(updated August 2016) Our society has an insatiable appetite for video. It has grown steadily over the past 11+ years since the birth of YouTube and businesses are still behind in using more video in their marketing and customer education. According to statistics compiled by Website Monitoring YouTube has BILLIONS of views per day and people watch an average of 15 minutes of video per day. I might be one of those “average people” since I do tend to watch videos that come my way via blogs, Twitter, Facebook and, occasionally, through an email. If I add in the regular TED Talk videos that I watch, I can probably hit that average.
Kids and adults pass around more and more videos on Facebook and we even have Video Barbie, with a built in video camera, getting in on the action~(I do find this somewhat creepy to think little girls will be walking around secretly filming others through Bab's camera that is embedded into her back and the lens in her chest.) They could have named her Stalker Barbie! Warning to parents: Pick up those toys in YOUR bedroom before you go to sleep!
YouTube is now the second-largest search engine in the world, just behind its parent company…Google. That's right, people will go to YouTube to find everything from how to install a new toilet or how to speak with a British accent to finding deep intellectual messages through cartoons like Charlie the Unicorn. So what does this have to do with business…besides EVERYTHING?
Take a look at some of these fun images from YouTube's 5-year journey.
Businesses should be capitalizing on the fact that people are seeking information and learning from videos. With video equipment getting smaller and less expensive, there is no reason why you and your organization shouldn't be tapping into this insatiable appetite for video consumption.
Here are my 5 tips for getting your community tuned in to your message:
- Be Business Casual– When you over-produce or over-script a video, it feels like you are trying to sell us something. When you turn the camera on yourself and talk authentically, we connect with you. Look at some of the most successful videos on YouTube…they are not shot by a professional production team, they are simple and conversational. What tips can you share via video? What's on your mind that can be turned into a video blog post? You don't need a professional set or well-written script. Jot some bullet points down and hit that record button.
- Have Great Audio– There are many options now to boost the audio on many pocket video cams with Bluetooth microphones and even a simple lapel mic that plugs into your smartphone. People will forgive bad video skills as long as they can hear you clearly. Don't forget that while doing simple editing after, you can adjust and boost sound as well.
- Set a Fun Backdrop– Look behind you before you start filming. I have seen videos with bright windows behind the person which turns them into a silhouette, or worse I have seen videos with pictures or lamps behind the person, creating a comical mashup of the person and the object. Instead of sitting in front of a messy office, create a simple but interesting backdrop that will enhance your video.
- Get the video creation into the Hands of the Community and Co-Create– Remember, YOU don't have to be the star of every video, or of any videos if you'd rather stay out of the spotlight. Put the cameras in the hands of your customers, your learners, your fans and let then tell the stories of your company. Within your organization start a series of WINK videos (What I Now Know) asking everyone from the executive teams to the star employees, “What are 2 or 3 things you know now that you wish you would have known when you started here?” Have your customers create a “Day in the Life of a CUSTOMER!” People love seeing themselves be silly on video. Create opportunities for participants to create content to use in a training program . Give teams the information they need and challenge them to create a fun, short (5 min in length) and content-packed video that will used to explain a new product roll-out to other teams or in a “Popcorn Learning Segment” in your next training program. Pop some popcorn and view the videos as a group with a debrief or quiz created by the same teams!
- And….ACTION! Get STARTED! Don't let the need for perfection paralyze you. Pick something easy to start with like 5 tips on a topic you have expertise in and just push that RECORD button! You will find ways to get more creative and better with each video you create.
Keep in mind that when you post a video on YouTube, every word you say is transcribed and those words become searchable through Google! Be strategic if you are wanting your videos to become viral or at least be found by a bigger audience! You can post your videos on your blog, website, directly into Facebook, or a series of video hosting sites (YouTube is only one of many).
I love to hear the creative uses people find to incorporate video into their marketing, their learning, or other informative uses for business. How else can we all get creative with simple video? Let us know in the comment section and let's learn something together!