Over the past few years, online video has proven itself as one of the most popular and enduring forms of marketing and communication. It provides a simple, engaging platform for you to deliver digestible messages in a convenient and powerful medium which can be infinitely transported across a mass of popular channels. While video does offer huge scope for increasing your customer base, it can seem daunting to newcomers – so how best to get started?

There was a time when just gathering the necessary hardware would have been a major stumbling block – however, in 2016, we are truly spoiled for technology! Almost all current digital cameras can capture HD footage, and most current smartphones have impressive built-in video functionality. Editing software can also be found easily, and tablet devices have made basic post-production very accessible to newcomers. For the bigger jobs, though, it’s always a wise move to work with a video specialist or production company.

Equipment aside, however, there are certain guidelines that can help you make your output more engaging.

A smartphone can be all you need to get started

A smartphone can be all you need to get started

What’s to be Gained?

Before you dive in, it’s important to understand the benefits of adding video marketing to your presence. Firstly, it’ll help you gain more hits from internet searches – most search engines produce a unique set of video results for any web query, so with wise use of tags and keywords, you can potentially achieve high search positions for your chosen topics.

Aside from the technical benefits, though, video marketing can give an approachable face to your company and create a communique between yourself and your clientele. The most effective way to distribute your video is through social sites such as Youtube and Facebook, which all allow interaction through comments and video responses. Encouraging viewers to produce their own content in response to yours is a great way to raise your profile and create buzz.

With this in mind, the first question you should ask yourself is what kind of video you’ll use to get started.

Corporate Video: Showcasing Your Company

The traditional corporate video can showcase your services, scale, and pedigree better than any other medium, but is no small undertaking! To make an impression, your corporate video will need to be a slick and engaging presentation – so it may be best in this case to work with a professional partner. Your part in this instance will be to think about exactly what you’d like to showcase, the ideal order in which to show everything, and how best to present it.

It’s usually best to structure your corporate video around some form of narrative. It’s not like you’re making a James Bond movie, but if your company has any kind of story to tell – whether it’s the tale of how you began, how you grew to your current position, or simply a rundown of your workflow process – you can use this to your advantage and create a compelling video piece.

An effective corporate video can work wonders for your image

An effective corporate video can work wonders for your image

One of the more powerful messages in any medium is a customer case study or testimonial. A strong statement from a satisfied client can be very persuasive – as an unbiased, genuine opinion from somebody outside your business, it can give you a great deal of credibility. This message can either be used to enrich your corporate video, or if there’s enough to the story, consider giving it a video of its own!

Vlogging: A Softer Approach

There are also a number of alternative – and far more casual – types of online video which have risen in popularity over the last few years. Vlogs, reviews, and how-to videos can be produced fairly simply and on almost zero budget, and are a great way to bolster your online collateral.

Vlogs (video logs) are generally an informal affair. They are typically quite brief, and are most often either a short update on what’s going on with the company, or a brief thinkpiece about a specific subject relating to your area of business. Vlogs are normally delivered directly to camera, giving the viewer direct eye contact and breaking down walls between you and your audience. It’s also fairly easy to build up a continuum – just think of five topics you could cover in separate short videos, and you’ve got the makings of a series!

You can also use this format to share some knowledge with the world. Video reviews of your latest products can give viewers more of a real-world idea of what to expect than a written or pictorial review – nothing else quite captures how an object exists in physical space! You can also consider encouraging others to review your products and services in order to build up a more objective picture and strengthen the community. Likewise, demonstrations and how-to videos can offer some free advice and help to establish you as a knowledge leader, all while attracting interaction from the outside world.

Modern devices mean video has never been more transportable

Modern devices mean video has never been more transportable

Owning the Medium

So you’ve chosen your format and your subject matter – the final thing to think about is the tone and presentation. The style of your video is more important than you might think – it’s the first thing people will notice and will drive how the viewer feels while watching. Everything from what you wear and where you shoot to the kind of language and tone of voice you use will make a difference!

There are no right or wrong answers here; just think about the nature of your business and match the tone to that feeling. Would you prefer to come across as friendly and approachable, or slick and professional? Are you sharing industry knowledge, or having a light-hearted natter? Whatever approach you decide to take, stick with it and develop your own style. There’s power in consistency – see where it takes you!

Making the jump into online video may seem daunting, but it’s a journey you won’t regret. Digital marketing is the future and nothing embodies it like video – it can make a huge difference in how you’re perceived, both online and in the real world, and can expand your presence to places you’d never expect.