How will short-form video enhance your business?

Kathryn Jackson, of the Rock County Small Business Development Center (SBDC), hosted Let’s Talk Social: Mastering Short-Form Video Creation for your Business on August 17 at Blackhawk Technical College in Janesville, Wisconsin, with great success. She partnered with the SBDC’s Digital Marketing Clinic to provide real time training on how and why small businesses should create short videos.

Kathryn opened the event by sharing details on SBDC resources and funding opportunities. She said, “This was a great event for small business owners in Rock County. The digital marketing students did an incredible job explaining the importance of short form video and providing business owners with the actual tools on how to better use video in their business. Technology and social media can often be daunting and difficult to understand. The presenters did a great job of breaking down technological barriers. Many thanks to Kathy Fredrickson and her team for coming from Oshkosh to Janesville to share their knowledge of digital marketing. I look forward to bringing more helpful events like this one to the Rock County business community.”

Kathy Fredrickson, Digital Marketing Clinic Manager, explained the clinic’s statewide initiative, its metrics and services and introduced the talented team of student interns who provide no-cost, one-on-one consulting to small business owners. She said, “Since 2021, the SBDC Digital Marketing Clinic consultants have provided high-impact solutions with proven results in the areas of website optimization, social media planning and digital asset creation. These efforts have helped 235 business owners in 41 counties across the State of Wisconsin to take control of their marketing efforts as well as gain more traffic and engagement. Interns with advanced training in Google Analytics, search engine optimization, user experience, video production and graphic design have completed 3,565 hours of no-cost consulting, helping their clients support 1,258 employees. We are thankful to have the opportunity to present in-person workshops as well to provide hands-on guidance.”

Two of the clinic interns, Nathan Weis and Anthony Preston, led the presentation. Nathan informed the eager group of attendees about the importance and impact of short-form video, giving examples of how small businesses can use videos to showcase their products, services and brand as well as highlight calls to action. The interns provided a helpful worksheet that engaged the audience by asking thought-provoking questions and requiring brainstormed responses to help participants create their own ideas for how to use videos.

The buzz in the room was fantastic as interns circulated to assist the participants. The engaged entrepreneurs then shared their worksheet ideas on how they could teach their customers about their own unique offerings, establish company credibility and enhance customer connection.   

Anthony Preston shared best practices for creating videos and provided instructions in real time using an app that participants loaded onto their devices. At the end of just a few minutes, attendees knew how to upload photos and videos, add background sounds as well as text and voiceover effects and edit videos to a length of under 60 seconds. He explained how to share videos to email and text messages as well as popular social media platforms.

The participants asked thoughtful questions and were eager to put their new-found knowledge to work in the real world. In fact, I even used their advice to create a quick promo video for the event!

The clinic currently employs seven student interns. Five are based at the UW Oshkosh campus, one attends UW-La Crosse and works in-person at the clinic during the summer and one works virtually from the UW-Eau Claire campus. In the future, Kathy Fredrickson looks forward to extending the internship opportunity to other campuses as well.

Highlights from the event include:

Impacts of Short-Form Video

  • Increase brand awareness
  • Drive engagement
  • Enhance customer connection
  • Showcase products or services
  • Increase website traffic and conversions
  • Establish credibility and trust

Best practices for creating videos:

  • Pay attention to popular trends
  • Start with a hook, include a middle and a call to action at the end
  • Use relevant content
  • Repurpose long-form videos
  • Post consistently
  • Promote across most used social media platforms