Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Linda's How-Do-I Series? What About Video's?



It seems like everywhere you look there are video's. Whether they are short video-clips, slide show video's, or streaming video you can bet there is a video for just about everything.

Videos have become so immensely popular that just about everyone is creating them and a whole slew of websites to support video content and sell video products have been created.

YouTube is the behemoth of the video craze and to show you the importance of this phenomenon Google paid YouTube.com 1.65 billion in stock to purchase it in 2006. And, because of this enormous popularity YouTube.com has become the BIGGEST website on the Internet.

What has been great about the explosion into video for artists and crafters is not only the ability to promote your business, but the ability for any artist and crafter to actually capture their step-by-step creation process and create a video product for you to either download onto your computer or video player or for them to sell you a DVD hardcopy version of their video. There are e-classes that are video's that teach you how to do everything under the sun or e-classes that are slide show type video's.

So, for a small business artist and crafter the question is "Should You Create Video's For Your Business?" Well, that is not a simple question to answer for a small business owner. It really depends on what you are selling and whether or not videos would help you to promote your business or establish new e-products for your business . It also depends on how creative you are.

Just like writing articles for a small business blog, creating videos to promote your business requires creative skill, thought, and, most importantly, organization. You can't just throw a video out there - not if you're a small business owner. You need to think about what your video is going to convey to your readers and/or customers. Does it compliment your products and your business? Or, is it a detriment?

If it doesn't enhance your business image, convey to your readers and/or customers who you are and what your product is, or generate future sales for you then you shouldn't be creating video's. You might create a video that generates a tremendous amount of traffic to your website, but if that doesn't translate into sales for you then you might not have the right video.

So, should you create video's to promote your business? Well, that depends on what you're selling, how much time you have to devote to your videos, and how creative you are.

In thinking about all this I decided to give video's a try as a promotion tool and set up a LWOrig channel on YouTube.com and added two slide show video's to it.

I'd been resisting doing this for quite some time. I'm not exactly sure what my rationale was, but maybe it had to do with the very nature of YouTube.com and the video's that were first placed there. Maybe I didn't see the small business and advertising potential for my online business at first.

Well, YouTube has become so mainstream that I decided I'd give it a try. Besides they didn't just have video's - you could also have slide shows, etc. And, in thinking about promoting all my websites and blogs I decided that video slide shows would be just the thing.

So, I created two of them without music to promote my Linda Walsh Originals business and my "faceless" doll creations. I decided not to add music as these were being used for my small business purposes not being created for personal use. I respect copyrights and didn't want to have a copyright or royalty issue by using music.

I created my video slide shows using Microsoft Movie Maker software (MSMovieMaker) and found that it was very easy to do. It actually took less time to create than it did to upload it to YouTube.com. Uploading was time consuming due to the size of the video's, but very easy to do from the YouTube.com website.

In fact, it was so easy to do that I decided I should add more video's to my LWOrig YouTube Channel in the future. If you'd like to visit my LWOrig YouTube Channel please CLICK HERE.

I don't know why I didn't create video's before as promotion tools as I can now see what a GREAT way they are to promote your business and what a wonderful small business tool they are. I have added either the video's or links to the video's on the sidebars of all my blogs and links to them on some of my websites.

I haven't tried creating video's a e-products such as, e-classes, e-projects, or e-tutorials as of yet. For those you really need to be organized and clear as to what you are going to demonstrate. If you are going to try an teach someone how to create something you need to approach your video with as much organization and attention to detail as you would with teaching a class. Your instructions should be clear and easy to follow and your video of good quality so your customer can understand what you are trying to teach them.

Before you begin you should have an outline as to what you are going to show or explain, a script for what you are going to say, all the supplies and tools needed to demonstrate what you are creating, and video or picture taking equipment. If it's a slide show video then the pictures are vitally important. If it's a video demonstrating how to create something then the backdrop of your video and details of shooting such as whether or not you are going to need close-up shots from time to time for your video become important.

So, now that you know a little bit about video's you might be anxious to start creating your own video's. before you do so you need to know what the Standard Video File Formats are?

There are many, many websites that allow you to upload videos which can pose a problem if you don’t know what the video file formats are.

Listed below are the more common video file formats:

(.WMV) Windows Media Video – Windows Movie Maker saves all projects as .MSWMM files by default. This file contains the layout of your project but not the video itself. In order to make your project into an acceptable video format you must use the Save File command and save it as a .WMV file or one of the other acceptable file formats.

(.3GP) Cell Phones – Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) - The most common file format for cell phones.

(.AVI) Windows - Audio Video Interleave - AVI files can contain both audio and video data in a file container that allows synchronous audio-with-video playback.

(.MOV) Apple QuickTime Movie – Macintosh file format. MPEG-4 Part 14 shortened to MP4 - A multimedia container format most often used for Sony's PlayStation Portable and Apple's iPod.

(.MPEG) or (.MPG) or (.MPE) - Motion Picture Editors Guild

(.FLV) FlashVideo File - A video file encoded to run in a flash animation by Adobe.

(.SWF) Shockwave Flash - Adobe Flash (previously called Macromedia Flash) is a multimedia platform distributed by Adobe Systems. Flash has become a very popular method for adding animation and interactive advertising to websites.

(.MKV) h.264 Matroska Video File - The Matroska Multimedia Container is an open file format that can hold an unlimited number of video, audio, picture or subtitle tracks inside a single file. It serves as a universal format for storing multimedia content, like movies or TV shows.

Currently all of the above are standard video formats for YouTube.com.

So, "Should You Create Video's For Your Business?" Maybe, maybe not. It really does depend on what you are selling and whether or not videos would help you to promote your business or help establish new e-products for your business. A lot really does depend on how organized you are, how creative you are, what you have to say, and what your e-product would be.