Using Video to Build Your Online Business

Video is all the rage online, but how does a small business crack into the online video scene?  Steve Garfield shows us just how easy it is in his book, Get Seen: Online Video Secrets to Building Your Business (New Rules Social Media Series). Steve has been using video clips in his blog since 2004. That’s before YouTube, by the way. He covers all the basics and goes way beyond.

Get Seen gives the beginner great advice on choosing a camera, lighting and sound, recording and shooting tips and tricks, editing, and uploading. Steve shares a ton of online resources and free services that the novice can use to create a professional look in their online videos.

Video is everywhere online. Facebook, YouTube, web sites, and blogs are just a few places that video can be used. The only limit to what you can video is your imagination (but for heaven’s sake…keep it clean). For small business try:

  • Product demonstrations
  • Interviewing a customer
  • Blog entries
  • Covering a trade show, conference, or convention
  • Interviewing someone noteworthy in your industry
  • How to’s
  • Telling a story about your company or product

Remember, not everyone will watch your video the entire way through, so be sure and add titles, credits, and a watermark to your video with the url address of where someone can find you for more information.  Music adds to your video, but you have to be careful that you aren’t infringing on any copyrights. Get Seen suggests SoundCloud.com, Iodapromonet.com, CCMixter.org, and Jamendo.com for sites that offer safe to use music. The book also details information on Creative Commons licenses to let others know what they can do with your work.

We’re reminded that YouTube isn’t the only video hosting site out there.  Get Seen gives other recommendations for websites that you can spread your message across like Blip.tv, Metacafe, and TubeMogul. The book also covers how to utilize iTunes for your video podcasts with detailed information on iTunes-compatible video, submission requirements, and promotion ideas.

Broadcasting live is another way to differentiate yourself from the competition. Live streaming opens up a host of unique video opportunities. Don’t get scared by the live aspect, even the novice can accomplish live streaming with the equipment and services available. Get Seen covers various web site to use to accomplish a great live result.

Just like any part of your online marketing program, you need a plan. Who is your audience going to be? What message are you trying to get across? How are you going to offer unique value? How often are you going to publish video content? You also need to know how you are going to track your results. You can measure success by number of views, number of comments or feedback,  and number of times the video was shared or embedded.

Top 10 Takeaways from Get Seen – Online Video Secrets to Building Your Business:

  • Give people something to look at.
  • Do something unique. Stand out from the crowd.
  • Don’t try to be someone else. Be yourself.
  • Listen to constructive criticism but don’t let negative feedback get you down.
  • Always carry your video camera with you to capture life as it happens.
  • Keep making video. Practice makes perfect.
  • Do what you love and be original, and you can never go wrong.
  • People like behind the scenes footage.
  • Keep it short – two to three minutes in length.
  • Don’t be afraid of making mistakes. It shows realism and that you’re human.

Get Seen is part of David Meerman Scott’s The New Rules of Social Media Series.  This is yet another reason why I like DMS. In the big world of online marketing, if you’re using video to connect with people, showing some humanity and allowing your viewer to connect with you, it’s a much more effective strategy than rattling off a pitch. Small business needs to pick up their video cameras or iPhones and start capturing  and sharing the moment.

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