No amount of sophisticated technology will ever take the place of live, in-person connecting. However, the next best thing is video. Especially live video, when possible. I’ve said this for over a decade and it’s never been more true than now, given the incredible access businesses have to video and streaming technologies.

 

As a small business owner, you can really stand out with creative use of video – both recorded and live. The benefits of showcasing your business with more video include:

 

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  • Better tell the stories of your business, founders/owners, staff and customers.
  • Draw your audience in with emotionally connecting videos.
  • Stand out in Facebook and Instagram news feeds. With so much competition for attention, it’s the autoplay feature that catches people’s eye.
  • Facebook has been increasingly favoring video in the news feed and especially recently with the global release of the Watch platform.

 

Facebook is determined to become a destination digital streaming video platform, right up there with YouTube, Netflix and Amazon. Facebook’s video mission is:

 

“Create shared experiences and a sense of belonging through video.”

 

It’s not just about creating and publishing more video content. It’s about building more community and sparking meaningful social interaction with your videos. Now is the perfect time to take advantage of publishing more video content across all your social media channels.

 

I recently teamed up with my favorite video creation tool, Wave.video and conducted a video contest on my Facebook Page. To enter the contest, I asked my audience to share their No. 1 challenge with getting measurable results using video on Facebook. We received over 300 entries, and these were the top five challenges people shared:

 

  • #5. Gear:  Which professional yet affordable lighting, microphone, camera and accessories to use
  • #4. Confidence: How to overcome fears of looking silly, making mistakes, feeling too old and more

  • #3. Differentiation:  How to stand out when it seems everyone is doing a lot of the same things with video
  • #2. Content: Knowing what to say; how to map out an effective content plan
  • #1. Time: How to find the time to create and shoot quality, professional videos for business

 

Speaking of contests, Bank of America recently teamed up with Mastercard for a fabulous contest where one lucky grand prize small business owner will receive $25,000.* To enter, you simply submit a one minute video to www.growyourbizcontest.com, explaining how you plan to grow your business. All submissions will be judged for relevance to the contest theme/question and its expression of both creativity and originality, overall appeal, and entertainment value.  Four finalists will be selected and flown to NYC to present their pitches in front of a panel of judges and live audience on November 8, 2018.

 

Entering this contest is a terrific opportunity to practice your video skills. I suggest sketching out a storyboard of your one minute video first. Less is more. Don’t cram too much in. It’s better to make one clear point, versus packing five points into one minute. Ideally, talk into the camera, looking into the lens. Here are three simple tips for how to frame a talking head.

 

If you’re already clear on your business growth plans, it might be really easy for you to shoot a one minute video. However, remember it can take more time to craft a short, concise message.

 

Easy-to-use video tools abound

 

Time consistently comes up as a challenge when it comes to creating quality video and all social media content, for that matter. However, the good news is there are simple solutions to dramatically speed up the time it takes to create terrific videos.

 

First, compile existing photo and short video clip footage you may already have on your mobile device. Check with your team members, too, for useable footage they may have as well.

 

Then, using a free tool like Adobe Spark (available on both desktop and iOS), you can easily and quickly create eye-catching video montages with text overlay and music. Animoto is another great video tool to create compelling video montages from scratch or using their array of creative templates.

 

You can also take advantage of terrific stock photos, video clips and music. Wave.video includes access to over 200 million premium assets – that’s a vast library! You’ll never be stuck for just the right photo, graphic, illustration, video clip or soundtrack to clearly communicate your brand’s message.

 

Another aspect I especially appreciate about Wave.video is you can simultaneously create multiple video formats. For example, let’s say you create a landscape version of your video for sharing on Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn. And then export the square version for Instagram and Twitter. And the 9:16 vertical version for an Instagram or Facebook Story – organic Story and/or Story ad. Plus, there’s even a Facebook Page covering video aspect ratio.

 

So, by taking one video concept, you can quickly create multiple variations and repurpose that same video for a successful cohesive campaign and save a huge amount of time. Then, when you launch a promotional campaign using your video content, your videos literally start popping up everywhere and your audiences across your various social channels will pay more attention.

 

To address some of the other challenges with creating video content mentioned earlier, do take a look at my new 3-part Video Success Kit with super helpful free resources!

 

Are You a Small Business Owner Interested in Winning $25,000?*

 

Entrepreneurs will receive the chance to win $25,000 when they enter Mastercard’s Grow Your Biz Contest. To enter the Grow Your Biz Contest, small business owners must answer the simple question, “How will you grow your small business?” by submitting a video up to 1-minute long online . Four finalists will pitch their business to the Grow Your Biz Panel in New York City on 11/8/18 for the opportunity to win $25,000 and small business-expert consultation. Learn more at www.growyourbizcontest.com.

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