Business

How To: Find the Right Home For Your Video

Jeff Platt

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This is the first in a new series of posts geared towards helping small businesses understand the ins and outs of video marketing. These guides are meant to give you actionable information to make the most out of your business videos. To kick things off, we delve into laying a strong foundation for your videos, by answering the ever important question of where they will live.

So you’ve got an idea for a video. Great! Got photos or video clips? Check. There’s nothing to do but to dive right in and make the video, right? Hold your horses. Before you start, you’ll need to consider one very important question: where will your video live? That’s because the answer will determine what kind of video you’ll need to make, and ultimately, its success.

To give you a better sense of what we mean, we’ll cover some potential homes for your video: your website, Facebook, and YouTube.

First stop: Your Homepage

Video on Your Website's Homepage

Your homepage is arguably the most important page of your website. So if you’re planning to put a video there, it goes without saying that you’ll want to put your best foot forward. It’s also worth noting that you only have a short amount of time to capture a visitor’s attention, so make sure that your video piques their interest.

To make a compelling homepage video, here’s what we recommend:

FOCUS: What makes your business unique

Take advantage of the captive audience on your homepage by highlighting what makes your business special. What are the benefits of your business to viewers? Why should they do business with you, versus your competition?

OPTIMAL LENGTH: 1-2 minutes, max

The homepage isn’t the place for a long, windy video. Instead, you’ll want to make something catchy that captures the viewer’s attention long enough for you to showcase your business.

PRO TIP:

You don’t usually need to include an action item, or a call to action in your video. Since the rest of your website serves to house important information (such as your location, hours, map, etc.), simply focus the video on making a great first impression.

Here are some solid examples of homepage videos.


All About the “About Us” Page

Video on Your Website's About Us Page

If you’re thinking of putting a video on your “About Us” page, or the page that describes who you are as a company, it’s important that the video works to personalize your business for the audience.

FOCUS: Who you are

Just as the page name would suggest, this video should be about you, not a hard-sell of a product (save that for another video). As opposed to a straightforward video about your company, the “About Us” page is a place to showcase some personality and really exercise your creative muscles. It’s also a great place to introduce your team, or maybe even the story of how your company came about.

OPTIMAL LENGTH: VARIES, but no more than 3-4 minutes

PRO TIP:

This type of video, when done well, tends to resonate with people, so don’t be shy about also posting it on social media. You might be surprised how well people respond to content when it’s not just hawking products.

When you watch these videos, you get a great sense of their business culture, and not just the products they sell.

Now, the homepage and “About Us” page aren’t the only places to put a video. Obviously, product pages are no-brainers, especially since videos can showcase products in a way still images simply can’t. One way to think of these pages is as mini-homepages, if you will, and the same principles generally apply — make them short and sweet, and engaging.


More than Friends on Facebook

Video on Your Company's Facebook Page

Facebook is a great place for video content, especially since users tend to engage more with video posts versus those containing only text or images. Worried you won’t be able to create something that becomes viral? Never mind that. Not every video you produce will be widely shared and hugely popular. Instead, focus your efforts on creating videos that make sense for your business.

FOCUS: Who you are

These videos should be targeted for existing customers. And while the content of these videos can feature things like new product announcements or special promotions, don’t take the audience for granted. Keep the content fresh and varied, and encourage viewers to interact with the post by commenting or liking.

OPTIMAL LENGTH: Shorter the better

Your audience is likely skimming content in their Facebook feed, so you only have a few seconds to catch their attention.

PRO TIP:

Your video cover image is especially important here, because users are skimming their feeds quickly. Pick the most interesting image you can. Also, don’t forget to include a call to action (CTA), such as a call for feedback or feature requests. Where it makes sense, you can include a CTA that sends the viewer to your site, but do so sparingly.

Check out these videos. It makes you want to see more videos from them, right?

Bear in mind that the rules for engaging customers on Facebook via video can also be applied to other social media.


Broadcasting Your Business on YouTube

Video on Your Company's YouTube Channel

Many small businesses think of YouTube as simply a place for videos to live, hoping that people will find them. However, if you think of YouTube as a space to build a following, you can consistently convert viewers into actual customers.

FOCUS: Specific area of expertise

The more videos that demonstrate your expertise as a company, the easier you’ll find it to build a base of loyal viewers. Creating a series of “how-to” videos is certainly one way to do that. It’s important to set a schedule for generating content consistently that viewers can come to depend on. But, don’t just generate content for the sake of content, because that tactic could ultimately end up just diluting the value of your channel and turning off viewers.

OPTIMAL LENGTH: Can vary

PRO TIP:

YouTube’s goal is to keep people on YouTube. Keep that in mind as you look to create a continuous stream of interesting and engaging content that keeps people on your channel.

These businesses showcase their expertise well in a series of videos that are informative and keep viewers coming back for more.

So there you have it: Four homes for your video, each valuable in its own way. Once you’ve given some thought to where your video will live, you’re ready to capture and collect the most pertinent photos and video clips for it. And you guessed it — that’s the subject of our next guide. So stay tuned!


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