Open your eyes to using video to win business

A key theme at the recent Learning Technologies Exhibition 2011 (which I went along to with my client MyKnowledgeMap, a learning software and consultancy provider) was the use of video in learning, staff training and engagement, internal communications and marketing.

The power of video in learning and training and in enticing consumers isn’t a new concept but the business case for using it as the key medium to educate, inform, engage, build relationships and market your product or service is stronger than ever: 5.5bn videos were viewed online in UK in Feb 2010, up 37% on Feb 2009, and YouTube is now the second largest search engine in the world. It’s official, people are getting primary info by looking at video rather than text. Well, consumers are, but is video as powerful a business tool for the b2b market?

Here’s three reasons why I think so based on what I learnt:

1. Video content drives traffic to your website

It is easier than you think to create and upload video clips and once you do, they will help drive traffic to your website. When you create and upload a simple video clip to youtube you can link it back to your website, which means that people using it as a search engine will find you. And it doesn’t need to be high quality video, just high quality content. Content is king when it comes to search engine optimisation and the more varied, high quality content, the more likely you are to be found.

2. Share your expertise in “bite size chunks”

Busy professionals are getting more and more used to digesting information and insight in “bite size” chunks, using things such as blackberry instant messaging and twitter to communicate – and video is the perfect medium for this. In learning and training it has been proven that people are more likely to remember small chunks of visual information as opposed to longer passages of text that take more words to say the same thing. Not to mention the fact that video is much more engaging and stimulating and gives your message personality. A two minute informative video on the latest business trends can add more value to potential clients than an article or briefing paper.

3. Using video can get your message to a wider audience

In the professional world, people are using social media like LinkedIn and getting more and more used to sharing and passing on information about new industry trends or upcoming legislation, for example. If someone sees an interesting video, they are more likely to pass it on to colleagues and business contacts as it is standalone and doesn’t require any explanation, helping you to reach out to a wider audience and gain credibility through endorsement from others in the process.

Have you opened your eyes to how video can help win business? Share your thoughts and examples with me…

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Victoria Tomlinson is founder and owner of Harrogate-based PR consultancy, Northern Lights. A former director of Ernst & Young, she started her career as a graduate trainee for Plessey and later with Bradbury Wilkinson, the banknote printers, travelling around the world to sell banknotes to foreign governments. She joined Arthur Young as part of their start-up marketing team and was made a director of client services on the management committee and managing a 100-strong division. Victoria sits on the boards of Bradford University School of Management, Northern Ballet Theatre and Common Purpose North Yorkshire. She is a Prince’s Trust mentor.