1 billion hours. That’s how many hours of video we consume on YouTube each year, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal.
So why is video so popular online?
It all comes down to ease of consumption. People can watch a video and gain a lot more information within as little as 30 seconds as they would from reading hundreds and hundreds of words of text. With more people taking to their mobile phones to browse the web, video is becoming more important than ever.
Small businesses should be capitalising on this, but so few actually are. To help you get started, here are 5 video production techniques that are sure to wow a small business audience.
1. 360 degree videos
It may seem like something from sci-fi, but 360 videos are much more accessible now than ever before.
They’re a revolutionary way to show off something large that previously could only exist in a photo album. Instead of static photography, give your business an edge with a totally immersive experience!
Not only are 360 videos cool enough to really ‘wow’ your audience, they’re also incredibly useful. For example, if your business sells a product online, something your user is missing compared to a physical shop is the ability to move the product around and to see how it looks from all angles. A 360 video can give them that tactile experience, making it easier for them to make their purchase decision.
For larger products, such as houses for sale or wedding venues, let’s say, 360 cameras can be used to map out entire environments. Imagine taking a virtual tour of your potential venue before visiting; it’s enough to get your customer’s imaginations running riot, getting them in the mood to buy before they even step in the door.
2. Explainer videos
Explainer videos are films that do just that – they explain!
If you sell a product that is a little more complex, or you just want an engaging way to showcase your product to a small business audience, an explainer video can work really well.
Usually built around animations, explainer videos take your audience through a topic, step by step, using graphics and images to illustrate each point and therefore make it easier to understand. They can work particularly well if yours is a service based business, as they empower you to show your audience what your service can do for them and how it can be delivered.
Explainer videos are also really good for internal communications, particularly as your team grows. If you want to ensure everyone in your company is attuned to the latest updates and company ethos, try creating a short explainer video – we’ll bet it’ll get more interest than a Powerpoint presentation or company wide email.
3. Infographic videos
Infographics were big business back in the early days of what we now call ‘content marketing’. The idea of taking a complex topic and making it into a visual graphic was great, because it meant users no longer had to trawl through reams of text or tables to get to the key messages.
Infographics are back, but with a twist – now they come in video format!
Infographic videos are basically videos that move through an animated graphic, adding a layer of interactivity that really helps with immersion and can get your message across more effectively than its static counterpart.
Technically speaking, infographic videos are some of the more difficult to create, because so much design time is needed to create the animations and storyboard the flow. That said, they can work really well as a wider promotional tool, that can be shared across social media, sold in as part of a press release or distributed to your database via email, so the added costs associated can still deliver a strong return as part of a broader strategy.
We’ve all head of those ‘celebrity’ vloggers who earn millions of views through their topical updates, perhaps sharing makeup tips or their opinions on the latest chart releases.
More and more small businesses are starting to take advantage of vlogging as a way of showcasing their team to their audience and sharing their insights and knowledge.
People do business with people, and vlogging is a great way to help your audience get to know the people in your business – and therefore to encourage them to buy from you. When executed well, vlogs can help you build a relationship with your customers that can give you the edge over your competition.
The great thing about this filming technique is its accessibility. A vlog needn’t be a heavily produced of professional looking video if you don’t want it to be – it can even be filmed on your smartphone.
Of course, video production companies do offer vlogging services in studios with industry standard equipment for the professional touch, which is great if you can afford it, but if you are working on a budget, vlogging is a great way to produce easy, quick and personal content.
Some general advice for vlogs would be to keep them simple, short and think about what your key message is. It’s better to have a few 60 seconds vlogs than one five minute vlog, as people are more likely to watch a shorter video in full.
5. Interactive videos
Interactive videos are growing quickly in popularity and we think it’ll be a big trend as we move into 2018 – so start today!
Interactive videos allow users to – you guessed it – interact! This could be by answering questions that progress them to the next screen, using their keyboard to pick a route to follow, using their touch screen to choose the next story they view, and so on.
For example, we once made an interactive video series for a client who wanted health and safety tackled in a different manner. The video offered users options to take in various hypothetical situations, giving them feedback on why their choice was correct or incorrect along the way. It was light hearted yet informative which is what was needed, helping the user to learn by doing.
You could also use these videos to explore products, by having a video on a category page, for example, which could help your customer identify the right product for them. The video experience would be unique for many users and helps customers navigate your website whilst learning about your products and services.
One key theme that should flow throughout any of these techniques is one of storytelling. Think of your videos as a short or long story and your structure will benefit, helping you to create better visual content to wow your small business audience.
Ben Newth is founder at Reel Media