Short videos for the internet, just like commercials on television, can often get better results than traditional text-and-still picture advertisements or testimonials. Few small businesses or individual entrepreneurs can afford television time, but internet videos can reach even larger, more direct audiences, and at a fraction of the cost. Here are a few ideas on how to make a video reel that will capture clients, and their hearts.

 
Identify the audience

Even before writing the script, selecting the spokesperson, or booking the team that will shoot or compile the video, the very first step is to identify the target audience. Who is the video meant for? Is it meant to cast a wide net to a general audience or is there a specific group of people known who want to use your products or services? In addition, is this video meant to provide your audience with new information or is it meant to make them change the way they use or perceive a product or service? Is the intention to make someone interested in an idea or product, or to help them make better use of it?

 
Pick the style

Every video has a story to tell. Choose carefully what video style in which you want to convey your story. What is the best and most appropriate way to tell this story? It might be through a serious and dramatic approach or could take the side of light and funny. Using music is another option to consider, but be sure to pick something that coordinates best with your story. Finally, should there be a spokesperson in the video, or simply a narrator?

 
Grab the audience from the very start

Potential customers will zip through a video even faster than they fast-forward through a commercial on a DVR. Unless they have a particular reason to view a video, if their interest is not sparked in the first few seconds, they will move on to the next video. That opening scene does not have to be sensational, but it has to be interesting and, if possible, at least a little entertaining. What it should not be is dull or boring. In the advertising game, first impressions are often the only impressions, and the only chance to hook the viewer.

 
Shorter is better

If the intention of a video is to attract potential customers, it must get the message across as early and as directly as possible. Get to the point right away, and then guide the customer to the website for more details. Providing too much information in an advertising video can confuse or overwhelm a viewer. The advertising or informational video is best thought of as a movie trailer — it is a teaser with a bait to hook the customer and to make them hungry for more.

 
Focus on the target’s wants and needs, not on closing the deal

A promotional or advertising video should speak to the target audience’s needs or wants. It has to focus on the value of the idea, product or service being promoted, and on what it can do for those who get it. The video should always offer a way for the viewer to easily access a website or contact a salesperson to close the deal.

 
 
This article was written by Mark G. McLaughlin for Small Business Pulse
 

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