Lisa Merriam

A Dozen Ideas for Web Video

If a picture is worth a thousand words, video is worth millions.

Video production costs are shrinking as the tools and technology become more powerful. The value that video can bring to your business, both in effectively communicating with people and in terms of driving traffic to your site, is well-documented.

Here are 12 ideas for web video to get you started putting the power of web video to work for your company.

1. Customer Testimonials

Talk about compelling! Seeing real customers talk about your company, products and services is tremendously powerful. Here are some examples we produced for one of our clients.

2. Video Success Stories

Like testimonial, these videos combine customer sound bites with telling the story of how a company, product, or service has gotten results.

3. Video Case Study

This type of video tells an expanded story with in-depth explanations of problems, solutions and achievements. It usually incorporates commentary from customers as well as interviews of employees directly responsible for providing the successful solution.

4. Man-On-the-Street Interviews

From providing a market research and insight function to creating buzz around products and events, on-the-street interviews can tell a lively story. Make sure they are genuine. Staged interviews presented as off-the-cuff are dishonest and will almost certainly boomerang to do your reputation damage. Companies are learning that “spin” does long-term damage to integrity. Here is an example.

5. Product Presentations/Video Brochures

Don’t just video tape someone giving a PowerPoint presentation. Think if movies were just films of stage productions? Use the strengths of the medium. Video presentations explaining products and services and their benefits can pack a great deal of compelling information into a small package.

6. Product Demonstrations

Showing how your product works is more powerful than merely telling about it. Combine screen captures with actual footage of product being installed and show the benefits.

7. Product Reviews

Getting a third party to review your product or service on camera are almost as effective as customer testimonials.

8. Corporate Overview

Like a corporate brochure, a company overview video can tell your company history, explain your key products, and introduce executives and owners. You may want to create a series, each with a specific focus so that you don’t end up with one over-sized 10-minute video.

9. Presentations, Trade Shows and Events

Don’t just post the PowerPoint of your last presentation to analysts or your latest panel appearance. Create a video of the key highlights and takeaways. Consider creating a short video that highlights a recent trade show or event or that captures the best of expert sessions and round tables. As always, keep it short. Edit the footage for the best sound-bites, not the whole 20 minute presentation.

10. Facilities Tour

Only consider this kind of video if you really have something to show. Be careful about revealing proprietary processes. Your facilities need to be exceptionally compelling visually in order to make this idea work.

11. Training and support video

Showing is better than telling. We learn more by watching than by reading. No one wants to read the manual. Training videos that explain key product features (while highlighting selling points) and provide how-to insight are particularly well-suited for video. They are an excellent way to stay engaged with customers.

12. Commercials and Infomercials

You don’t have to put your product on television to create commercials. Video can effectively sell and promote your product or service across online media. Video screens are popping up everywhere from taxis to elevators to sides of buildings to hand held devices. Be ready to be there, wherever there may be.

More detailed advice from previous posts:

Good enough video–you don’t need to be an a cinematographer to be effective
How Web video differs from TV
Video scripting–six keys to script writing
Ideas for Web video

And a series from Fortune 500 corporate executive speech coach Kayla Schwartz:

Web video how-to: Preparing your message
Web video how-to: Thinking about your delivery
Web video how-to: Visual presentation