With 500 years of YouTube video watched every day on Facebook, and over 700 YouTube videos shared on Twitter each minute it's clear that videos are becoming more important to a companies social media marketing campaign than ever before. But why is that and how do you ensure you're not left behind without spending a fortune?

How to make the right videos for your SME business?

YouTube, Instagram and Vine (link to - http://techcrunch.com/2013/06/20/instagram-video-vs-vine-whats-the-difference/) are the three most important and effective video services currently available for social media marketing. These offer cheap and easy ways of delivering a video to customers and potential customers. But firstly you must decide what kind of video you want to create and why. Sell, entertain, gain new customers, keep loyal customers, inform? Once you've decided this, it will help shape some good video content. 

Type of Video

There are many types of videos you can create however the overall key is great content, you don’t have to spend lots of money in having great videos.  Types to consider are:

  • Guest/ Interview
  • Time-lapse
  • Product demo
  • Case study
  • Talking head(s)
  • One-off themes: Comic Relief, Christmas, the Football World Cup etc.
  • Presentation
  • Whiteboard/illustration
  • At event/on location
  • Behind-the-scenes/documentary

The next step is to figure out the tone of voice. Should it be humorous, serious, corporate, formal, informal, technical or colloquial. Whatever you end up doing it needs to convey your values and suit the product or service you are trying to sell. And above all, be yourself.

Length?

Should it be 2 minutes, 10 minutes or 30 seconds? This will depend on the purpose of the video and how much content you feel needs to be included. A quick search on Google and YouTube shows that most B2B videos with hundreds of thousands, or even millions of hits, tend to be 90–120 seconds in length. However, Instagram videos are limited to up to 15 seconds and Vine videos are a mere 6 seconds, so you'll have to be creative in a short space of time with those apps.

Professional or DIY?

This depends on your budget and how good your video making skills are. Never sacrifice quality and make something that is going to reflect poorly on your brand. With Instagram and Vine available, everyone is capable of making short videos nowadays and with the tools like Animoto, Imovie etc all you need is great content and an good phone or tablet with video facilities and you can make video content work a dream.

Make It Interactive

The points of these videos are not only to build traffic but also gain new customers and create sales. An interactive video can help with this and encourages customers to come back for more. How to do it? Mozilla’s Popcorn (link to - http://www.ted.com/talks/ryan_merkley_online_video_annotated_remixed_and_popped.html) is an excellent place to start. They have enhanced what you can do with your videos, such as adding dynamic content and maps, or asking for a response within the video. It allows users to link social media, data visualizations, news feeds and other content directly to moving images.

You may be thinking, this sounds a lot of hassle, so here's a few statistics to show why video is now integral to any business online.

Online Video Stats 2013 (UK)

  • The chances of getting a page one listing on Google is 53 times more likely with video (Forrester Research) link to - http://www.forrester.com/home
  • Dr. James McQuivey of Forrester Research claims a minute of video is worth 1.8 million words
  • SEOMOZ (link to http://www.seomoz.org/blog/what-makes-a-link-worthy-post-part-1) says that posts with videos included attract 3 times more in-linking domains than a plain text post
  • 76% of marketers plan to add video to their websites, making it a higher priority than Facebook, Twitter and blog integration (Social Media Examiner) link to - http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com 
  • Online video accounts for 50% of all mobile traffic and up to 69% of traffic on certain networks (Bytemobile Mobile Analytics Reports) link to - http://www.bytemobile.com/news-events/mobile_analytics_report.html
  • 80% of Internet users recall watching a video ad on a website they visited within the past 30 days; 46% took some kind of action after viewing the ad (Online Publishers Association) link to - http://www.online-publishers.org/
  • Stacksandstacks.com reported that visitors were 144% more likely to buy a product after seeing a video of the product than those who didn’t
  • Zappos saw increases of 6% to 30% in sales for their products that had a video accompaniment

The key to great videos in thinking about your business objectives and what you want to achieve. From here a monthly video or even one done quarterly is all possible and without breaking the bank. Have you tried using video content as part of your online strategy? How did you get on? What tips would you like to share with other SMEs?

Lynsey Sweales is the founder of SocialB a social media and online marketing business that provides training and consultancy in helping business large and small to use these tools effectively.  She is also committee member of the Social Media Council, a position that places her amongst a group of industry leaders including representatives from Facebook and Microsoft where they work to endorse the use of social media as an effective and engaging marketing method by developing best practice, conducting research and organising insightful events