This post is republished from my original article on the Amex Open Forum website. It is part of "Small Business Friday" on this blog, where I share ideas and marketing techniques specifically to help small businesses stand out. To read more articles like this, visit the "Small Business Friday" category on this blog.

You may have heard the saying that content is king – but if you had to get specific about the online environment, the saying might go video content is king. The reason is simple – most people will respond much better to moving pictures and a story through video than any other type of content online.

If you are like most small businesses, though, video is likely the last type of content that you are actively using online to promote your business. After all, it seems much harder to produce than it really is. In fact, video can be the easiest type of content to create if you follow a few basic rules.

The 3 Basic Rules Of Using Online Video

  1. Get an easy to upload camera (like a Flip Cam).  This will make the process of getting your video online much easier and make it more likely you will actually follow through and do it.
  2. Shoot exactly what you want so you don’t need to edit anything. The biggest time investment in using video is having to edit afterwards, so as much as possible, film things in one take and only get what you will use.
  3. Make sure to get close enough for good sound.  Video quality is no longer the major issue with online video as long as you are using a real camera and not a mobile device. The issue with quality usually comes from sound – so try to get close enough so everything you want to hear will be audible, or invest a bit of money and buy an external microphone.

Once you have these rules down, you are all set to create videos to promote your business. The first part of having everything ready to go is the easy part. The harder part is answering the question about what your content should be.  Let’s look at a few examples of how to make this process easier.

5 Super Easy Ideas To Promote Your Business With Online Video

  1. Answer your customer’s biggest questions. In any business, you likely field the same questions from customers or potential customers over and over. Whether your business has a product or service to sell, if you can use video to effectively answer those most common questions, then you can not only use video to promote your business but also as a way to field those questions in a more engaging and shareable way.
  2. Creating an “unboxing” situation. The art of “unboxing” is becoming popular online as a way to experiencing a product without buying it. In an unboxing video, someone simply places a camera on a tripod and films themselves unpacking a product so you can see the packaging, what comes in the box and virtually watch the experience you might have if you did purchase the product. These types of videos help demonstrate to potential customers what their experience might be if they did purchase your product and though it is better suited to tangible products instead of services, the concept could be extended to services as well.
  3. Do an office tour. This is exactly as simple as it sounds. While it may seem like a trivial exercise, simply letting potential customers have a virtual look around your office can do wonders for helping them to see you as a real business with real people instead of a yellow page ad or a static website.
  4. Interview your best customer.  Not everyone will be able to get their customers to talk on camera, but if you have a customer that you have a particularly good relationship with, ask them if they would be willing to talk with you in a short video to share what they like about your business and why they might recommend you.
  5. Demonstrate your product or service in action. Think of this as a simple demo video, where you can show how your product works or demonstrate the thinking behind your services in action. Ideally, you can just capture something that you already do every day on video.

Using video online can help you bring your small business to life and it does not need to be a daunting task requiring a professional crew and big investment.  So what are you waiting for?