The internet… wow, you’ve got so much to offer, one of those things is pictures of cute cats with words written over the top of them using incorrect grammar, another thing is video (I know that there is more, but this blog can’t go on forever). You’ve seen videos of people doing ridiculous things on the Internet.

But you probably haven’t seen that many videos of small businesses sharing what they have to offer. Web video is more or less the domain of the ridiculous — whether that means something cute or something painful. Even top ads and commercials have a touch of the absurd, Old Spice is a perfect example here.

So how does a small business compete with our low attention spans (hey a rainbow… no, a double rainbow) and a whole Internet of, well, everything? Read on for four ways that small businesses can take advantage of Web video without blowing their budgets (we put together our corny video in about 30 minutes) and let us know if you would like us to help you in the comments below.

(A very quick video we threw together in about 30 minutes and a bit of giggling! Just to show you how easy it is)

1. Replace your boring content

Why not make a video instead of writing out your business updates, some hipsters like to call them vlogs, but we will stick to video updates. It’s easier for us lazy people to click play on a short video than read a 300 word news article.

This isn’t for everyone and every business, but it can help make your updates easier to digest and give your homepage a boost of personality, it can also generate a better user experience.

2. Request client submissions

How does a video testimonial sound? Or look? Better than a written one? If you answered ‘Yes’ then you’re correct.  If you answered ‘No’ then you should stick to your boring testimonial that you could have written that doesn’t have the same impact as video!

Some of you could also ask your customers to use your product or service so that other potential clients can see how your product or service is used… pretty simple, but it works!

3. Show them the awesomeness

Product demos are so much easier to view than read… let’s think about the last Ikea cupboard you put together, if someone was to show you a video on how to put it together instead of place part ‘b’ into slot ‘c’ it would be a better user experience, apart from all the funny “That’s what she said” lines!

If you’re more a service than a product business, think about doing a webcast or video on how to use your advanced features or set up the service. Maybe your FAQs section could use a video or two? Just a thought.

4. Telephones are so last month

Think about the help desk side of your business, lets say that you’re a Electrician or a Plumber and you get someone that needs your assistance with fixing up that tap or changing a light bulb, you can drive all the way out there and lose money on the job, you can talk them through on the phone for free OR… you could GUIDE them through (at a discounted rate) on a video phone or Skype! Imagine not having to go off site for every little annoying thing (like changing light bulbs, or tap washers), petrol, time, hourly rates that seem to disappear, suicidal thoughts… so much is to gain from such a simple solution. Being able to do help desk style work from home and get paid for it.

There is also a lot of evidence out there that using video will help conversion rates, higher conversion rates means more money and more money means more, well, what ever it is that can be bought. For me, it would mean more old cars and old car parts to make those old cars work again, but that is a different blog… on a different website.