words – those words would be:

People like video!