Your customers want to see what you've got. Not just what you sell, but who you are, how you think, what advice you have to lend. In other words, they want video. If you're a small business marketer, you might think video is out of bounds. It's not. Video is perfectly doable for any size business in any field. And its advantages are huge.
- Videos appeal to people with short attention spans (everybody).
- Videos are a fun, easy medium to consume.
- Our brains are wired to respond to the human face, voice, and eye contact.
- Video can keep you captivated. People skim long written works, but tend to stay focused on what they see on-screen.
- Videos have proven to increase trust. A brand can come off as more human and sincere.
- Video on your website and blog looks professional (or it least it can).
"If you're not experimenting with video, you're simply sitting on the sidelines watching the big game unfold."
~ Me (Quoted in an Entrepreneur article by Ann Handley)
In the post, Ann wrote: "There has never been a better time to think about how you can make video a bigger part of your online marketing strategy." "Facebook is advancing aggressively into video (giving YouTube a run for its money as the top platform). Newer live-streaming platforms like Periscope (owned by Twitter) and Meerkat are finding traction, allowing users to effortlessly integrate video into social media. And the video tools and apps on your smartphone allow you to tote what's practically a full production studio right in your purse or pocket."
How will your business benefit from video marketing?
SEO success Adding video to a landing page makes it 53% more likely to appear on the first page of Google results. (Source: AdWeek Social Times) A thumbnail image of the video is presented on the search engine results page (SERP), which makes it stand out amongst the text-based listings and is therefore twice as likely to get clicked. What's more, YouTube is the second largest search engine and the web's third most trafficked site.
Social success People love sharing video on social media networks. And social networks are encouraging people to share video. Facebook has made a clear commitment to video adding auto-play, view counts, and more mobile functionality to its native video player. Twitter has a native app allowing you to record, edit and tweet videos under 30 seconds long. Vine is ALL videos. Live streaming apps such as Blab and Periscope are rocking social media. The list goes on.
Mobile success Close to 40% of consumers state that video increases the chance they will make a purchase on a mobile device. (Source: Adobe)
Conversion success Your landing pages are all-important and video tips the scales in your favor for conversion. The storytelling element video can bring to a landing page increases the likelihood viewers take the next step. Video on landing pages can increase conversions by 80%. And 64% of consumers are more likely to buy a product after watching a video about it. (Source: presentation that follows)
Getting started is easier than you think
Publishing video sounds great, you say, but you're not a professional videographer. Nor can you afford to hire one with your small business budget. It doesn't mean you have to give up on the advantages of video. You can produce effective marketing videos with some basic equipment.
- A camera-Smartphones, point-and-shoots, or DSLRs all record HD video.
- A microphone-Viewers will forgive poor quality video, but not sub-par sound. Invest in a decent microphone to assure audio quality.
- Tripod-Avoid the shakes.
- Editing software-If you want to edit your video after shooting, all you'll need is Movie Maker (Windows) or iMovie (Mac), which are preloaded onto newer computers and devices.
21 video marketing ideas you might try
Put employees on camera
1. The vision-We'll get this one out of the way. Have the boss or someone who loves the camera explain why your company exists. Could be a snoozefest, but it could be cool. Make it cool by telling a story that means something to your customer.
2. The expert-Subject matter experts abound at your company, right? You better hope so. Have your peeps reveal some tricks of the trade as you would in a blog post.
3. Roundup the team-Take the camera all around the office or through a department and have everyone speak briefly to a specific topic. Maybe roundup a variety of answers to the same question.
4. A thought-How about a "thought of the day" series?
5. A day in the life-Make a montage of a day in the life of an employee, a project, a department, a whatever.
6. Your peeps at play-Got a softball team? Bowling team? Having a chili cook-off? Wine tasting? Hopefully something fun happens during or after work. It might make an entertaining clip and introduce a human element to your content.
7. Recruitment-Have an employee explain why they work there and/or what they love about their job.
8. Live customer care-Are you taking care of customers via calls or video chats? The occasional recording of these conversations could prove valuable to prospects and customers in a number of ways.
9. Thank customers-Make a quick little vid where someone thanks a customer for being a part of the company's journey. Speaking of customers...
Make your customers the stars
10. Testimonials-Here's a classic, but seemingly underused video marketing genre. Your customers can give you killer video content. Don't be afraid to ask them.
11. User generated stuff-You might get priceless video from users by conducting a contest, conducting a survey or what have you. Use your imagination and ask customers to use theirs. This is a powerful strategy for building community and motivating customer advocacy. Your customers are the real experts, right? Speaking of experts...
12. Interviews-Every industry has experts (the authors, speakers, bloggers, opinion leaders and innovators) and your potential customers are curious to hear their ideas. Conduct interviews in-person if possible, or remotely, via Skype, or any recordable video chat system.
13. Company events or announcements-How obvious is this one? Perhaps what's not as obvious is you don't need to bring in a production crew. Bring in a smartphone. Shoot.
14. Community activity-Is your company and its people getting involved in the community? There are bound to be compelling stories there.
15. Broadcast live-Thanks to Periscope you can broadcast anything, easily. Try it.
16. Trade show-Trade shows and conferences present all kinds of opportunities to make video even it it's as simple as a "here we are and here's what we're doing" segment.
17. Product demo-Easy to do and an invaluable offer for many.
18. Presentation-Here's a widely flexible category that might be a webinar and any variation of it. Research how you can deliver helpful content and push the record button.
19. GIF-A GIF (or Vine) might the video equivalent of a meme. Do something intelligent or fun and send it out into the social sphere.
20. Narrate a post-This sorta' alt-approach to blogging works for your multimedia enthusiasts. And finally, the award for video marketing ideas for small business budgets goes to...
21. Live-stream-The revolution has begun. The talk of the online world seems to have become all about live streaming in 2015. Cool tools sprung forth. Perhaps they'll keep coming.
Have you tried live streaming? I have. I dabble a bit in Periscope, do the occasional Google Hangout, but it's Blab I find most fascinating. My friend, Andy Crestodina, and I use Blab to record our podcast, Content Matters, which debuted in 2015. Watch one if you like. Or two. Or three.