Online video is a great way to get build engagement, turn prospects into buyers, and gain eyeballs 24/7. Which is why it should be in your marketing toolbox if you want to leapfrog your business past your competition. As I’ve mentioned before, this 2011 commercial, featuring a young Darth Vader, is still nabbing Volkswagen plenty of interest and good will.

Current thinking on video is that it doesn’t have to have a big budget to look good or work. Many entrepreneurs and small business owners are out there making impromptu videos, often with their smart phones. These people can get away with this down-and-dirty videoing, because they already have a following, or they’re just do gosh darn interesting.

If you’re new to video, there are some definite “dos,” if you want people to watch.

1. Know the purpose of your video. Is it to entertain? Educate? Just check in and say “Hello”? You don’t have to start with a formal video script (which I sometimes write for clients), but you DO need to know what you’re going to talk about.

2. Don’t stress yourself out trying to make it perfect. You’ll definitely produce a better video if you just be yourself. Not who you think you need to be (smarter, taller, sexier???) to engage your viewers. If you already know in your heart that you’re lousy in front of the camera, work on that skill while you let someone else nab the cameo role, for now.

3. Have a good story. (I talk more about story in another blog post.) What’s the quickest way to bore people? Cram a bunch of stats and facts down their gullets. Stats and facts are actually effective speaking tools. But not without context. Which is why you need good storytelling. Help your viewers to feel why your info matters to them. Why do organizations fundraising for disadvantaged kids highlight the background on just one child at a time? Exactly.

4. Make sure your lighting and sound are good. People simply will not stay with you if either is bad. Here’s a tip: Don’t video yourself while standing in front of a window. You will be blacked out by all that light.

5. End your video with a CTA: Call to action. What do you want viewers to do with the info you’ve given them? Call you? Open their wallet? Hug their child? Research shows that if you tell people what to do, they’ll often follow your direction. Oh, you powerful marketer, you!

Use video to leapfrog your business past your competitors. Post it far and wide, including on YouTube (owned by that ginormous marketing machine known as Google) and on your website. You always want to direct traffic back to your website to build engagement. If you properly tag your videos, and include your website URL, you should watch your views come in. No pun intended.

Contact me. I’m happy to help.


Sheri A. Bell is a writer, developmental editor, proofreader, and children’s author living in McKinney, Texas. You can check out her services and blog at Get to know her a bit via this radio interview. She is the author of You Think It’s Easy Being the Tooth Fairy? (40,000 copies sold), Great World War II Projects You can Build Yourself, and Sanctuary Rises. Have you purchased your copies yet? ;-)