100 Top Tips for Businesses – #15 The Power of Video


Live, live, baby… a look at video’s promotional power for businesses

Business owners these days have a dazzling array of options when it comes to promoting their companies.

So-much-so that it’s sometimes hard to pick which to push on first.

But, according to John Gilbert from Stuff of Greatness, one you certainly shouldn’t miss out on is Facebook Live.

“Video is an incredibly powerful medium for marketing your business anyway, and Facebook Live is a great option that you can easily run yourself, that has the power to really stop your audience in their tracks and make them take notice,” said John.

In fact, he’s so passionate about the power of video, he’s based his entire new business concept around it. Having also founded Hull’s well-known eskimosoup marketing agency several years ago, John recently established Stuff of Greatness as a ‘digital storytelling’ concept centred on making an emotional connection between brands and their intended audiences, with video as a key tool for that.

“There’s a lot of talk about the rise of video content as a marketing tool at the moment,” he continued.

“It’s important not least for search engine optimisation (SEO) because web and social media algorithms including Facebook and Google really like to see video content in the mix. It’s so important that, not long ago, Facebook introduced a video cover option.

“However, many brands disregard it because they think it’s both expensive, difficult to do themselves or ‘something for bigger businesses’.

“When they think of video, many people automatically envisage the kind of high-budget films and adverts they see on the TV, whereas the reality is that it doesn’t have to be that way.

“In the web and social media environment, what users really want to see is the honest, human and approachable side of what you offer, and therefore the video you use actually benefits from being a little more homemade.

“Video, and particularly live video, is a fantastic opportunity to tell your story and get across what your brand stands for.

“You can even feature your customers in it instead of yourself. As a society, we’re used to seeing brands in adverts, telling us how great their products and services are. However, your customers can actually get those messages across in a much more authentic and believable way that other potential customers can really identify with, because they’re hearing it from someone like them.”

Facing the fear

Live video is particularly immediate and powerful, and, while many people automatically fear anything with the word ‘live’ in the description, John added there’s really nothing to be afraid of.

“Everyone’s doing live video now, from bloggers to bigger businesses,” he continued.

“And that’s because people aren’t convinced by heavily edited footage anymore. The influence of the social media world is such that the odd bloomer or hair out of place is not only easily forgiven by today’s consumers, but they actually see it as an extra mark of authenticity for a brand.”

John’s six top tips for producing your own live or pre-recorded video footage

  1. Set up a Facebook page that no-one knows about, with no likes, and experiment on there first with Facebook Live video, until you feel comfortable about doing it for real
  2. Choose the right environment to do it in. You’ll need somewhere that isn’t too echoey or noisy, with a good internet connection, and without distractions like too-bright sunshine in the background. Prep those around you a little bit and avoid extraneous detail in the background, and try to avoid any faux pas like the infamous videos we all remember for going viral for all the wrong reasons!
  3. Plan what you’re going to talk about in advance. Don’t script it because you’ll probably find that a distraction and it’ll come across as false, but have a beginning, middle and end in mind just to give it some focus. If you need to, write down some key words just to help you make sure you remember to mention all your main points, and stick those on the wall behind the phone you’re recording on, to call on if you need to
  4. Have a clock somewhere visible to help you keep an eye on the time. There’s no particular limit you need to set for a Facebook live but be honest with yourself about how interesting your video is going to be for your audience, and, unless it’s something really outstanding with guest speakers and other nuances to break the monotony, as a rule of thumb you’re best keeping it to no more than 30 minutes
  5. Squeeze as much value out of your content as you can. If you’re making time to do the video, repurpose it as a written blog, social media posts, a YouTube video and podcasts too, to really maximise its potential
  6. It can prove to be a fantastic relationship-building and marketing tool in itself too, and often key contacts will be flattered to be included and co-promoted if you ask them to be involved.

John concluded: “All you need to run your own Facebook Lives is a smartphone. If you have an external microphone and a tripod to improve the steadiness and sound quality of the images (neither of which are expensive), then all the better. Or, to help build your confidence, you could ask for the help of someone who’s done live videos before, just for your first one.”

You can folllow John’s @StuffGreatness Facebook page (www.facebook.com/stuffgreatness) for some examples of what he’s talked about in this blog.

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