USING VIDEO CLIPS IN YOUR BUSINESS

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These days, you really are losing out if you don't have some sort of interactive media on your website.  In recent years there has been an explosion of video sharing sites which has allowed companies of all shapes and sizes to utilise video in their marketing strategy -- it's no longer just the realm of large companies with fat marketing budgets.

Online video has grown enormously in popularity and it’s a great way to generate buzz for your offers.  It's also very easy to create and incorporate video clips into your website and all your other online marketing materials.  You can spend a lot of money to hire professionals to produce a slick video, but a simple video that you shoot yourself with a simple camera or webcam can be extremely effective -- don't think you have to spend a small fortune to create powerful videos. The key to a successful, sales pulling video is the content.  It has to be interesting, relevant and something that people will want to watch.  So how can you use video clips in your business to market your products?

Customer testimonials

A great way to show your products or services in action and convince prospective customers that you have something worthwhile on offer is for them to ‘hear it from the horse’s mouth’.  It's a variation on word-of-mouth selling and remains one of the most powerful sales strategies.  All you have to do is get your customers to produce a short video telling the world what they think of your business and your products.  You may like to offer a small thank you in the form of a freebie or money off voucher, if you are having trouble getting people to make that little bit of extra effort.

Customer testimonials are a very powerful way to persuade people to try your product.  If other people have tried your products or services and been happy, it is reassuring and acts as a personal recommendation.

Try to incorporate these video testimonials with written testimonials and photographs of your customers in a prominent place on your website.  An effective way is to present them is to smatter them throughout your content.

Demonstrate your product

A great way to utilize video on your website is to show footage of your product in action.  There is nothing quite like seeing a demonstration of a product to help you make up your mind if it is something you want to own.  A demonstration video is very easy to produce -- simply get someone with a simple video camera to record you giving a presentation about your product or better still, showing it in action.

Don't forget to labour the main benefits -- your video is just as much of a marketing tool as your sales copy, so incorporate all the key aspects of a good sales letter.  Point out to the problem and show visually how your product or service can solve that problem.

Tutorials

Not many people enjoy ploughing through pages and pages of instructions to set up a product, but a video tutorial can be a great way to show your customers how it's done -- it's like having somebody standing next to you showing you what to do.

I'm thinking about things like self-assembly furniture, setting up a new DVD player, learning to operate a camera and so on.  As well as written instructions, you could provide a tutorial from your website to help people set up and use your product.  A tutorial video can even help to sell a product if your prospective customers have misgivings about how complicated it would be to put together or use if they bought it.  A tutorial can reassure people and give them enough confidence in your product to buy it.

Viral marketing

Spice up your marketing message by incorporating a video clip into your viral marketing campaigns.  The easiest way to do this is to provide a link to a video clip on your website.  If you don't yet have videos on your website, you can post them onto a site like You Tube and provide a link to that.

If your video is interesting enough, people might pass it on purely for the video content.  Try to incorporate into your footage something unusual, funny or perhaps cute to get people to pass it along.

Creating your video

If you are creating your own videos there is some software available that can help you produce professionally edited results.  Have a look at the following:

www.adobe.com/products/premiere
www.apple.com/finalcutstudio/finalcutpro

www.media100.com

Video cameras can be bought for a reasonable price from eBay or shops like Argos, who have a reasonable selection.  You don't need anything too fancy to get going and the benefits

of having video clips on your site will

far outweigh the modest cost and

effort involved effort.

Music

To make your videos come alive and look really professional, how about incorporating some background music -- we all know how music can inspire a certain mood and it can help to get people excited about your product.  You can get royalty free music at: www.royaltyfreetunes.co.uk