If you’re considering using online video to promote your business, there are three basic rules to follow: keep the videos short, make them look good and the sound must be clean. Here’s some more insight on each of these three points:
1. Keep it short. For many businesses, keeping a video short and to the point is a difficult task. But it can be done with proper planning. Before launching a video, know what it’s about. Are you trying to demonstrate how your product works? Explain why your product is the best or most economical? Show how to use it? Consider doing a series of testimonials with happy customers telling how pleased they are with your business.
Whatever your goal, limit each video to just one point. A good internet video should be between one minute to two minutes long — three minutes max. If you plan your video well, that should be plenty of time. It’s always better to have a series of short videos on your site rather than one or two overly long videos.
2. Make it look good. Your video has to look good. That said, you most likely don’t need to hire a professional video producer to shoot your web videos. Just remember a few basics:
- Simple is best. A plain background behind a talking head or product demo is very effective. Why? For one, the viewer’s attention won’t be drawn away. Also, a video with a plain background compresses better for streaming versus a background with lots of details and colors. You also don’t need to use a bunch of flashy transitions and effects. As with a noisy background, these strain the compression technology used in streaming video and can result in a less than optimum online video playback. You don’t want your video stopping, stuttering or dropping frames. However, it can be very helpful to use graphics. As far as text goes, use a large and easy to read sans serif font.
- Shoot steady video. Jerky and jumpy video might be cool and hip for MTV and reality TV, but it’s a definite turnoff for a business video. The best way to get stable, professional-quality video is by using a tripod. You don’t need to spend thousands of dollars. You can get a good enough video tripod from your local electronics or department store for less than a hundred bucks. Don’t get a still camera tripod. Make sure the moveable head on the tripod is big enough to support the weight of your camera.
- Use lots of light. Many videos suffer from being shot in dim light. Yes, modern day camcorders can obtain a satisfactory picture in room light. However, by opening up a few windows or adding a few lights to illuminate your host or products, a video’s crispness will be greatly improved.
3. Make it sound good. You can make a video sound good simply by using a good quality microphone plugged into your camcorder. Bad sound quality is a common problem because built-in microphones found on most camcorders aren’t very good.
Once you have a good web video produced, promote it. Try using a free hosting service like YouTube or Metacafe. If you want to protect the rights to your content as well as the video itself, make sure your competitors’ ads don’t appear on the same web page as your videos. Use a professional online video hosting platform. An online video platform also allows you to track who’s viewing your videos, as well as enabling you to create a customized video player that reflects your brand’s specific look and feel.