5 Tips for Creating Winning Small Business Videos

Video content is in – it has been proven that websites yield better responses when a video is featured. It’s no surprise; the average Web surfer has a short attention span, and prefers a shiny moving picture to wading through pages of text.

Videos grab attention, engage viewers and, if executed properly, can succinctly communicate your entire value proposition in as little as two minutes.

The power of video continues to impress me. Some of my company’s videos have been viewed tens of thousands of times, and I can tell from our website’s analytics that customers who view our videos are more likely to buy from us.

Here are five tips that we learned about creating winning videos. These tips will not only tempt viewers to hit the play button, but keep them watching the whole way through.

1. Make it personal.

If your video doesn’t have a personality, then neither does your business – at least not as far as the viewer is concerned. Generic shots of b-roll office environments and stock photography tell viewers that your company is just that – a generic, stock, unoriginal service. People want professional, but they don’t want boring. Don’t be afraid to show footage of actual employees – maybe a few seconds of greeting from your CEO if possible. This will yield a more personal feel and a better connection with potential clients. A sense of humor can also establish a sense of personality – but don’t overdo it! You don’t have to be doing standup comedy in your office, but a few quirky scenes or funny lines can be what keep your viewers from clicking away.

2. You can get a big response without a big budget.

Just because you’re producing video content doesn’t mean you have to pay for a Hollywood movie. There are plenty of affordable services and software products that let you record, edit and produce videos from one interface. If your business provides a Web service or computer software, you can use applications to record screens of the product in action, and then add audio narration later. Just remember to try to get some human faces in there for the personal touch.

3. Make a tutorial.

Tutorial or how-to videos are a great excuse for providing video content. Not only will it provide another play button to hit, but the content can clarify any aspects of your service that are difficult to explain with text alone. Customers want to know exactly how a product or service works before purchasing. Providing a set of how-to’s will allow potential users a view into the user experience, and give current users a guide for using your product most effectively. Screen recording and adding narration is a perfect technique for this kind of content.

4. Add some tunes.

Adding light music to the background of your videos helps with flow and makes your content more memorable. There are plenty of open source tracks floating around the Net that you can use for free to add some character to your video. Music sets a tone for your content, whether that’s upbeat, fun, professional, modern or something else. In addition, music will help with the flow of the video by filling in any awkward gaps between voice narrations.

5. Post it on YouTube.

Posting your video on YouTube is a great way to increase the video’s views. Since your videos are marketing vehicles, you want them to be visible to anyone at anytime. YouTube is supposedly a bigger search engine than Yahoo, which means more people use YouTube to find information than most other search engines! Use the power of YouTube’s search to drive views of your videos. Pick short, optimized titles for the videos, and put keywords in the video description part of YouTube. When posting a video on YouTube, include a clear call to action both in the video and in the description. For example, encourage people to visit your website or call your sales number.

If you haven’t already taken on the realm of video production, those tips should get you started. I recommend starting with an introductory video to outline your business, and then moving on to tutorials and specifics. From there, use your videos to enhance your website, fuel your blog, build your Youtube/ social media channels–and watch the page views climb.

I’m sure I’ve got more to learn about successfully using video to sell! What have you found that works with video for your company?


Prasad Thammineni Prasad Thammineni is the Chief Product Officer at Choose Energy, an electricity, natural gas and solar marketplace for residential, SMB and commercial customers. He founded consumer and B2B startups namely OffceDrop, jPeople, WeBelong, Indolis and LaunchPad. He has an MBA from Wharton and Computer Science and Math degrees from BITS, Pilani, India.

17 Reactions
  1. All great tips! Also, you can hire a pro to make your video really stand out. A professional video can make a small business look like a BIG deal! And it isn’t as expensive as you might think.

  2. My business videos on YouTube have done pretty well, but some of my blog readers complain that they’re not allowed to see my tutorial videos. According to various surveys, 33-37% of companies in the US and UK block access to YouTube.

    I’d be interested in hearing how others have gotten around this issue without having to pay large amounts for video hosting.

  3. Great Tips, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen a small business do a video full of magic tricks or other pointless nonsense, effectively killing the message and marketing value of the video

  4. A great place to start is your FAQs. Consider making a short video where you answer common questions and/or demonstrate how to solve the problem your customer is experiencing.

  5. Believe the hype on video. It can absolutely be done in house. Cathy, I took a look at your blog, is it a blooger site? If so I think if you embed a vimeo or youtube link in a post instead of sending your readers to the actual video hosting sites, that might get around some company firewalls.

  6. Video is hot, Prasad. Completely agree. My tip would be to make sure you add your full URL early in your description area on a YouTube video that way you can draw in new traffic directly. Otherwise, you don’t tell a visitor/viewer where to find you as easily.

  7. Ben, thanks for your suggestion. My site is a WordPress blog. I do embed my videos in the blog. I don’t know why some of my readers are complaining, because it was my understanding that embedded videos would play and that it was the YouTube domain that was usually blocked.

  8. Excellent article. I personally find video to be a very daunting undertaking, however the more articles like this that I find, the more I’m able to demystify the process and get more comfortable with the idea of generating and publishing video.

  9. Great tips, Prasad. From my experience, I’d like to suggest a couple more :

    1. Keep the videos short (2 to 3 mins max). As they say, a minute in youtube is the equivalent of an hour on TV.
    2. Maintain a dedicated video page in your site, with SEO-rich summaries and transcripts. These pages will drive a lot of traffic over time.

  10. Thanks for this fine and informative post, Prasad.

    I agree with you when it comes to making videos without a big budget.

    I use a Flip video camera. (Thank you, Jim Kukral for the idea.)

    I don’t have fancy lighting, or even a high-end microphone.

    But, I have a message. That’s what folks want.

    The Franchise King

  11. Thanks for the info Prasad- videos are one of the best and easy ways to create buzz for a business. thanks for the tips.