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  • Writer's pictureJW

Your 3 First Videos

When I talk to small business owners or marketing and communications managers about using video for their business, they usually have a few ideas of what they want to do and what they think would be cool. Some might even have ideas of the goals they hope to accomplish. In the course of our conversations, I always advocate for a strategic approach to video content. In my experience, the lack of a plan usually results in ballooning expenses and diminishing returns.

So, this is what I tell people. Think of your audience. How can your video content answer their questions? They want to know how your business will help them solve their problem or avoid some kind of pain - this is marketing 101. They also want to know what other people think of you. And they might want to know about your business and the story behind it. They want to know your why. So, with that in mind, I would start with these three kinds of videos.

Your first video should be about what you do. I don't care if you talk to the camera or employ a more illustrative production showing your process. Show and tell your audience what you do, what you make, and what service you provide. Talk about the problem that your customer faces and then directly connect to that pain with your solution.

The second kind of video that you should produce is a testimonial video. What do your customers say about you? Your audience wants to know that other people trust you and that you solved their problems too. Harness the social proof that you can do what you say you can do. Put people on camera that can speak to that fact. Remember also, that nothing will tank the credibility of your video like insincerity. So allow the people that you put on camera to be authentic and to use their own words. For this reason, I do not recommend scripting your customers’ responses. If you really want to, provide them with the kinds of questions you’ll ask and the kinds of responses that you are looking for. But let them speak their mind and let them say what they want to say. You will be surprised by how many golden gems you find in their words about why they support you.

Third, tell your story. Tell people why you do what you do. Almost everyone has heard that Simon Sinek quote, "People don't buy what you do they buy why you do it." That's especially true in small and local businesses. For example, I go to the same music store whenever I need something, not because they have the best prices or the widest selection, but because I know the guy behind the counter really loves playing guitar. And he loves sharing that passion with everyone that walks through his door. That's his why - to share his passion for guitar. Why did you start selling bikes or taking people on rafting trips or baking cakes? Dig into those questions and tell people why you do what you do. When you tell your story, your customers will start to identify themselves with your business. They will want to be a part of it because they will want to be part of your why. That's really powerful for businesses of all shapes and sizes. Engage them in that way and they're going to be with you for a long time.

This is my favorite kind of video to produce because I love telling stories and these kinds of stories help to connect people. They help to start forming bonds that make people feel like they belong. When we belong to something, we feel better about our community. And we feel more connected and engaged in our community. So dive into your story. Don’t be afraid to tell it.

The strategy behind using video for business can be very simple and very effective. If you just made these three kinds of videos, they could grab your audience's attention, build interest and trust, and ultimately help you grow. In fact, I think that if you kept just making these three kinds of videos, you would never run out of material. They are deep wells that answer the foundational question in your audience's mind, which is, how are you going to solve my problem? How are you going to make my life better?

Are there other videos that you think should be in the top three that I didn't include in mine? Let me know.

Take care!


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