For simple business goals, shooting and editing video is easier than ever

Your business can use DIY videos to help your customersCreating video is a lot easier than it used to be, even for a smaller business doing everything DIY. A couple of months ago as I polished off a promotional video for Valentine’s Day that was shot, edited and posted in a matter of hours, I was reflecting on how hard it used to be when I made video about 15 years ago. What took weeks then only takes hours now.

This is little surprise, because we’ve come a long way with video. Everyone’s phone comes equipped with a reasonable video camera now, and you can edit and post video easily. This doesn’t just save time for those of us who make video, it opens the door for new opportunities in business — by using video to help our customers.

Customers want data. In some ways, the more data the better — the more information and understanding you can provide about your product or service, the more comfortable customers will feel and the better their experience will be in learning about, buying, and using your product.

But data can be provided in so many formats, from webpages and blogs to white papers, cases studies, data sheets and classroom presentations. And each customer will prefer to receive this information in the mode that works for them. Video is one of the most popular modes for showing details that are hard to explain.

Professional videos can help your businessSo, we’re fortunate today that it’s not only easier to shoot and edit video, but whether you go for full-on professional creative work or DIY, the ability to capture, store, manage, access and share the huge amount of digital data video needs is also now readily at hand — it’s accessible in our pocket, in our laptops an workstations, our internal and external drives and our cloud services.

How to use videos to help your customers

The advantages of using video to help customers decide on, install or use your products are many. With video, you can visually help as if you were there with the customer. You can demonstrate products and features easily. You can bring a human connection to your business. And, of course, you can educate users and increase a sense of community.

Here are four ways you can use video to help your customers today, whether you’re hiring a pro to help, or jumping in feet-first to learn as you go like some of the greatest YouTubers (or even letting your customers help).

1. Visual FAQs

Many businesses have a frequently asked questions (FAQ) section on their web site as an easy self-service for customer questions that get asked repeatedly.

One way you can use video for customer service is by replacing or augmenting text-based answers with short videos that better get to the root of an issue. You can post them to a running playlist on YouTube, embed them in a series of blogs, and integrate them into your customers support web pages.

With video, you can clear up questions with a visual component more easily by showing customers instead of telling them. For product questions such as “how do I use this feature,” this can be particularly powerful.

2. How-To Videos

Along similar lines, video can serve as a great customer service vehicle for demoing your products of services.

If you are a software-as-a-service firm, for instance, you can use video to walk customers through the setup of your product and key features.

CRM vendor, Agile CRM, uses video effectively to walk its customers through the rather complex task of setting up automation campaigns with its software. This could be done with text, of course, but a short how-to video makes it much easier for customers to follow along and use the feature.

Similarly, a product-based company such as an air conditioning manufacturer could use video for short videos on each of its models that highlight unique features and shows how to properly use them.

3. Video Reviews

Businesses frequently use testimonials from satisfied customers to clarify the real-life benefits of products to potential new buyers. The face and real experiences of an actual product user can offer completely new and different insight and value than your existing product descriptions on the website.

A nameless review of your product by a satisfied customer is good. But imagine if you had a video of the customer showing their enthusiasm, and explaining why they’re happy? Video can take customer reviews to a whole new level, adding extra power to reviews and a connection with a real person to help new customers know they can trust what they’re hearing.

Offering a video platform also can encourage more reviews, too, because many customers struggle with writing, but may be comfortable speaking their mind. You can include a button on your site where customers can easily record short video reviews of your products thanks to the cameras now built into every laptop or smartphone.

By defining a maximum length for each video, you also can ensure these reviews are concise.

4. Instructional Webinars

How do you show a group of customers how to set up and use your product if you don’t have a brick and mortar store for your business, or how can you train retail sales partners and distribution resellers about your product when your business is run from a warehouse and some cubicles? You use a video webinar, of course.

Webinars are a great way to get customers closer to your brand and deliver instruction to pre- or post-sales customers in a cost-effective manner. You can use video webinars to deliver longer tutorials, demo specific products with question and answer time, or host open events where customers come with their own questions and that guide the discussion. Webinars bridge the gap between an online or factory-centered business and its customer base!

After you have held a webinar, you also can use the recording of the event as support content for your self-service option. This is a great way to build up a knowledge base and also get the pulse of what your customers need.

You can get webinars set up easily with solutions such as GoToMeeting or live video services like those offered by Agora.io, among others.

These are just a few of the many ways video can be used to improve and support your customer experience. Now that video is so easy and ubiquitous, there are many new opportunities for enhanced support using any number of video elements. What are you waiting for? Add some video to help ensure your customers have more data, are more informed, more successful, and happier with your products today.

JT Ripton is a business consultant and blogger who enjoys writing about many things, business and technology among them. Ripton’s advice has appeared in numerous places like BusinessInsider, Entrepreneur.com, The Guardian, and The Street. Follow him @JTRipton

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