“As humans, everyone loves a good story,” says Johnny Eakers, owner and operator of Clapboard Pictures. “If you can tell a story about your business and humanize it, people want to do business with you.”

But what if your story is intricate and hard to put down in writing? That’s when videos as marketing come into play.

According to a New York Times report: “Online video is becoming a first stop for many customers. … It gives them a channel to talk directly to customers in ways previously accessible only to large companies that could afford TV advertisements. … Online video has helped the company recover its human touch virtually.”

Not just for TV anymore

Video allows you to engage with your audience in a way previously only attainable through TV. “What video does really well is show and tell,” Eakers says. “It can present all the static parts of your website or complicated parts of your marketing in a much more interesting way.”

You know your company’s message and understand what you do better than anyone else. Your marketing materials work to share that message. Video can convey your message in a living, 3-D way. Not only are you sharing facts about a company in your video, but you also put a face and voice behind the name.

Forbes found most respondents to marketing prefer video to white papers, case studies and even live demos with company representatives.

Three videos your business should consider

Fundraising events show videos to evoke emotion in donors. Sales representatives share videos to kick off meetings or answer product questions. Company videos can serve a lot of purposes. Eakers says every business should consider at least these three videos:

  1. Company overview: This video gives viewers a well-rounded look at your company. It might be a virtual tour, interviews with the your staff explaining what they do or whatever it takes to give viewers a general feel for the company.
  2. Product service demo: Demonstrating how to use your company’s product gives viewers a sense of trust. They can see how it works instead of trying to read between the lines and guess. A video can increase online purchase conversion rates by allowing viewers to make a more educated buying decision instead of a blind one.
  3. Testimonial: Testimonials are awesome regardless of their format, but video can add an element of honesty and emphasis missing in written testimonials. Let viewers see and hear real people rave about how your business made them happy. It doesn’t get much better than that.

These types of videos can play a role in your sales process. They may help you generate leads but are most successful converting website views to action. “Technology allows you to add a call to action right in your video to link clients to your business,” Eakers says.

What makes a good video

“Your goal is to create a story that means something to people,” Eakers says. “The trick is to do it quickly.” He also suggests:

  • Don’t try to cram too much into one piece; it just confuses the viewer, and they’ll walk away not knowing what they do.
  • Keep your video under two minutes. If you need more time, break it into smaller parts. If your video is too long, people won’t finish it.
  • Be clear with your call to action. What do you want them to do? Go to your website? Call you? Like your page?
  • Don’t use Flash-based videos because Flash is not viewable on Apple mobile devices.
  • Design for mobile choosing font and image sizes in the video with mobile users in mind. If they can’t see the words, they aren’t going to watch your video.

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