ScreenIf your clients aren’t watching you, they are probably watching someone else.

Videos are now a mainstream business tool, regularly viewed by 75% of executives. The low cost of entry and simplified technology means that video is now within easy reach of firms of every size.

Here are six ways that video can build your reputation and give your firm a significant edge:

1. Showcase your knowledge and insights. There is no better way to attract new business (and new talent) than by demonstrating that you have knowledge, insights, analysis, perspectives, ideas and foresight on the issues that are important to your clients and to your market. Video is a highly effective way to communicate this. It can be easier to construct than long-form articles and whitepapers, and easier for your market to consume.

2. Showcase your firm’s values and CSR. There’s a growing body of work showing that people go out of their way to buy from, sell to, work and do business with people and organisations that they admire and whose values they share or aspire to. In fact, that extends well beyond the business world. Simon Anholt gave a brilliant TED talk that demonstrates how this applies to entire nations; and he has some 200 billion data points to back up his views. Interestingly it works both ways – an insurance executive gave me the run down on why people with better values make better customers too.

3. Tenders and pitch documents. These are often set to a rigid formula, without much wriggle room. However, where permitted, you can supplement your tender document with a short video that adds credibility and individuality. For example, you can record a personal message, introduce and profile some of the key team members, even run a 360 pan around the office to show clients how and where their work will flow.

4. Pre and post boost for your professional events. Video can be a powerful magnet when used prior to your firm’s event to give people a taste of the topic and the quality of speakers. You can use video to capture the event and distribute it to those who attended, and those who couldn’t, to build on the momentum and stay front of mind post-event.

5. Leverage your network. A smart way to strengthen existing relationships, build new ones and leverage your clients’ and your network’s expertise is to invite them to be part of your thought-leadership and content marketing topics. This reduces your work-load, can reflect positively on your firm’s reputation and profile, and is good for the personal and professional profiles of those you invite. It’s a win all round. In fact, we created a platform to do just that: https://eyelevelstudio.com.au/platform/

6. A lasting resource. As you gradually build a library of videos, you are also building a valuable resource that you can refer prospective clients to. That extends to your partner network. Other firms, and those in your interstate and international offices, have a much easier task in referring clients to you when they can send them to a video that shows who you are and the depth of your expertise.

DIY or call the professionals?

Fortunately, it’s not one or the other. You can have any mix and match you need. You can produce content in-house, with minimal equipment (a smart phone, lights, a mic, and simple editing software), and post your videos online almost immediately. A little bit of training can go a long way here. You can upgrade to a semi-pro setup for not much more – training is worthwhile at this point. And you can call in a professional crew when you require something more elaborate – such as a multi-camera set up to capture an event.

Production values are important, but informal videos can have that sought-after authenticity. You just need to make sure the shot is framed, the light is good enough to see the presenter, and the sound is good enough to hear them. It’s easy to add slides and B-roll (supplemental video content) as part of the editing process.

A few ‘why video’ statistics

Video is predicted to account for 84% of all Internet traffic by 2018
59% of executives would rather watch video than read text
78% of business executives class video as an effective business tool
75% of senior executives watch work-related videos at least on a weekly basis, and 54% share work-related videos with their colleagues at least weekly
Including video in an email can lead to a 200-300% increase in click-through rate
Video is 50 times more likely to get organic page ranks in Google than plain text results