Getting To Grips With Video MarketingEric Merlin
Many small business owners are nervous about implementing video marketing strategies. Creating video content can seem time-consuming and expensive, and when marketing budgets are tight, it can seem like too much of a risk.
The truth is, that in 2020 video marketing is proving to be an exceptionally effective strategy for those SMEs who don’t resist it. Videos can be a great way of developing brand awareness, boosting customer engagement, building and maintaining trust, and making sales.
The sheer amount of tools and resources that are available to business owners online means that videos don’t have to be expensive or difficult to create, and can be done in-house without the need for outsourcing.
With this in mind, let’s take a look at the types of video content that every small business needs to create, and the two most popular and user-friendly platforms to share them on: Instagram and YouTube.
More Than Words
The power of video to be more effective than sales copy or marketing emails lies in its accessibility. Video is an immediate method of communication, and a well-crafted video can say everything your business wants to say in a much shorter amount of time than a blog post or newsletter.
People respond to video in totally different ways than they do to written or even audio content. According to industry experts Hyperfine Media, 64% of internet users are more likely to purchase a product online after watching a video about it.
Video is just as effective for B2B businesses. The same research found that 50% of executives will look for more information about a company after seeing products or services in a video.
As a fluid form of content, video can also be used in different ways to achieve maximum effect. Hyperfine also discovered that including a video in a marketing email improves click-through rates by between 200 and 300%. Positioning a video on a product or service’s landing page will increase conversion by 80%, and the combination of a full-page ad and a video will boost engagement by 22%.
Getting Started With Video Marketing
There is a vast array of content sharing platforms out there, but Instagram and YouTube are arguably the easiest to use and can achieve maximum impact and results. Everybody’s got an Instagram account these days, and this versatile platform can be used for a lot more than sharing carefully curated images. Similarly, YouTube is a powerful platform for small businesses when used correctly.
Mastering both platforms will require different techniques and strategies, and in some cases, Instagram may be more appropriate for a business and vice versa.
Let’s take a look.
As the name suggests, Instagram is an app for instant visuals which offers quite a bit of flexibility for video content. Videos can be between 3 and 60 seconds long, and there is an option to ‘broadcast’ longer videos via Instagram TV.
Videos can also be used in profile ‘Stories’ and will be viewable for 24 hours (they can even be saved in an archive that visitors will be able to access). Videos can be uploaded straight from a smartphone or tablet, or imported from a desktop computer.
For an Instagram video to have the most impact it needs to tell a compelling story in under 60 seconds, so it should have a clear and specific goal, as well as include some sort of call to action.
No special equipment is needed to create videos for Instagram, but whatever people or products that are featured need to be well lit in order to make them look appealing, so natural light works best.
When it comes to creating video content for YouTube, the tried and tested Vlogging methods used by content creators and influencers are equally applicable to business owners. Videos should be shot in landscape mode, and simple props can be used to add depth and dimension to blank walls.
Moreover, YouTube is more complex than Instagram, so it’s best if it’s used in a more strategic way. One of the big benefits of YouTube compared to platforms like Instagram or even Facebook is that videos can be search engine optimized using keywords, as well as monetized through ads.
The platform also offers businesses more flexibility in terms of the type of videos that can be published, meaning that a range of content can be created from listicles about products/services to more in-depth ‘about us’ stories, or even interviews and documentaries.
The Three Videos Every Business Needs
So, what are the key videos that your business needs to make and publish to start reaping the benefits? At a minimum, every business operating in this digital era needs to have at least three videos that they can use to establish credibility, build trust, and show the world who they are and what they do.
1. The company story
How did your business begin? What were your motivations for starting the company in the first place? Who do you work with, who are the key people that make your business what it is today? Believe it or not, the answers to these questions really do matter in the eyes of the consumer, especially since many purchasing decisions tend to be based on emotion instead of logic.
A company story video allows you to say exactly what it is about your business that’s unique, and featuring real people and real situations in them will only help customers connect more with your brand.
2. Product or service video
It’s hard to think of any business these days that doesn’t have an online presence, so how can you ensure that what your company is easily visible in such a crowded arena? By making a product or service video.
You’ve probably visited a company’s website or social media profile yourself and wondered what that company actually does, so the last thing you want to do is leave a potential customer thinking the same about your business.
As always, focus on benefits and solutions rather than the features of your products or services – no matter how unique they are. You’ll want to appeal to customer emotions again, explaining clearly and succinctly in whatever format you choose for your video (live-action, animation, text, and images, etc) just how your products and services can solve the problems of your customers and enhance their lives.
3. Customer testimonial video
Sticking with the psychology of marketing for a moment, every business owner should already know just how impactful customer testimonials can be. However, actually collecting them and then finding an appropriate way to share them can be a barrier for some.
The way to get around this is to collate testimonials into a video, and the great thing is a business only needs one or two strong ones in order for this video to be effective.
There are, of course, no limitations to the number or types of videos that you can create for your business, especially if you want to develop a YouTube channel, where posting regular and timely videos matters.
However, to ensure they’re effective videos do need to be planned using the SMART – Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely – model.