The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

September 26, 2013

Ask the Mompreneur: Should your business be using video?

By Jennie Wong
The Charlotte Observer (MCT)

— If you’ve been in business for a while, you probably have a logo on your business cards, a website, and maybe a brochure or some branded tchotchkes. But what about a video?

In a crowded competitive landscape, video can be a key way to make your product or service stand out. Service providers can use video to build familiarity and trust with their prospects even before the first meeting.

The importance of video content has increased as attention spans have gotten shorter and the demand for instant gratification stronger. You can’t count on anyone reading your carefully crafted marketing copy word-for-word; they’re more likely to be scanning titles and headers. You can, however, count on a lift from a good video, especially if it’s brief and engaging.

It’s true that professionally produced videos can run into thousands of dollars, but there are affordable options for every budget, including ways to do it yourself. Here’s how to develop a video strategy that makes sense for you.

-Know what you want to achieve. Creating an effective business video of any length typically requires in investment of time, money and effort, so make sure that you’re targeting a high-value business goal. Examples include increasing online sales, acquiring emails for your marketing list, getting prospective customers to call for reservations and bookings, or encouraging walk-ins.

Explainer videos are a great way to help people who are unfamiliar with your company to grasp what it is that you do, how you do it and why they should do business with you.

-Create bonus content. Video is also a great way to increase return on investment on things you’re already doing, such as events.

Charlotte, N.C., nonprofit The Sandbox documents their annual “Evening of Believing“ prom for children with serious illnesses to expand their reach beyond attendees.

“Video captures the essence of the special moment when our patients are transformed into kings and queens and step into their glamorous ball gowns and tuxedos,“ executive director Mara Campolungo said. “And these moments assist us in donor development that raises necessary operating capital.

“In addition to embedding videos on our website and uploading them to our YouTube channel, we use the power of social media and email marketing to share the word. We estimate that video accounts for a 45 percent increase in traffic to our website when incorporated with our social media marketing,“ Campolungo said.

-Get creative. Once your video content is created, look outside the box for ways to get eyeballs. John Easton, owner of Eastonsweb Multimedia video production firm in Charlotte, recommends putting marketing videos onto the mobile devices of employees, strategic partners and even happy customers.

One of Easton’s clients, a real estate agency, asked its employees “to add the property management and general business promo spots we produced for them to their team’s phones, which the associates have used at networking events and prospect meetings to add impact to their interactions,“ said Easton.

Video is a powerful medium for communication, so if your business could benefit from better communication to customers, prospects, or any key audience, you should probably be using video.

Jennie Wong is an executive coach, author of the e-book “Ask the Mompreneur“ and the founder of the social shopping website CartCentric.com. Email her at TheJennieWonggmail.com.