Looking to jump on the video bandwagon? If you own a business, there’s a lot of convincing evidence suggesting that online video marketing should be a major focus of your advertising and marketing budget.

However, many businesses are so quick to put sound and picture up on their website they forget to ask themselves “why?” and end up with irrelevant content.

Video for video’s sake is a waste of time, both for you and the viewer. So before you even start, ask yourself…

  • Are you looking for this video to be a commercial? Commercials are a great form of advertising in broadcast space, but unless you are Budweiser or have a $1 Million budget, people won’t find it the least bit entertaining. In fact, if placed on your website, it’s just another annoyance we have to sit through to get to the content we really want.
  • Are you creating this video in the hope it will go viral? FORGET IT! Only a rare, few videos ever go viral. And of those that do, even fewer translate into a profitable boost in sales for the creator. Shooting a viral video is like buying a lottery ticket as your retirement strategy.

…if you answer “yes” to either, best stay off the video bandwagon until you can find yourself a more suitable place to spend your time and budget.

Still on board? The next 5 questions are important in making sure your content is appropriate for video…

  1. Will it help your customers in making a buying or shopping decision? Does the video demo your product or present your services more efficiently? If it’s merely a re-hash of the copy beside it, you’ve wasted our time.
  2. Will the video give your business a more personal face? This one can be tricky. The “personality” you present needs to be relevant to your product. If I’m pricing tents, I don’t necessarily care if you’re “cool”, but I might care if you or the employees are passionate about camping and can share real stories and tips about the products.
  3. Can this video spotlight your “brand evangelists”? Are you lucky enough to have special customers that sing your praises to everyone they see? Yes? Then stick them in front of the camera!
  4. Does it allow you to connect with your customers emotionally? Will your video express how your product makes our lifestyle better? Does it speak to your company’s involvement in the community or charities? The ability to reach out to a customer on this level can be extremely persuasive.
  5. Is there relevant context to my video? The visible thumbnail, the description, and the placement of the video on the page all contribute to its context; and if you aren’t paying attention to that, then all your video optimization efforts up to this point could be wasted.

So if you’ve got real and relevant stories to tell…go ahead, climb aboard! You’ll find that a great video conveys brand experience like nothing else and is an excellent way to gain that competitive edge