How to produce a must-see small business video

Video experts and small business owners share their tips for creating videos that grab and keep viewers’ attention and offer advice on how and where to showcase them.

executive pointing to video play button icon
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When recently surveyed by Animoto, an online video company, more than half of small and midsized business owners (55 percent) responded that video marketing was a “must-have” to stay relevant. An even larger number responded that video marketing had a direct impact on their business.

[ Related: 6 ways video can boost your business ]

And while in the past shooting a business video could be expensive, today you can make a buzzworthy video with just a smartphone. However, if you want your next business video to go viral, or at least be viewed by the right people, here are seven things to consider before you say “Action!” as well as several tips for how to get your video noticed online.

[ Related: How to use Facebook Live for business ]

1. Think about the reason you are making the video

“Every single thing you do as a business needs to have a purpose. A video is no exception,” says Anthony Neal Macri, founder and president, ANM Consulting. “If you are creating a video that doesn’t have a goal, go back to the drawing board and brainstorm until you know you’ve got a video that has purpose.”

2. Have a customer-centric point of view

“A video that solely talks about how awesome your business is or how great your product is [will] die within minutes of being watched,” if it’s even watched all the way through, says Macri. Instead, make videos “about your customer, [showing them] what [your] product will do to make their lives/businesses better.”

Even better, feature a customer, or customers, in your video, and/or encourage customers to make and share their own short videos about your product or service.

3. Make the video helpful and entertaining

“Solve a problem in your video that leaves your audience wanting more,” says Jessica Stansberry, owner & head business nerd, Hey Jessica. And “find a way to make your videos entertaining while solving a prevalent problem so people [will watch the entire thing].”

4. Keep it short

“Keep your video short and to the point,” says Matt Edstrom, head of marketing, BioClarity. “Studies… have shown that on average single topic videos that range from 30 to 90 seconds in length receive the most views. Given that… people [have short attention spans and want] instant gratification, by keeping your business video precise and dialed in to a single thought, it will also increase your engagement metrics tremendously.”

5. Include a call to action as well as how to contact you

“Regardless of how great your video is, it is essentially useless unless it moves the viewer along in the buying process,” says Evan Harris, cofounder and CEO, SD Equity Partners. “Therefore, it is necessary to include a call to action at the end of your video as well as in the accompanying description.”

Your call to action “could be as simple as directing viewers to your website to learn more or including a link to a form viewers can fill out to receive a follow-up email with more information,” he explains. “Regardless of which call to action you choose, make sure it fits with the overall message of your video.”

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