Video on your small business website — the why and how

Your small business website probably has an about page, a services page, a contact page and maybe even a blog. You’re probably doing a lot of writing, but today I want to talk about the why and how of using video on your site.

Here are a few pretty amazing statistics on video marketing:

Don’t just do what everyone else is doing though — think about your audience. How would they react to video? Would video be helpful to them? Could video help potential customers get to know you or learn more about what you do?

Types of videos

Tutorials

My favorite type of videos are tutorials. Somehow these seem the easiest and most approachable to me. You know your business and chances are you enjoy it, so you may be excited to talk about it and share your knowledge with others.

There are lots of reasons you might do a tutorial video.

  • Build credibility and authority
  • Showcase what you know to gain referrals from colleagues
  • Share with current clients
  • Educate the general public, possibly with the hope that they might hire you

I’ve done several video tutorials on my website including ones on taking your own backups and updating plugins, themes and WordPress.

All you

Another type of video you could consider is one of you talking directly to your viewers. (I know — scary!!)

John Locke does this well with his videos on SEO. He’s not walking his viewers through a tutorial, rather he’s educating them on SEO and strategy.

Presentations

Have you given any presentations or talks recently? Was there an opportunity to be recorded? These make great videos to add to your website.

You could also consider recording yourself before or after an in-person presentation for people who couldn’t attend. I did this with my presentation for WordCamp Kent on freelancer finances.

About you

The last type of video I want to mention is one about you.

When someone visits your website, they’re trying to determine if you can help them with their issue. They might read your content and look at a picture of you (I hope you have one on there!) — but it can be hard to get a sense of someone by text and photo alone.

Sumy Designs has a video like this on their about page. Their video is professionally done, but yours doesn’t have to be. Pamela Wilson also has a video on her home page that I love.

Tips + tools

If you’ve never recorded a video before (and chances are you haven’t if you’re reading this post), the thought of it can be really intimidating.

Do I need a camera? A microphone? What about background noise? How long should the video be? What should I wear? WHAT SHOULD I SAY?

Equipment

I’d encourage you to use make the best use of what you have. Cell phone? Great. Computer with webcam? Sure. Record a few test videos to see how they look. Do some research of your colleagues or competitors and see what they’re doing to get ideas.

If you find that you love recording videos and you’re getting a great response, then you can upgrade your equipment as needed.

Content

Think of your visitors — what would help them the most? Resist the urge to ramble on, too. Try to get to the point as quickly as possible.

Software

If you have a Mac, try Photo Booth to record your face or these steps to record your screen. I use Loom for tutorials and love how you can record a tutorial while still showing your face in a small window.

You can edit your videos as well, but don’t overedit or overthink. The goal is to publish.

Other advice

Hosting your videos elsewhere (think YouTube or Vimeo) is the way to go — you don’t want to slow your site down by hosting a video there. When you host your video elsewhere, you get the added benefit that it can be found there. YouTube is the second biggest search engine and is owned by Google. (!!!)

If applicable, I like to write a corresponding blog post with each video and then embed the video in the post. This gives visitors the opportunity to watch the video or read the text — whichever they prefer. And once you write that post, put the link in the video description on YouTube.

All of this is good for SEO. Search engines will crawl the text on your page, so having just the video won’t help you. If people are watching the video embedded on your site, they’ll also spend longer on your site to watch said video.

Closed captioning is a great way to make your videos more accessible. Rev.com is an awesome (and fast) transcription service and they also do captions.

Consider a 30 day video challenge to get comfortable recording video.

Lastly, Bridget Willard wrote a post urging you to not let vanity stop you from posting video and I totally agree. Don’t let any of this get in the way of recording and putting a video out there.

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