Whether you’re a retailer, a publisher or a professional body you’ll know the impact feedback and reviews have on your business. Both technology and devices are now advanced enough to make it super easy to use video in your marketing and communications. I’ve highlighted companies like Hubspot using video to deter unsubscribes and I‘ve questioned if, given the option, Linkedin members would embrace a video profile option promoting themselves not just through text but through their body language, appearance, tone of voice. Our online consumption levels are at an unprecedented high, YouTube reports 6 BILLION hours of video are watched each month, Keek hit 50million users keen to connect via video yet most of our marketing and comms are based on the written word. We’re missing a trick.

Filming used to be expensive and time consuming. Getting a good story together, camera crews, equipment, editing costs. Advances in broadband, devices and the digital industry means integrating user generated video into your business is cheap, fast and highly manageable.

Miituu is a brilliant app born and developed in Scotland by a team passionate about harnessing the power of video to collect and understand peoples stories and experiences. Miituu isn’t only for the biggest and loudest opinions, nor the most eloquent, it’s for everyone. Before you think the last thing we need online is another new channel which will expose you to more fragmented noise here’s the difference. Miituu provides a framework for video content. By using a questionnaire format you’re able to ask people to talk about specific things – give them a ‘script’ so they stay on topic but have the freedom to say what they think. Its listening to those little things that people say that you really start to learn what you don’t know. I did a Marks and Spencer survey last week, not as painful as some surveys I’ve been asked to complete but the one thing I had in my head from my last visit was I liked the introduction of the Limited boutique. Made me think M&S may be getting their act together on the clothing front and that made me happy. There was no question asking me if I saw Marks and Spencer as a barometer for British retail. Or if my mood changed when I saw it – I’d have to tell you that. Given the opportunity to talk, people will tell you a lot.

Here are 4 businesses I’d like to see using video to engage with and learn from their customers.

Lovefilm  – I’d love to see members recording film reviews. Netflix, Virgin, Sky, even Channel 4 is renting out movies – competition is fierce. Film is an emotive thing – it’s why we love it. Get people to tell us what bits they liked or hated, how they felt when they watched it, give me an insight into what makes other film lovers tick, let me hear the fear or the excitement, let me see them shiver, wide eyed or petrified. Give film lovers a platform to pass on their passion. Give film lovers reviews of film in the medium they enjoy and thrive on – the talking image. Easy to set questions so all reviews are the same format, reviewers have control over their recording and can edit it until they’re happy with what they’ve said. I like the idea of Lovefilm being a training ground for the next Kermode and Mayo.

NakedWines I joined Naked because a) I do LOVE wine b) I loved the idea of helping talented winemakers grow their businesses. NakedWines do use video to promote their winemakers – Quick wine tip –  see Stephen de Wet if you like a merlot Arabella is really great as is F.Stephen Millier Viognier .But don’t offer wine lovers the option of talking about their favourite wines. It is a site which relies heavily on consumer reviews to rank winemakers and drive sales. I’ve gotten many a good tip from Angels recommending wines but scrolling through reviews is tedious. Finding the Angels (the members who commit a monthly fee to invest into wine purchases) I relate to via a video profile would work. I’d get to see what they look like, tell me a bit about themselves and tell me what they really love about wine. Only so much love you can feel for a site and product, but people associated with the site and product – that’s something you can really get to feel connected to.

JustGiving  JustGiving has raised £900 million for good causes, has 13 million users, encompasses 2.2 million fund-raising internet pages and serves 8000-plus charities. I must admit though, to rolling my eyes when I get an email or text from someone who has my details but I’m not close to telling me about the charity and asking me to sponsor them. Personally, if they have my details, especially my mobile, then at one time or another I connected with them. I’m not one to cave to peer pressure, I wouldn’t give because I felt bad. I would give though if I was connected with that persons energy and passion again. People who do the marathons, the sponsored walks, the gym challenges, the fasts – it takes a certain quality to do that. Allow me to see and hear that. Give volunteers and money raisers an opportunity to share their motivations, reasons and spirit – talk to people.

If you’d like to demo miituu, or need some ideas on how it could work on your site or in your business get in touch.

Neom I love this brand, they’re a growing luxury organics business who stick out like a sore thumb in a good way with their Facebook marketing. While they don’t have the biggest amount of followers, those followers are highly interactive, passionate, responsive and have helped to guide the businesses growth with fragrance recommendations, quotes, product names and suggestions, price points, flash sales, new product suggestions, database building and some of the most heart warming stories told in response to a competition. Neom is clever in that it regularly works with other luxury brands to grow its database and to keep content fresh and interesting. I’d like to see Neom integrate a video wall into their site, customers and guests telling stories in person. Capitalise on the emotion  and events their customers attach to their products. While it’s very nice for Neom they were suppliers at Camp Kerala (ultra swish Glastonbury camp with a £10k price tag) the majority of customers won’t relate to that. I would relate though to someone telling me about a sick friend who they loved dearly and who slept a whole lot better when the lavender travel candle was in their bedroom. Neom is expensive, but I’ve been inspired by why others buy it and how they celebrate with it.