A good entry point is the video-bio. Video-bios provide a great way to bridge the offline-online marketing gap, and enable prospects to place a face with a name. They can be posted on company web sites, shared via social networking sites, and linked from email footers to increase views. This solution helps promote the expertise and personality of business owners, and has the proven power to garner trust.

After becoming comfortable with the process of producing and sharing a video, business owners should experiment creatively. Remember to keep the end goal in mind: producing a video that will both resonate with customers and prospects and inspire them to be social about it afterward with comments, reviews, and sharing.

The most successful (and viral) online videos have been the most simple. By nature, people don’t have long attention spans. Videos two to three minutes in length have proven to be the most popular, and this length increases the likelihood videos will be viewed to completion.

The value of video can be very direct, such as product demonstrations, office/site tours, question/answer sessions, and customer features. However, those that are indirectly related to your business – if at all – can often prove to be the most memorable.  Don’t be afraid to try a comedic approach or try your hand at creating a planned series of related videos – which has proven to be a popular social video strategy for building buzz and increasing online brand followers.

Once your video is ready for the masses, post it to YouTube (and any other online video sites, such as Google Videos, Vimeo, or Yahoo! Video) and your company web site to drive traffic there. It is critical to include relative keywords in the video title to increase search engine results – and remember to always include your web site’s URL in the video, too.

After you’ve posted your video, make the big announcement via Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn with a HTML link. You’ll be receiving likes, followers, and video commentary in no time.

While businesses cannot rely solely on social media and video to increase profit margins, they are important aspects of a successful integrated marketing strategy. Social media and video can prove even more powerful when combined with other online marketing efforts (like search engine optimization and ad placement), and can be integral to transforming a business’ web presence – resulting in increased lead generation, top-of-mind brand awareness, and improved sales.