Everyone loves video, especially Google, and especially if it is posted on YouTube.  However, if you are, like most technology companies, unable to justify the expense of a glossy consumer product production but do not want to be perceived as lurking down with the scrappy home videos of teenagers and hobbyists, how can you use it?

Many companies in the B2B sector lament that their product is not very visually appealing or is difficult to convey through this medium.  But this shouldn’t stop you looking at how to utilise video to your advantage.  Dedicated sites, such as electronics-video.com, are springing up to host technology content and mainstream technology news sites are increasingly including links to third party video on their pages.  Search engines, as already mentioned, also track and report video as a matter of course.  This means that there is even more competition to appear on the search page for any given term:  results for web pages, documents, videos, images and maps all vie with each other to be seen ranked on the first page.

Consequently, when a company is planning its search engine optimisation strategy it should consider using as many media as possible. This will help to maximise the opportunities to be found; conversely, not posting video will increasingly exclude companies from sections of search results.

So, having been convinced that video creation is beneficial for your company, what do you do next? First think about what could be of interest to your prospective customers that you can demonstrate – a good starting point here is to consider what you show at exhibitions or in meetings with customers.  A hands-on demonstration of how easy your product is to use will be far more compelling than a written description and you probably have the script and props already prepared; this is your existing sales pitch.  For many, this content will be perfectly satisfactory.  It can be posted on your website on the relevant product pages; included as a link on related press releases and PDF brochures; and submitted to appropriate video sites that allow uploading.

If your product or service is less easy to demonstrate, you (or your marketing communications agency) could look for a newsworthy hook on which to hang your story.  We have previously written about how companies can gain exposure through linking themselves with topical stories.  Few items seem to be as topical as Apple’s products and PA Consulting took the opportunity of the recent iPhone 4 antenna issue to produce a tongue in cheek video that manages to inform, amuse and demonstrate the company’s service expertise all on, what appears to be, a very modest budget.  The message to companies who want to promote themselves to engineers is clear: videos with relevant subject matter and which reveal more than can easily be conveyed with static text and images can be a valuable addition to the marketing arsenal.  If anyone wants slick professionalism, they can rent Avatar.