Make Your Video Debut


This is a guest post written by Kathleen Dowdey of AvocadoVideo.com.  Kathleen produces online and offline video for small businesses, agencies, special events and entertainment venues. www.avocadovideo.com

Ready to take the plunge and liven up your website with some video? You’re not alone. “With the advent of YouTube, anyone with a video camera, some editing software and a little bit of free time can create a video of just about anything,” writes Katie Wertz. She’s published on the Bruce Clay, Inc. website, a leading search engine optimization consulting service that helps clients up their SEO rankings. Wertz notes how well video engages website visitors, then mentions an attractive bonus: “Because of the YouTube partnership with Google, it’s a great way to be found…”

Join the millions who are rushing to broaden their web user reach with video. After all, video on your website sounds like a simple proposition, doesn’t it? Still, you might take a deep breath after visiting YouTube where you’ll discover a staggering range of possibilities. Before you touch that camera, consider what kind of video you want. There are many factors – the quality, content, genre, style and vision. Your research and project conceptualization will likely be the most valuable investment you make. Done well, it will even save you money.

Viral to Niche
Start with an obvious marketing question. Who do you want to view your video? This should guide your writing, production, postproduction and distribution choices.  Want a wide audience to launch a new product? Try viral humor like the Blendtec campaign.  If you’re targeting a particular niche – let’s say, for example, building managers – describe a scenario they’ll identify with. A plumbing nightmare or a tenant who never pays on time. Grab their attention and let them know you know what their world is about.

No Budget to Pro

Hard facts. You can shoot your video on your cell phone, edit it on your computer software, upload it to YouTube and deliver the whole package at a budget of zero.

Or you can bring in the pros who offer such enhancements as a high-quality picture, lighting, casting, directing, fluid camera moves, wardrobe, makeup, set design, graphics, animation and visual effects. Your finished video can play on your website in full HD, but you could probably take it to cable and pitch it as a series pilot.

Your ambitions will surely be guided by cost, so be sure to weigh the factors that effectively serve your creative and quality needs. A small camera might be handy and cheap, but can you live with a low quality picture? A professional crew can deliver gorgeous, well-composed images or they can give you raw, gritty ones. Which best communicates your message?  How will your targeted clients respond to a button-down, suited up you in a corporate boardroom? For some users, it says you’re legit, for others it’s a turnoff.

Outside the Box

Once you’ve pared down your ideas for a video to feature on your homepage, why stop there?

When you produce video with an eye on editing multiple versions, it can be surprisingly adaptable, update-able and affordable. As you plan, consider the many ways your video might live across your website. One day of production might supply you with enough content to create not only an introductory segment, but also a series of how-tos, exercises or product demonstrations, client testimonials, a facility walk-through tour, a project call-to-action, a couple of videoblog topics and why not? A simple viral stunt.

Now that you’re rolling, keep going. Beyond your website, there are an ever-growing number of online distribution venues to upload your various videos including video sharing sites, social networking sites, professional membership sites, speaker’s bureau directories, newsletters and press release services. Go offline and project your HD video at special events, fund-raisers or tributes. Set up your laptop to playback a looped video at conferences or meetings. Build your video into your Powerpoint presentation, or offer a DVD/BluRay copy with bonus material for sale or as a promotional giveaway.

No one will argue that video, in its many formats, offers a powerful marketing tool for your brand. So if you’re ready to add video to your website, take time to consider how you do it.  Harness the full potential of this engaging tool to broaden the reach of your web presence, and further, add the punch of media to your every communication.

*image courtesy:http://www.flickr.com/photos/lwr/ / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0