20/06/2011

By Francesca James, Social Media Manager at Fresh Business Thinking

Small businesses have always had to work harder with less marketing spend to get their message and brand in front of consumers. But thanks to social media, free or relatively low cost marketing vehicles are gaining ground in comparison to big budget advertisements. You may not have the budget to take out an ad during the break of Britain’s Got Talent, but a clever video on YouTube can potentially reach millions of people at a fraction of the price.

The increased use of smart phones enables businesses to put moving images and sound in front of their audiences any time, anywhere. Social media then enables users to pass on content to their connections on various platforms with relative ease, creating a whole host of viral opportunities.

Creating a video for my business, where do I start?

Buy yourself an inexpensive digital camera with video recording ability or, if you are planning on filming at the desk, your webcam will suffice.

What should I say/do once the film is rolling?

Obviously, what works for one business may not work for another, but here are some video ideas that could potentially work across several industries:

- How-to videos – these types of videos are searched for frequently and can also help you position yourself as an expert in a specific field.

- Behind the scenes – an insider’s view of the business, using employee interviews. Let your customers know who they will be speaking to if they call. Let them know who makes the tea, who’s the boss, and even where you all go for lunch. Revealing these sorts of details about your company all help make it seem more friendly and human.

- Happy customer testimonials – visit some of your old customers and ask them to say a few words about your product or service, perhaps even show footage of you develping the product on film, or delivering the service.

- Explanation of services – what do you do? What can you offer? Why choose you?

What next?

Consider creating a YouTube channel for your business. YouTube is one of the most visited sites on the internet, providing the best opportunity for getting your videos viewed. Setting up an account is easy and, once you’ve registered, you can immediately start to upload and share video clips.

You can customise your ‘channel’ home page, providing information about your business, and you can also link the home page to your presence on any other social media channels (eg, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter), and your website.

Videos uploaded to YouTube must be less than 10 minutes in length and no more than 2GB but if you want to keep your viewers attention, I’d suggest not hitting that upper limit. Try to keep each video to less than 5 minutes long.

Taking it to the next level

Big brands are also harnessing the potential of free channels such as YouTube and small businesses can take that as a ringing endorsement.

Jasmine Skee from o2 launched a YouTube channel, O2 Academy TV, to focus on live music hosted at its various branded venues.

The o2 channel asks fans to record and upload content from concerts that they will in turn develop into new films made from the video taken by the fans at the gigs, therefore maximizing engagement from customers and attendees.

Jasmine says that the idea was to engage with gig-goers online before, during and after the event, but also to widen the experience to those at home by including free streamed performances of all of the acts.

Jasmine Skee is speaking at The Fresh Business Thinking Guide to Social Media: if you want to hear more about how your business can harness the potential of video using YouTube, please see below.

Watch the video below featuring Jemima Gibbons of AAB Engage discussing how social media can positively impact your business

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About The Author

Francesca is the Social Media Manager at Fresh Business Thinking, you can follow her on twitter here.

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