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Lights, Camera, Action: Ways to Add More Value to Video Marketing

Scott Gerber
Scott Gerber

Repeatedly explaining to people what your company does is part of the job, but being able to effectively communicate that message is crucial. Since holding someone's attention has become increasingly difficult, business leaders have to shift their storytelling tactics to something more visual, like video. And because the generations with the most buying power are constantly plugged into their smartphones anyway, video marketing makes sense; but only if it can be executed well.

We asked 14 entrepreneurs from YEC to name one thing you should or shouldn't do when deciding to create a quick promo video reel for your company. Their best answers are below.

1. Consider Humor If It's Appropriate

The easiest way to engage people on the Internet via video reels is consistently through humor. Always consider if there is a way to make your message humorous, and understand it's not always possible. This Kmart commercial is a very well-known example, and possibly even a cliché at this point, but it's nearly impossible to forget. - Jon ClineRokit SEO

2. Use the Right Video Host

Choose your hosting site wisely. Depending on your goals, there are three great video hosting platforms with distinct benefits. Are you betting on the social/viral aspect? Go with YouTube for their network. Do you use HubSpot or invest heavily in SEO? Wistia, hands down. If your team lives in Marketo, Pardot or Salesforce, you want Vidyard for their solid integrations and analytics. - Brian CurlissMailLift

Related Article: 5 Awesome Youtube Marketing Tools

3. Find the 'Why'

Obviously know your audience first, and then tug on the heart strings. When emotionally compelled, people find more internal incentive to buy. Show why they should buy into what you do rather than just tell them. You can do this by showing scenarios of how a customer's life is made better by using your products/services rather than just explaining what you do. - Kenny NguyenBig Fish Presentations

4. Show the Human Side

Showing the human side of your business is important when you want other people to feel a connection to your company. Discussing a mistake that you overcame, or even just a funny scene in your office, can go a long way towards building that emotional connection. - Elliot

5. Have a Clear Vision

Getting creative means having the potential to spiral into a deep hole of indecision and changing tactics. Before you approach a company to create a reel, have a clear (but not set in stone) concept of what you would like. Having a clear vision saves time (and money) that might be wasted switching from one concept to another or having "just one more addition" to the creative process. - Kim KaupeZinePak

6. Enlist a Popular YouTuber

YouTube is the best channel for your video, but you need the help of an influential YouTuber who is popular with the audience you’re trying to reach. The equivalent of 48,000 seasons worth of “Breaking Bad” (432,000 hours of video) is uploaded to YouTube every day, so you need help breaking through the noise. Influential YouTubers can do that and make your video a success. - Pete BorumReelio, Inc.

7. Create for Your Audience

Promoting your company through video is a fantastic step to take. One mistake many people make though, is not clearly defining the intended audience. While it's true that just about anyone may come across the video, your promotion will work better if you craft it from day one around a specific group. Is it future customers? Investors? Employees? Consider your audience as early on as possible. - Erik ReaganFocus Lab, LLC

Related: Fine Tune Your Content Marketing Efforts with Video

8. Start With the End in Mind

Making videos for your business is expensive. Start by identifying how you are going to use the video and what your distribution strategy for it will be when it is complete. Not only will this help you understand the ROI model on the investment, but it will also help you dial in on who the audience is that you are going to be speaking to through the video. - Ryan WilsonFiveFifty

9. Showcase Your Creativity

Showcasing your creativity in a video reel can really impress and help convert potential customers. Prospective customers need a reason to go with you over your competitors, and creativity is an excellent way to stand apart from the competition. Creativity can lead to highlighting company culture and initiating emotion, both of which are excellent ways to capture your audience’s attention as well. - Stanley MeytinTrue Film Production

10. Toot Your Horn without Blowing It

Keep your reel under one minute. If big brands that spend millions of dollars to be concise for 60 seconds or less can do it, then so can you. Try and toot your horn without blowing it and make an effort to be personable, honest and leave your viewer wanting more. - Eli MartinWorkhouse Creative

11. Absolutely Do Not Read From a Script

Nothing is worse than watching someone read from a script. It's impossible to know if the person is reading his or her own words or simply reading something put together by your PR department. Instead, prepare thoroughly and make sure you have solid talking points. Once you record your video, speak from the heart and connect with your audience. Don't worry if every word isn’t exactly how you want it. -  Kristopher

Related Article: How McDonald’s Used Video Marketing to Educate Buyers

12. Use the KISS Principle

Keep it simple. So many people avoid making a video because they can't afford a slickly produced MTV-ready spot. In fact, it's better to do something short and simple, like a quick screencast of your software or service, edited in easily obtainable software. And if you're going to be on camera, get your roots done! - Maren HoganRed Branch Media

13. Say What You Do

How many promo reels have you watched and wondered, "What does this company do?" I've seen too many. It's the most important part of your promo reel and it is too easily lost as you work to fit your story into such a short amount of time. - Avery FisherRemedify

14. Focus on the Objective

It's easy to get caught up in the possibilities of what could be communicated. But resist the temptation to show/tell everything and focus solely on why you decided to create a video to start with. With that goal in mind, work with experienced writers/producers to articulate the vision concisely and effectively. An expert will keep you focused and bring your vision to life in a professional way. - Angela HarlessAcrobatAnt

Image Credit: NanoStockk / Getty Images
Scott Gerber
Scott Gerber Member
Scott Gerber is the founder of Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched BusinessCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses. Gerber is also a serial entrepreneur, regular TV commentator and author of the book Never Get a “Real” Job.