If a picture is worth a thousand words on your small business website, how many words is a three-minute video worth? It’s difficult to tell, but there’s no doubt having a video on your site will garner action from site visitors. Studies show that 46 percent of people who watch a video about a business take some sort of action afterwards, whether it is contacting the company, buying something in the online store or posting a comment to the video.

Most small businesses have understood and addressed the need for lots of photos on their websites, but the next engagement move to make is adding a video. Here are some concrete reasons it’s a good idea:

  • It increases the amount of time visitors stay on your site, which is a factor in search engine algorithms.
  • It allows you to educate visitors about your brand identity, your products or services and your previous satisfied customers.
  • The ability to put a face and voice with a business name is very appealing to visitors. You can set yourself apart from your competitors by making a lasting impression.

OK, if you are convinced it is time to add a short video as part of your stellar website content, there are some guidelines you should follow. Making a video does not have to be difficult or time consuming. If you’ve got a laptop with a camera or a smartphone and a steady hand, you have the tools you need to get started. Of course, if you’d rather hire a pro to shoot the video, that’s great, too. Just know that it’s not necessary to pay a lot for a short video.

Here are some dos and don’ts for successful business videos:

DO keep the video fairly short. Try to restrict it to less than three minutes. You’d be surprised how much ground you can cover in three minutes.
DO post your video on your home page or landing pages.
DO write your script out before starting the camera.
DO use the videos as an educational tool. If people are unlikely to know much about your business, watching a video is a simple, nonthreatening way for them to get educated about the process or the products.
DO explore different video topics. Consider customer profiles, behind-the-scenes glimpses or time-lapse process videos.
DON’T forget to promote your videos on social media platforms (hyperlink to past blog about using the right social media). You can raise your video views significantly by posting links to them in several different places.
DON’T neglect to start with engaging statements to hold viewers’ interest.
DON’T try to cram in too much information. Instead, shoot several different videos and post them according to topic.
DON’T fail to include a call to action. Ask viewers to contact your business, comment on the video or purchase the product being featured. Then, make it easy to find the buttons to do each of those actions on your website.
DON’T start shooting until you have a clear idea of the goal for the video. General rambling won’t make as much of an impression as a tutorial, humorous commentary or “what to expect” approach.
DON’T pressure yourself to create an Oscar-worthy performance. Just be creative, be yourself and educate the customer.

If you are ready to get started on shooting your first video, explore the programs on your computer to see what kind of media management tools you have available. Then create some scripts and shoot practice videos until you get more comfortable speaking in front of a camera. Once you feel as though you’ve got it dialed in, record your first video and shoot for about two to three minutes in length.

You can post the video directly on your website, but most people like to use a third-party site such as YouTube. If you need assistance adding the video to your site, contact us and we will give you hand.