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Five Ways to Make Video Work for Your Business

Video is a versatile medium that can really bring your business, products and services to life. But what’s the secret to creating great video content? Here are five principles to get you started.

1. Let your personality shine through

Video can create an immediate, personal connection with your users. It’s an ideal medium through which to demonstrate the human side of your business — something that your larger competitors may struggle to do. Show potential customers what drives you, and why they should put their trust in you.

For instance, Japanese-inspired online store Cakes with Faces has a whole series of videos called ‘All the best stuff is from Japan’. The enthusiasm and personality of Amy Crabtree, the company’s owner, really shines through:

And if you’re not confident enough to appear on camera (or you think your personality is somewhat lacking), show off your product’s personality instead. What makes it stand out?

2. Ruthlessly prioritise your content

Don’t try and say too much with your video, especially if it’s an introduction to your company, products or services. Some statistics suggest you have 10 seconds to grab a viewer’s attention with a video — and that most viewers using desktop computers will watch for two minutes or less.

This means you need to get the key information in up front. That way, people who don’t watch your entire video will still know what you’re about.

And as with any other online content, be clear about what you want to say and stay focused. Don’t try and explain every last feature you offer: focus on the killer things that your competitors don’t have.

Take this video introducing iPhone image editing app, Pixelmator. It does a great job of showing off the app — and it runs for less than a minute:

3. Consider a professional voiceover

If you’re trying to create a video on a budget, it can be tempting to think you can get away with recording the audio yourself, using the microphone built in to your laptop.

And you can do this, of course. But you might be surprised at how, well, amateurish it sounds. Poor-quality audio, background noises and inconsistent volume all serve to make your video seem less professional.

When you work with a voiceover artist, they’ll use decent equipment (like a good microphone and pop filter) to make sure your audio is clear and consistent. A professional scriptwriting and voiceover service will ensure you get your message out clearly.

4. Make your videos accessible

Video is a powerful medium, but you can’t rely on people being able to view it.

For starters, there are accessibility issues with video. People with visual disabilities can hear the audio, but may not be able to see what is happening. People with hearing disabilities can see what is happening, but may not be able to hear the audio.

It’s important to build accessibility into your videos. Provide a transcript and captions – if you use YouTube to host your video, you can enable automatic captions, but these may be unreliable. It’s better to upload a script with your video and let YouTube generate captions from this.

Also remember that not everyone will be using a device or internet connection that’s able to play video. Make sure key information is provided in other formats as well.

5. Test at different sizes

People will view your videos on many different devices and at different sizes. They’ll have a variety of connection speeds too. Users with slower connections may be automatically shown a lower-resolution version of your video.

If you’ve previewed a video in high-defintion, you can’t assume that all your visitors will see it in the same format. So test it at different sizes. Does it still look good? Can you see important details clearly? Do captions and images on the screen stay legible?

Project management tool Basecamp has a series of videos that explain the key benefits of its service. The animated line-drawings remain legible at virtually all screen sizes — ensuring the message stays clear.

Don’t try and say too much with your video, especially if it’s an introduction to your company. Click To Tweet