For a filmmaker like me, it makes sense to have video on my website. Video is my product. Video hosting sites like Vimeo and YouTube allow me to upload my work and embed it on my site. I can display a selection of my best or most recent projects as well as a showreel giving an overview of my work as a whole. Keeping the rest of my work on my YouTube channel allows me to direct potential clients to previous work that is relevant to their project.
The evolution of digital technology has given video a home on the Internet and revolutionised the industry. Before the Internet and digital video, filmmakers like myself would have a very limited output for our work and getting our films seen by an audience was a huge challenge, especially for short films. You could enter festivals and competitions with the hope of being selected, you could organise a screening of your own or you could send out DVD screeners. Your audience was always limited. Online, videos can be accessed by people all over the world, 24 hours a day.
Filmmakers were early adopters of online video because we were quick to see the benefits, but the boom of online video has spread across all industries as more and more businesses are using video within their marketing strategies, even small businesses and start-ups.
If you’re running a business you’ll already have a website and be active across social media, but are you using video yet? You should be. Here’s why:
Video Creates a Personal Connection
You already do a great job of representing your business, so why not put that on show for the rest of the world to see?
- Allows you to pitch your business in your own words
- Allows you to demonstrate your passion and energy
- Allows you to convey your knowledge of your industry
- Allows potential clients to get to know who you are
- Allows potential clients to see you at work
- Allows potential clients to see feedback and testimonials from existing customers
An online video is a great way to gain the trust of your potential client base as it gives them a face and personality to relate to and connect with.
Video Drives Sales
- People can gain a better understanding of a product or a service when they see and hear someone explain it
- A recent Video Rascal survey showed that 85% of people are more likely to buy a product once they have seen an explainer video
- Axonn Research found seven in 10 people view brands in a more positive light after watching interesting video content from them
- Diode Digital found that, before reading any text, 60% of site visitors will watch a video if available
- Video promotion is over 6 times more effective than print and online
If a client is curious about the product or service that you provide then a video that allows them to see it in action will give them a sense of what to expect and why it has value.
Video Improves Search Engine Optimisation
- Websites with video on the front page rank higher in Google
- YouTube is the number 2 search engine in the world
- YouTube is owned by Google, the number 1 search engine
- YouTube has more than one billion unique visitors every month
- Google’s search ranking algorithms take into account how long a visitor stays on your page
- Visitors are more likely to stay on your site for longer if you have video
Social Media Loves Video
- Video is the most shared brand content on Facebook
- Videos are shared 1,200% more times than links and text combined
Every business needs to consider SEO within their marketing strategy. Online video gives you content that can be uploaded to YouTube, embedded in your website and shared across all of your social media channels. If your followers like it then they’ll share it too.
Video isn’t just an addition to your website, it’s becoming something that visitors to your site are expecting to see.
No Business is Too Small
No business is too small to use video as a marketing tool. In fact, I’d argue that it’s even more important if your business is small. Online video isn’t just about marketing; it’s about telling people what you do and why it matters. It’s a great way to demonstrate the value that you offer.
I run my own business and I understand the difficulty of having to cover every role that in a larger company would be shared across a team of staff. Keeping active with social media and marketing can be a challenge when you’re also delivering work and dealing with clients. You can’t do everything at once.
If you run a small business like I do, you’re used to relying on your online presence to do some of the work for you. I consider my website to be my shop front and I’m reassured knowing that it can be accessed 24/7 by potential clients no matter how busy I might be.
I also know how important it is to be able to represent my business in person when the opportunity arises. No one can describe your business better than you do. Being able to talk directly to a potential client is usually the best way to win their confidence but we aren’t always available to make new connections as often as we’d like to. An online video does some of that work for you, enabling visitors to your website to get a sense of who you are and hear you talk about your business with the passion and enthusiasm that you bring to your work every day. An online video can be accessed at anytime of day or night from anywhere in the world, meaning that whether you’re busy at work or it’s out of hours, people can still hear your pitch and engage with what you do.
As for the cost, digital technology has made video production more affordable and more accessible than ever before. A video for your website may not cost as much as you expect.
I’ve been making promotional videos for arts organisations and theatre productions for a while and I’ve recently extended my services to include local businesses. I’m a Community Filmmaker so my interest is in creating content that people can connect with on a personal level.
My latest video is for Octopus Alchemy, a social venture in Brighton that talks food politics and educates people about traditional foods. Octopus Alchemy is run by Darren Ollerton, who has an obvious passion for his work. I used an informal documentary style to make a video about Darren and to showcase his talents as a workshop leader. The aim of the video was to show what his workshops are all about.
I filmed two of Darren’s workshops and an interview with him about his work. The workshop footage conveys a sense of the atmosphere of the workshops and gives potential participants what to expect. I was also able to film participants enjoying the workshop and get their feedback. The accompanying interview gives a sense of who Darren is, how much he knows about the subject he teaches and most importantly, how much he cares about it.
“Whilst I’ve done a bit of it, in various guises, being in front of the camera is not a favourite pastime of mine and filming a promo piece for my project came at quite a difficult time for me. But Evan’s confidence about the project was infectious; he remained very objective about the whole process throughout which was reassuring. Evan definitely has a craft – he works with people, not just film – and he puts community at the forefront of his filmmaking, which really chimes with my politics.” – Darren Ollerton, Octopus Alchemy
Ethical businesses and social enterprises like Octopus Alchemy are on the rise in the UK. There is a clear market for personal, local businesses that customers can relate to. Faceless corporations are out of fashion, so letting your client base get to know you through video makes sense.
I have no doubt that your business could be improved by using video and if you’re local to Brighton then I can help you do it. I specialise in working with the community and creating video that has meaning. I can work with you to create a video that is true to your identity as a business. Visit my website to find out more about my work and how to get in touch.
About the Author:
Evan Wilkinson is a Community Filmmaker based in Brighton who creates video for the local community. As well as producing videos and community film projects, Evan teaches workshops in filmmaking, script development and animation. For more information please visit: http://evanwilkinson.co.uk