Practical Ecommerce

Video Usage: Simple Steps to Getting Started

The time is right to start using video to assist with marketing and to better demonstrate your products. Improvement in connection speeds and web video streaming technologies, as well as a growing demand from users to get richer product data, all combine to make this a big year for web video deployment.

So, as an ecommerce site owner, how can you proceed with a video strategy? Here are a few ideas:

  1. Start simple. Set your sights on producing a short, simple 20-30 second video prototype. With a minimal investment, you can get your feet wet and decide if you can make your own videos or if you’ll need to outsource it to video experts.

  2. Identify a concept. Are you going to give information on specific products? Educate your potential users? Do something entertaining? You need to do some creative thinking and come up with an idea for your video that will be interesting (and reasonably easy to produce).

  3. Assess your equipment, budget, and resources. You can buy a video camera for less than $100. The quality will be marginal, but it could be enough for you to get started and develop a feel for what you want to do.

  4. Create a simple “studio environment” for your videos. It could be a corner of your shop, or a room in your home. It doesn’t need to be fancy, but you do need decent sound and lighting. Perhaps you will just do voice-overs and the visual images will be generated on the computer or taken “on-location” in a setting related to your business. For on-site footage, think through the logistics and the setup required to do your shoot. If you are unfamiliar with video production, Videomaker.com can be a good source of tips and advice.

  5. Communicate effectively. Likely your video will need a narrator, presenter, or voice. Are you up to the task? If not, can you cajole your spouse, employee, cousin, or someone else to do a dynamic presentation?

  6. Write a script for your video. Keep it short. Several sentences and a visual demo of a product would be great and shouldn’t be too hard to put together. Humor can score big points – particularly on YouTube. You don’t want your products to be perceived as a joke. But you do want to have fun with what you are doing.

  7. Be ready to edit. Both Windows and Mac have free or low-cost video editing software packages. You will need to do some editing of your video. Consider creating a simple lead-in and ending slide or animation that reinforces your brand message and directs users to your website.

  8. Create a YouTube account. It is free, and it provides an easy method to stream the video on your site, or any other site. Once you have your YouTube account, posting your videos just takes a few minutes. You likely want to set your video as private before unveiling your work to the world. First get some helpful input from friends and trusted advisors. Adding a YouTube video to your website is quite simple. YouTube provides some code that you can paste into any of your web pages.

  9. Plan for future videos. Now that you have been successful with your initial video, it is time to plan future videos. Can you produce more of them on your own or do you want to enlist the help of a local video guru? We recommend coming up with a set of short video ideas. Perhaps you can produce them all at once and release them over an interval of several months.

Michael Stearns
Michael Stearns
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Comment ( 1 )

  1. Mark Simon January 22, 2009 Reply

    A good resource for promoting your video once created is tubemogul.com. Takes more time on the first video because you must create an account at each site you want to promote the video but at least you will not need to individually upload to each site.

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